Group 2 Subjects

How to Effectively Learn a Language

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If you’re in the IB, chances are you have to choose 2 language subjects to study. Unlike Mathematics, studying for a language requires lots of flexibility, so you have to think of different creative ways to master it. Whether it is Lang. A or B, these short, do-able tips below are guaranteed to help you effectively learn these subjects!

Repetition matters

Our brain best remembers things when they’re repeated over and over again. If you don’t revisit new words after a short period of time, your brain will automatically delete them from its memory. Which do you recall faster: the food you had for dinner 3 days ago or the password of your computer? Zina Ahn, an IBlieve writer, published an article on the importance of Active Recall and Repetition that you can check out, too!

Watch videos in the target language

If you enjoy watching YouTube videos or Netflix movies, why don’t you use that leisure time to enhance your language skills?

Most streaming services have captions or subtitles located at the bottom of the screen, so while you’re listening to the foreign language, you can look at the meaning right below!  This way, you’ll engage with the language directly.  If you do this often enough, you might even graduate to having both the audio and subtitles in the target language!

Speak with locals!

If you have locals that speak the language you’re learning, that’s an amazing opportunity. They are the best teachers you have thanks to their fluency. When people see you trying to speak their mother tongue, they’re usually more than happy to help you out.

Next time, try talking to a local in their native language. If you make any mistakes, they won’t hesitate to point them out and, with time, you’ll greatly improve!

Change your device’s language to your target language

This is what I did back when I was younger! Changing your device’s language to the one you’re studying helps you learn that language in the quickest way possible because of how demanding it is. You can’t really use your phone without understanding the words/labels in it. 

Be a bookworm

After reading academic texts at school, the thought of reading more books might not sound too appealing. But do buy some, at least, for the sake of your education. Reading books in a different language requires a lot more thinking to fully grasp the story’s ideas and themes, which is why being a bookworm helps with language acquisition.

Sticky-Note vocab words around the house

This is also a personal tip that I find extremely effective: sticky-note vocabulary words around your home. Whenever you are in the house, you will always encounter a new word to learn and review. If you can, make the notes colorful and add some drawings to them – they will surely be even more memorable!


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