Though many students may feel they have a mental block or even lack the aptitude for learning foreign languages, anyone can learn a second language IF they are willing to put in the necessary time. Here are some practical suggestions for studying effectively, overcoming anxiety, and learning the grammar and skills necessary for success in high school foreign language classes.
1. STUDY EVERY DAY. A foreign language course is different from any other course you take. Language learning is cumulative: you cannot put it off until the weekend. Study 1 or 2 hours for every class hour if you want an A or B.
2. DISTRIBUTE YOUR STUDY TIME in 15- to 30-minute periods throughout the day if possible. Focus on a different task each time: vocabulary now, grammar next, etc. Get an overview during the first half hour: spend 15 minutes studying vocabulary, 15 minutes learning grammar, 15 minutes reviewing... so you'll at least have looked at it all.
3. ATTEND AND PARTICIPATE IN CLASS WITHOUT FAIL — even if you are not well prepared. Class time is your primary opportunity for practice. Participate as much as you can. If you can, spend a few minutes "warming up" before each class by reviewing.
4. MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE IN THE CLASS. Get to know your classmates so you will feel you are among friends.
5. LEARN ENGLISH GRAMMAR IF YOU DON'T ALREADY KNOW IT. Grammar is the skeleton of a language, its basic structure: you must learn it. Compare new grammatical structures in your foreign language to their…