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Some teachers don't like beginning language students to buy Spanish-English/English-Spanish (or whatever) dictionaries, but I think they're very valuable tools. But what they say about books in general holds true for good foreign language dictionaries: you can't tell them by their covers. Some dictionaries are great, while others are terrible. But there are a couple of things to look for to see if the dictionary is worth buying. First of all, check the publication date. All languages change, and so do the words that they contain. Not only do new words show up in new dictionaries every year, but old words may go through important changes over the years, as well. For example, today words like "web," "pad," and "tablet" have definitions that they simply didn't have a decade or so ago. In general, you will want to buy a more recently published dictionary if you're a beginner. Second, in the English section go to the word "date." This... read more

I have three tips for studying a world language that I'd like to pass on to WyzAnt folk. They may seem pretty elementary to some people, but might be new to others. Even though it's somewhere near the middle of the semester, it's not too late to put them into place to improve your language skills. 1. Set aside time for language study daily. Even if you don't have written homework due or a quiz or test scheduled, review what you've learned and try to build on it every day, even if it's just for fifteen minutes or half an hour. When we are learning our first language - our mother tongue - we're immersed in it: people are talking to us all day in that language, we hear it on the TV and overhear it in adult conversations taking place literally over our heads. Most of us are not able to spend any appreciable time in a total immersion program, so we have to make a constant effort to see that our new language doesn't relegate itself in the back of our minds and get lost in the... read more

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