How to Study: Introduction
The materials for each new week should be prepared prior to the conversation session for that week. Students should go to the first conversation session with Week 1 material already prepared. Work your way through the weekly assignment concentrating on vocabulary memorization, structural accuracy, and practice, practice, practice!
In order to succeed with this independent format, you will need to take quite a bit of creative initiative in terms of designing your own practice sessions:
- Talk to your coat rack.
- Speak in your head to everyone you meet as you cross campus.
- Make up imaginary conversations with the squirrels on the steps of the dining hall.
You can never have too much practice! Once you think you have mastered a concept – let’s say “greetings” – push yourself to the next level:
- You can greet Jim and you can greet Maria.
- Can you greet Jim and Maria simultaneously? And what if they don’t hear you?
- What if you thought it was Maria but it turns out to be Susan?
Continue to practice, pushing yourself to more and more difficult levels of conversing by introducing complications to the situation.
The first step is memorizing the vocabulary and structures, but that’s only the beginning. Armed with that information, you have to imagine every possible situation that could include the week’s vocabulary:
- Can you handle x or y or z?
- What would x say to you in y situation, and how would you respond?
After you have thought about what situations could occur, work out the scenario out loud, and keep refining it until you can run through it flawlessly out loud. Then move on to a new scenario.
This section includes more important tips like these. Remember that the more time you practice, the better you will get!