If so, you have came to the right place. This study guide includes which review books you should buy to help you pass these exams first try and how I studied day by day in order to prepare for these exams.
Two years later, I calmly explained the mechanics of Russian grammar to a Guatemalan friend… in her native Spanish. I practiced my ass off.
It took hours of study combined with stumbling through many, many conversations.
An hour of conversation with corrections and a dictionary for reference is as good as five hours in a classroom and 10 hours with a language course by yourself. There are a few reasons for this. The first is motivation.
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The second reason is that language is something that needs to be processed, not memorized. I believe the reason is that our minds place more priority on memories which involve actual human and social experiences, memories which have emotions tied to them.
It means nothing to me, so it is less likely to stick with me. Intensity of study trumps length of study. What I mean by this is that studying a language four hours a day for two weeks will be more beneficial for you than studying one hour a day for two months.
This is one reason why so many people take language classes in school and never remember anything. Language requires a lot of repetition, a lot of reference experiences, and a consistent commitment and investment.
Classes suck and are an inefficient use of time and money.
All things considered, you get a really poor return for your time and effort in group classes. There are two problems.
The first is that the class moves at the pace of its slowest student. For instance, when I took Russian classes I found verb conjugations to be simple because I had already learned Spanish. But an English classmate struggled quite a bit with them. As a result, I spent a lot of my class time waiting around for him to catch up.
I also had a German classmate who had already been exposed to cases, whereas I had no clue what they were. Anyone who had to take a foreign language in school and retained absolutely none of it can tell you this. Start with the most common words.
Not all vocabulary is made the same. Some gives you a better return on investment than others. For instance, when I lived in Buenos Aires, I met a guy who had been studying with Rosetta Stone for months not recommended.
I had been working on and off with a tutor for a few weeks, but I was surprised by how he could not follow even the most basic of conversations despite months of study and living there. It turns out, much of the vocabulary he had been studying was for kitchen utensils, family members, clothing and rooms in a house.
But if he wanted to ask someone which part of town they lived in, he had no idea what to say.
Start with the most common words and then make sentences with them over and over again. Learn just enough grammar to be able to do this and do it until you feel pretty comfortable with all of them.
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