Learning a Foreign Language: The Dos and the Don'ts

Many students have a fear of learning a foreign language.  Instead of approaching acquiring a new tongue as an exciting challenge, many approach it with the question "Why do we have to learn this?"  Learning a foreign language can be a wonderful experience.  Here a few of my "Dos and Don'ts" when approaching foreign language learning.
  • DO keep an open mind and be positive about learning something new.
  • DO recognize the similarities of your native language and the new language that you are learning.
  • DO review your notes from class everyday and practice at home.
  • DO find a language/study buddy in your language class.
  • DO think about your future and how a new language is going to benefit you with your future goals.
  • DON'T be negative.
  • DON'T be prejudice about a foreign language and its culture based on stereotypes.
  • DON'T stop trying even when there are words that you do not understand or there is a chapter that is not really of interest to you.
  • DON'T be afraid to ask for help.
Learning a Foreign Language can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding.  Be sure to consider these "Dos and Don'ts" in your Foreign Language studies.


Well stated! I agree with your philosophy on learning new languages. The main point is that the learner must not give up when the going gets tough. The best way to do this is to make the learning process fun because fun can be a major motivator!
So, So true!! When the learning process is fun and relevant to the students, they are truly motivated to learn!
Always try and relate your new language to the one you grew up with and combine words with drawings and colors to help you remember your new vocabulary. For example, draw a dog for the word "perro" and color it so that you will remember that word. Review new vocab once a day and make charts for the verbs and turn them into drawings too.
                                                                Nancy N.
  • DO realize that knowing a foreign language will make you more successful in everyday life and in your future career.
  • DO practice speaking and writing the language outside of class.
  • DO listen to music in the foreign language outside of class and learn what the lyrics mean in English.
  • DO travel to a country where the language is spoken and stay there for at least 1 month.
  • DON'T always directly translate from English to the foreign language because it doesn't make sense sometimes.
  • DON'T give up when a grammar concept is hard to understand.
  • DON'T be afraid to ask the teacher or tutor for help when you don't understand something.
  • DON'T wait to study for a quiz or exam the day before. You should be studying everyday in order to thoroughly understand the language and get a good grade on the quiz or exam.
Based on my personal experiences learning Spanish as a foreign language in high school and college.
Bridget C.


Donna M.

Spanish Teacher, Reading Coach and Phonics Guru

400+ hours
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