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Learning a language at school this year?

It’s that time of year when many of us are getting ready to go back to school. If you are going to study a language this year, either as a new subject or as part of an ongoing series, there are many things you can do outside of the classroom that can seriously improve your grades.

You can take responsibility for your own learning and take charge of the direction in which your language study is headed. Start doing some extra work outside of class, but make sure it’s something different from what you do in class. Find supplemental resources to learn and new ways to use what you’re learning.

Get a language course. It can be a little tricky to get one that fits well with the course you’re taking in class, but if you can get the type of course that’s right for you, you can really supplement your classroom learning and get ahead in class.

Join a language community. There are dozens of language communities on the Internet that can help you learn a language in many ways. You can study vocabulary, grammar, practice dialogues, read articles and listen to unique content. You can even participate in email exchanges, text chats and voice chats, all in the language you are studying. The best part is that you can find most if not all of these features for free on the internet.

Read websites and blogs. There are tons of free resources and content on the internet for learning a new language. Some in the language you are learning are simple enough that even a beginner can take advantage of them. But there are plenty of other resources just for students, too.

Listen to podcasts. Just like websites and blogs, you can find plenty of podcasts to listen to, both in the language you’re learning and some great ones specifically for learning that language.

Listen to music, watch movies and play games. Don’t limit yourself to just ‘learning materials’. Try to do things just for fun. Even if this is the only extra study you do outside of the classroom, it can go a long way toward true language learning and absorption.

By using a few of these simple ideas, you can greatly improve your ability to read and understand your target language. And if you go a little further and try a little harder, your ability to write and speak the language will improve by leaps and bounds. You’ll get more than just a ‘head start’ on your competition and boost your grades, you’ll wow your classmates and your teacher!

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