Foreign Language Class Tips

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Isabelle Harrel, Staff Writer

At Mill Creek, it is required to take a foreign language class in order to graduate. While learning a new language is something that takes getting used to, there are ways to ease the process.

One of the essential aspects to know of any language is vocabulary. In order to study for her vocabulary quizzes in Spanish, sophomore Madison Ansoategui uses the app Quizlet.

“Quizlet is a great way to study because of the variety of options it has,” Ansoategui said. “It has the typical flashcards, but it also had the games and the learning study tools as well.”

When studying vocabulary, it’s important to study both the translation in English as well as the vocabulary word in Spanish. Mrs. McPhee, a Spanish teacher here at Mill Creek, recommends studying vocabulary by recalling the English translation first until the words become more familiar.

“At first, study the word in Spanish and its English translation,” McPhee said. “Eventually, a student needs to be studying the English word and give the Spanish translation. They should be able to spell the translation as well as pronounce the word correctly.This reflects true mastery of the vocabulary.”

Along with vocabulary, grammar is a part of foreign language classes that are necessary to learn.

Like in English, verbs in Spanish have different conjugations, meaning that the verb changes somewhat depending on the subject.

Senior Daniel Hettesheimer found it best to review conjugations by forming them himself.

“I studied for… grammar by practicing to conjugate verbs in every scenario and in every tense,” Hettesheimer said. “This helped me to retain… [the] grammar skills in order to be successful in the class.”

Although knowing the content of a foreign language class is crucial for doing well on assignments, it’s also important to remember that a concept is still relevant whether or not it’s the focus of the unit.

When asked what advice she would give if she could go back and speak to herself when she first started taking a foreign language, Ansoategui said that she would tell herself to take it seriously.

“I did take Spanish 1 seriously,” she said. “However, I probably could have done better. If you didn’t take the first foreign language seriously, you would basically be killing yourself in the further advancements of the language.”