Learning a foreign language is something that people experience differently as individuals. We struggle with different elements of a language. It could be the gendered nouns of European languages that throw us into a spin, or the tonal pronunciation of Mandarin, or the completely novel sounds and writing systems of languages like Arabic and Russian.
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Since we all face unique challenges in the realm of language learning, we should also do everything we can to cater to our individual needs. One of those things we can do is to create a personalized language dictionary to use for review and private study!
📗 What do we mean by “Language Dictionary”?
Are we suggesting that you sit down for 10 years and write your own version of a Spanish or Chinese dictionary? No, of course not! What we are really saying amounts to you keeping a small handy notebook secreted somewhere about your person or within a bag you regularly carry, complete with a working pen. The idea is that you can jot down particular words, phrases and grammatical knowledge that you have singularly difficult to master so you can better focus your attention on them in your downtime.
Your notes might include example sentences, particular notes on the context in which you learned it, as well as any additional information your teacher passed on to you during a conversation.
📵 Why not just carry a smartphone with a dictionary app?
You could indeed simply turn to Google translate or some other dictionary app that will remember recent searches you’ve made, but you will quickly discover that this approach will not yield great results. Why? Put simply, such software is not designed for you to quickly review and practice previous words, nor do you have the freedom to arrange the words in note form with additional remarks, examples and more.
🤔 What are the benefits of such a language dictionary?
There are several key advantages to this approach that will help streamline your language learning journey:
1.) Your notes are tailored precisely to your own experience
You can use the language dictionary to write down words and phrases that you need for your own life. These may not be found in textbooks or other common materials, but can be learned and noted from conversations with native speakers. In this way, your dictionary steadily becomes more valuable as a resource than any textbook because it’s like creating a language manual designed specifically for your life and experiences.
2.) Your resource is easy to read and can be studied anywhere
With the language dictionary, you create an invaluable tool for review that you can keep in your pocket and review whenever you’re on public transport, or standing in line for coffee, or any other time you’re free. Combine that with the relevance of the material that we mention in the first benefit above, and you’ve done something that no smartphone app has yet proven itself able of doing.
3.) More efficient review process
Breaking your language study down into these more manageable bite-size chunks is a much more effective way of learning than trying to sit down for three hours each night and cram everything in during one session. A little here and a little there makes for a continued and sustained learning process that you carry out during the course of the day. The knowledge is more likely to stick in your mind when you learn this way.
📑 Where’s best to get the source material?
In the end, creating your language dictionary depends on you having a reliable source of information that you can use to build up that bank of words and expressions. The best source available to you will always be native speaker teachers who can furnish you with the most up-to-date and accurate expressions to translate your real life into a whole new language. Newspapers and online news articles are another great source, as they use common words and phrases you'll hear in everyday life!
🎉 Get started!
Are you interested in really, finally learning a new language? Here at LanguageConvo we connect you with a professional, native-speaking teacher for affordable, customized private lessons. Get started with a 100% free trial lesson by clicking here.