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#16. The right tools to learn a language

Updated: Aug 28

By tools, I mean grammar, vocabulary and conjugation books, as well as readers but also, and crucially, the student's own learning tool, either a notebook, a folder or Word document, in which they compile everything they learn.

So far... so logical, you would think, but you'd be surprised to hear that I have to remind my students on a regular basis to write down key language points, but also that I send every new student a list of tabs to organise their notes, because I am keen for their learning process to be clear and structured, right from the start.

This also helps them learn key grammatical concepts, which they've either forgotten or never learned. The point I make every time, is that it's not about being organised for the sake of it, but about organising knowledge, so that whenever they have a doubt, whenever they need to double-check a word or definition, they know instantly where to look for it.

Creating one's own language bible is crucial. It helps consolidate the language learning and it gives students confidence. Instead of going back to me every time to find the answer they need, they learn to search for it themselves, to take charge of the learning process, and to organise themselves. And, of course, I am always there, if they couldn't find the answer to their question.

And when they are ready - which you know instinctively with language learning, without having to ask your teacher - they will stop using their bible. But it will always be there if they need to come back to it at any point.

Learning a language as an adult, means taking control, owning the process, and adapting the language to your needs, which is what your learning tools are all about!

More about my teaching approach

Don't hesitate to send me your questions.

#1. Is it too late to learn a language?

#2. Not knowing the word is not the end of the conversation

#3. Is learning vocabulary lists a good idea?

#4. Should I use bilingual books?

#5. Practising all four skills equally

#6. On the importance of making mistakes

#7. You know more than you think you do

#8. Can everyone learn a language?

#9. With or without subtitles?

#10. Should I use a dictionary?

#11. What's the main obstacle when learning a language?

#12. There's no such thing as perfect sentences

#13. Learning French when English is your mother tongue

#14. Listening is key

#15. Language learning does not mean translating

#16. The right tools to learn a language

#17. Why grammar matters

#18. Leaving your linguistic comfort zone behind

#19. About rote learning

#20. Assessing your own level

#21. Language learning is pattern spotting

#22. Key skills you need to learn a language

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