Use translation as a learning technique

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Translation, as well as writing, is a form of production that relieves the pressure speaking entails. No one is looking, there is room for hesitation or a pause for the search of a word that conveys the exact meaning you want to express but doesn’t spring to mind. On account of all of these reasons and more, translation can be a very effective way to learn in a stress-free environment.

Naturally, you may be wondering about who is going to revise your text. The good news is that there is a “DIY” technique, so to speak.

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Broadly speaking, I am blessed to be surrounded by students who are into English and demonstrate interest and love for the language.

However, learning a language is a long-distance race and over the years I’ve also heard some students’ complaints such as:  “I feel stuck” / “I’ve been studying English all my life and my level is still intermediate“ / “I always make the same mistakes”/ “In spite of all my efforts here when I go to English-speaking countries I don’t understand people”/ “Phrasal verbs are impossible to learn” and the list goes on. Continue reading “Self-motivation”

Be creative when recording vocabulary


There are multiple ways of recording vocabulary but the tendency to create “English word + translation” lists prevails. Finding an alternative to that makes vocabulary recording more entertaining and helps in the learning process since you are more involved in the “how”.

Going back to the idea of “collecting words”, you are more likely to remember a new item for your collection when you have devoted some attention to it. Where does it belong? How should I record it? To what extent is this useful for me?

Let’s consider recording vocabulary as a two-way procedure. What I mean is, you can first record your words in a list, while you are studying or in class, as a sort of draft. Secondly, you could rewrite those words into a more definite, elaborate system. It may take more time but it will eventually pay off. 

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Create a time and a space for self-study

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This is the first in a series of tips aimed at boosting language students’ self-study routines and self-motivation. It goes without saying that attending a course is a sure bet but usually not enough if you intend to make significant progress. You have to go the extra mile! and that is primarily in your hands. Teachers can provide you with ideas on how to go about it but it is within you to implement them and to be consistent at that.

Allocating regular time for English study will give you not only peace of mind because you are doing the right thing, but also confidence in yourself. If consistent, you will surely notice a solid steady improvement that will, in turn, strengthen your motivation to keep going.

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