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Keeping Second Languages Active Over the Summer

by Jacob P. | September 20th, 2010 | Teen Perspective

This year, when I started Spanish 2, I remembered a lot more than I expected to after a summer off from school. I started thinking about why I remembered so much, because most of the kids in my class kids didn’t remember nearly as much as I did. So, I looked back over my summer and found some key features that presumably kept my memory active.

  • Keep speaking the language. My stepdad and I both speak Spanish, so we would speak to each other in Spanish all summer. It kept me thinking all summer long and I actually learned some new words in the process. Also, I spoke to my friends in Spanish because most of us speak Spanish. Also, it was convenient to talk around other people. Speaking the language helps work on word pronunciation, too.
  • Speaking the language is very important, but reading it is also very important. If you are somewhere like the doctor’s office and you see a magazine or newspaper in your language of choice, take it and read it. If you can take it home, take it home and read it more. This helps you remember words, but helps even more with things like sentence structure. When you are talking, you don’t always think about punctuation or spelling, but while you are reading, you have to, because it is all laid out there in front of you.
  • Now, this category is a little less helpful and far more vague, but this is basically whatever doesn’t fall into the other two categories: things like Dora the Explorer. If it’s on, no one is there to judge you, so if you lack nothing better to do, watch it! Also, if someone at a store needs translation help, help them, both because it is kind and because it will help your Spanish.
  • Finally, you can hire a tutor, such as an Arabic language tutor.

You don’t have to go out of your way to keep a second language active in your mind, you just need to keep your mind active. No terminas aprenando una lengua secondaria y tú no tengas problemas.

  1. I keep up my French now that I am out of school by reading books in French, listening to French music, and watching movies/tv shows in French. I speak it when I get the chance but don’t know anyone else who speaks it, unfortunately.

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