As any teacher on Verbling will tell you, conversation with a native speaker of the language you’re trying to learn is a key component to improving your language ability.
But if you’re looking to up your English game even more, I have an approach that has helped many of my students progress quickly to reach their goals. I call it “the four-pronged approach to language learning,” and it looks like this:
Step 1: Read
Choose a text in the target language, and read it. This could be segments of a book, online articles, or even newspapers. The important thing is to choose something that you find interesting or that relates somehow to your life. In terms of difficulty level, choose something that is challenging, but not impossible to read.
Step 2: Write
While you’re reading, write down any unfamiliar vocabulary words, along with their definitions (use GoogleTranslate or whatever resource you like). Then, write a one-paragraph summary (in your own words!) of the chapter, section or article that you read, along with a paragraph responding to it. This response paragraph could be your reactions, criticism, questions, predictions, or connecting the content to your life experience… it all depends on the text you have chosen.
I encourage my students to compose their writing using GoogleDocs and share the link with me. This allows us to complete the next step seamlessly… (I can help with GoogleDocs if it’s new to you!)
Step 3: Edit
Once your “homework” is complete, meet with me, your teacher, and together we will read what you have written discuss it. We’ll start with the vocaulary, reading each word and definition, checking your pronunciation, and discussing when and how this word is typically used by native speakers. Next, we’ll read your two paragraphs. As we read, I will help you correct any mistakes, improve your sentence structures, and refine your word choices.
Step 4: Discuss
You chose something interesting to read, right? Now, let’s discuss it! Having a conversation about a particular topic is a great way to allow your language fluency to develop authentically.
Finally, schedule another lesson to repeat the process with a new text or the next chapter of the book you’re reading. I’m not going to tell you that this approach is simple or easy (anyone who claims this about language learning cannot be trusted!); But I will tell you this: