With our Summer 2019 quarter starting this week at Hancock International College we would like to present some good habits for ESL students to excel in their studies. Many international students say they are not learning fast enough. Of course learning a new language takes time, but it can be expedited by using the language outside of the classroom and any chance you get. Don’t stress out about making mistakes. Focus on communicating. You will gain more confidence after finding you can do this, and then the grammatical rules will fall into place with more formal lessons and from hearing it correctly in movies or talking to the people around you. Martin Sketchley with the British Council has a nice article about the “Five Habits of Effective English Language Learners.” Let’s take a look at a few below (bonus points if you can spot the British spelling).
Sketchley says, “Record new vocabulary in a way that’s easy to review. When studying a language, it’s essential to keep vocabulary notes from lessons. As language lessons are often based on a particular theme (e.g., shopping, music, family), it’s a good idea to organise vocabulary by topic. Experiment with different ways of recording vocabulary, including word cards, mind maps, and tables, and see what works best for you. You should also make a note of the different forms, uses and pronunciation of particular words (make sure you have a good learner’s dictionary).”
He goes on to advise students to, “Review your lessons and self-study notes regularly. To successfully learn new vocabulary and grammar, you need to review your lesson or self-study notes regularly. Go through the notes you took in a particular lesson and try memorising some or all of the important language or grammar points (remember, set yourself realistic goals). Then, writing on a blank piece of paper, see how much you can recall. Repeat the process until you’ve memorised all the things you set yourself at the beginning of the task.”
One of his best pieces of advice is to “Be active and take control of your own learning. When in class, try to participate as much as possible. Be determined to use the language and grammar your teacher has presented. Making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process, so don’t let that stop you.
Be active rather than passive: find out from your teacher what your strengths and weaknesses are; ask your classmates what they think of your pronunciation; set up an English-speaking club with other students, so you can practise speaking after class. By being active and taking control of your own learning, you will soon start to see results.”
For the full list check out Martin Sketchley’s article with the URL found below.
Full Article: https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/five-habits-effective-english-language-learners
Idiom of the Day
one/a smart cookie
Meaning: someone that has great ideas.
Example: That is such an elegant solution to our problem. You are one smart cookie!
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