Continued practice is important! Especially when students are learning a second language. Quite often students don’t have any chance to have conversations or to speak the language they have been studying during the summer break. This is usually because of holidays, vacations, and wanting to be outdoors to enjoy the nice weather J, and while it may sound like a new ride at the waterpark, the following tips can help you prevent what is called the “summer slide” from happening.
1. Summer Vocabulary
Before you leave on vacation, talk with your teacher about your plans for the summer and have them suggest related vocabulary (e.g., beach, camping, or various sports-themed words) for you to practice and study.
2. Foreign Language Bookstore
If your town or city has a bookstore that carries materials in the language you are studying (in Prague try the Globe Bookstore), find a book or some materials that you can read. Underline new vocabulary; find creative ways to write sentences using this vocabulary (poems, jokes, etc.).
3. Attend a Summer Language Course
Many summer courses offer students an opportunity to study a language in a focused environment. For people worried about time constraints look into intensive courses that go for a shorter period of time.
4. Use Self Study Applications
There are many language apps available for free such as Utalk that allow you to practice a language on your mobile device, something that could entertain you on that long plane ride to your holiday destination. For other languages there are Qué Onda Spanish, Très Bien French and Wie Geht’s German.
5. …Or Experience Culture in Your Own City
Try going on a guided tour of your city with a guide who speaks the language you are studying. It will also give you the opportunity to speak to people who are native speakers of the language.
6. Make New Friends With Penpals
Many websites offer the opportunity to connect with similar-aged students around the world and communicate via e-mail. Global Penfriends, InterPals, and Letternet are all good choices.
Just remember to do what you can, keep at it, and enjoy the summer!