Is it necessary to revise your foreign languages?
How often do I have to do it?
Why do I have to do it?
All these questions may sound familiar to you if you are a language lover or a language teacher. Remember the big issue that homework nowadays implies in the school context since many students show some relunctancy to do homework or revise for Spanish, French, German, etc. I think that we have forgotten the power of revising at home after having learned about the passé composé in French. Recently I have been asked in a interview for a position as a MFL teacher how would I teach this tense to a group of students. This is such a complex question without any context at all, that the answer that I gave it might have been very vague considering that I wrote in one of the PGCE assessments about it and it was a very complex writing activity. Well… I am telling you this because the idea of revision of a second language is as simple as the question I was asked.
I am pretty sure you are very proficient at least in two languages, your mother tongue and English or French or Spanish or Italian…. but what about your third or fourth or fifth language? Are you able to practise them as much as you would like? Do you feel that you might have forgotten the main gramatical ideas or specific vocabulary? This uncertainty might be quite negative for your cofidence about that specific language. Then, you need to think about what you have to do in order not to forget that language. Today, I have decided that I needed to brush up my German skills. What I have done is to take the book Passwort Deutsch 2 since I worked with it a few years ago: I have read it since the beginning and I have done unfinished activities too. It has proved to me to be very beneficial to do this kind of activities. I have been able to look up for new words and revise some verb conjugation. So the first question is going to be answered: Yes, it is necessary to revise and yes, homework is important!
Now I am going to try to answer question two: How often do I have to do it? There is a clear answer for me: everyday if possible, at least 15 minutes. I would say that if you do not have much time, reading an article in the newspaper in the target language or practising your vocabulary on memrise can be great.
Finally, the best way not to forget that beautiful foreign language that you are so interested in is practise and practise and practise. By practise I mean revision, since revision is part of the learning process. Learning a second language implies effort and perseverance, both attitudes need to be embedded in the learner attitude to achieve higher. Revision is part of the effort and the perseverance that you need to have to be successful in the learning of the target language.
Do you have any other ideas about revision? Do you think that it is important too?
Thank you for Reading!