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Learning a language can sometimes make you feel like a parrot.

We've all learned set sentences at school, knowing full well they would only take us so far and that we were not actively using the language, but passively imitating the teacher or the book.

Knowing how to learn a language is as important as learning it. As is understanding the difference between using rote learning to learn set conjugation patterns, which by definition repeat, as opposed to a list of words without a context attached to them.

Many people think that learning a language means learning one word after the next, which is in fact the least productive and interesting approach. Each language has its own logical system, so in order to be able to speak it, we need first to understand its logic.

To get started, you need to use sentences you've put together with the help of your teacher, in order to:

  • learn how to use and organise words,

  • launch yourself into a conversation,

  • practise pronunciation,

  • gain confidence.

With a model in place - which you had an active part in constructing - you will be able to start making other sentences on your own.

Students at a complete beginner level can make sentences, mine certainly do. And it doesn't matter if these sentences are simple to begin with, because the more my students learn, the more words and nuances they will add to it.

Feeling a bit like a parrot, when repeating out loud conjugations, is a normal part of the learning process. There's no way around it. Taking charge of the learning process and making sentences on your own, to suit your own needs as a speaker, on the other hand, is crucial, and fun!

Don't hesitate to send me your questions.

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