Revision tips for Language learners
Though I study Philosophy, I’m lucky enough to have been able to choose a language module worth 30 credits (one quarter of my grade for this year), and I decided to choose a French beginners class, which conveniently follows on from GCSE French. The experience to study a completely different subject whilst studying Philosophy has been very enjoyable and keeps me sane amongst the heaviness of my Philosophy modules. Unfortunately, language exams tend to happen earlier into exam season (May) so it’s important to be in full language mode in the weeks and days leading up to the exam in order to fully prepare.
Here are some revision pointers that I find work well for me:
If you live in the year 2017, you’re most probably on your phone a lot of the time. Reading everything in another language can be daunting and confusing at first but it reminds you of the language at all times and you’ll soon realise that you’re picking up vocab sooner than you thought.
in your head or out loud are both options. Sometimes I pretend to speak on my phone whilst talking in french when I’m walking down the street, in the hope that I don’t pass by any actual french speakers…
This is a fun and easy way of learning grammar, new vocabulary and speaking more fluently in general. Find vlogs or channels which are at your level; it’s best to start off with people who speak slower and use simpler words, rather than jumping straight into the deep end. However, don’t be afraid to listen to more convoluted speakers – this is great practice for if you’re taking a gap year or year abroad to go to another country as you’ll get a headstart into how people will be speaking there. Here are some of my favourite language channels;
– : These are two young travellers who fluent in 5 languages! I find it inspiring how passionate the two are about languages, and amazed at how they taught themselves all of these languages. Their secret to remembering them all is to practice every day.
– : These are educational videos by a French teacher called Patricia. I like her videos because she speaks at a pace suitable for my level and I’m able to understand a lot of what she says even without subtitles. Her videos are perfect for grammar help and for listening exam practice!
– : This channel is great for learning vocabulary in specific topics such as health, animals and greetings. I’ve learnt that one of the most effective ways to learn any language is to just memorise the vocabulary, especially verbs. Having a large word bank is so useful when constructing sentences and listening to dialogue.
– : There are multiple videos on YouTube of native French speakers giving Ted Talks on interesting subjects like the development of medicine and dreams. If this is too difficult to understand, try watching with English subtitles, or watch English Ted Talks with French (or your desired language) subtitles!
So, there you go. If you’re studying for a language exam, whether it’s a final A Level exam or a part of your degree, I hope these tips will work for you. Try putting at least one into action to see for yourself whether it makes a difference. Language revision doesn’t have to be stressful, you can have fun and learn a new language at the same time!