Steff Thomas, a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, fell in love with writing after her first semester of college. In May 2014, she graduated from the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) with her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and with minors in Political Science and Russian. Her future goals include relocating to Washington D.C. and pursuing a career in political journalism. She has been an honor student her entire life and loves to inspire people. Hopefully she can start with you.
While it is true that not everyone is interested in taking a language, many colleges and universities have made this a mandatory requirement for students before they graduate.
But do not fret; these courses can be a lot of fun if you let them. But there are some things the student has to do in order to make the most of the course.
The first thing you must remember before deciding on which language will provide you with the most benefit is not to rely on the belief that the course will be like a language course you took in high school. This is false.
In high school, teachers are more willing to work with you and give you the time to complete assignments. They understand that learning a new language is difficult and that some take to it a lot quicker than others. But in college, this is not true of most professors.
In college, professors of foreign language course are not always enthusiastic about giving up extra time, especially when they cover more information than your high school classes did.
If you just want to take a language to fulfill the requirement, Spanish is usually the best choice. Why? Because it is the one language course that is taught similarly to the courses taught in high school. These teachers understand that their language is difficult, and learning Spanish can be useful in future careers in the United States and in Europe.
Allow me to give you some super simple advice:
1. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE
Learning to not procrastinate is one of the most difficult lessons to learn in general. But when it comes to taking a foreign language course, it is an extremely important one. Languages are not like math and science because they take more than memorization. It is important to pay attention in class and read/do homework as soon as possible when the information is fresh on your brain. If you procrastinate, you are more likely to forget to finish the assignment or even make more mistakes.
2. STUDY OUTSIDE OF CLASS
Relying solely on the information that you learned in class is a bad idea. Professors expect you to study, and will ask you questions that may have been from the reading you didn’t do in class.
3. CHECK OUT EXTRA REFERENCE BOOKS FROM YOUR LIBRARY
Textbooks can be entirely too wordy sometimes and may only confuse the student more. Checking out extra references is an easy way to check yourself when you are completing assignments in your chosen language of study.
4. TAKE A LANGUAGE THAT YOU THINK WILL USE IN THE FUTURE
If you do not like the language or find it useful in your future, you are more likely to procrastinate or dread the class. If you see a need for the language then you will be more willing to participate and actually attempt to learn the language. Plus, many employers love to see that potential employees are bilingual.
5. MOST IMPORTANTLY, DO NOT USE GOOGLE TRANSLATE
Using Google Translate is the biggest mistake many students make when it comes to language courses. This is not a reference that will aid you in learning the language properly or passing your assignments. The translations that you find on this website are incorrect and no better than you trying to complete your assignments on your own.
When keeping these things in mind, a student will have no problem surviving their first or last language course.