And when I come back... comment je peux garder mon niveau ?

vendredi 3 octobre 2008

Great, you've been to Australia or New Zealand for 3 months, completed your séjour linguistique, drunk a lot of beer and also passed your First Certificate. Trés bien, chapeau mon grand ! Mais alors, comment peux-tu garder ton niveau au retour ?

Anyone who has been in total immersion (c'est le Present perfect, n'est pas .. arrrgggghhhhh) on a séjour linguistique will tell you how fast they feel they lose their language ability when they return. It's like the gym (ouais, ok... le fitness), use it or lose it ! Still, there are a few things you can do to create your own little "monde d'anglais" to limit the damage...

1) Be lazy! Listen to English

Radio stations for example... if you live in Geneva (où se trouve notre agence there's WRS (88.4 fm). That's the easy one - and not necessarily the best. You can turn on the radio and turn-off your brain!

Better still are podcasts. These are fantastic! Just download the ones you like and when you're on the train or tram or driving to work, turn it on and forget about.

There are hundreds of good podcasts. Take a look at iTunes, (under Podcast Directory) go to Education and make your choice! One or two I like are : Word Nerds and Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing - these are full-speed natural English and good for Advanced students. If you're Intermediate level or more, I really like The Rob and Bob Show. It's funny ... not really like a lesson at all, but aimed at helping language learners learn English. If you're élémentaire or débutant try Eflpod and they have their own web site.

Then of course there are all the podcasts from the BBC...

Just think, if you have half an hour or more to go to work each morning...that's an hour of English input everyday - and without study! Having English in your ears like this will help keep your vocabulary active, and of course, keep your comprehension strong.

Songs - yes, you can do this yourself. Get the song, download the lyrics from the Internet, do the translations you want. Every song will give you one or two phrases you didn't already know. Just remember, hearing the words to a song in any language is difficult - even your mother tongue. So don't be surprised or disappointed if you can't understand everything.