I have been teaching Polish in Newcastle since 2007 and one thing I have noticed is that people give up way too easily on Polish. They either think that they are not making any progress, assuming that learning a new langauge will take only a few weeks, OR they simply don’t have time. Sound familiar?
Here are a few tips of how to make your learning more effective. It’s based on the idea that you need to immerse yourself in a language.
1. Go on internet forums, Facebook, Twitter or other social media and… use the language! You can read what others have to say and comment on issues that interest you. It’s fun and it gives you a purpose to use Polish.
2. Listen to Polish music and try to figure out the lyrics. Most of them are easy to find on-line, so you can check if your guesses are right. Learn the words and … sing along! It will be much easier to do than trying to memorize lists of words. Lots of Polish music can be found on YouTube.
3. Read and watch the news in Polish. If you follow British news anyway, in most cases you will know about current events, so it will help to understand the content. Your understanding will be supported by pictures or images and you would tune into language easier that you think.
4. Skype people! I know this is not for everybody, but on Skype you can talk to strangers for free. Not everybody will be up for a conversation, but some would love to meet others and talk to them. Why not try doing it in Polish or exchange your English (or any other language) for Polish? Tandem learning can be a fun way of making progress.
5. Surround yourself with Polish – make a note when you hear a new word or when you find out an interesting fact related to Polish language or culture, cut out newspaper articles, go to the local library and search for Polish books. Share what you found out with others. Their appreciation will bring you a lot of satisfaction. I love hearing new stuff about Poland and its affairs.
It’s not that difficult. Can you do at least one of these to support your learning in class or with a tutor? Try! I dare you.