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Don't lose your language skills this summer!

Sábado, 1 de Julio de 2017

Read our July article.

Summer is upon us once again, and many students are beginning to plan for days without a school schedule, special writing tasks and exams. Plus if you or your children have dedicated many hours this year to learning a language, now is the time to think about how you’re going to keep all of that knowledge fresh in your mind. There’s a saying that you’ll often hear about languages: “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” A summer filled with trips to the beach rather than Cambridge School can cause students at every level to lose some language skills. Half an hour to an hour set aside daily can help to close learning gaps so you can perform at higher levels during the upcoming school year.

Set aside time to read each day during the summer break - 15 to 30 minutes per day is all it takes! During the summer, a lot of people have more time to read for enjoyment, which also offers a great opportunity to preserve and strengthen your reading skills. Take a book into the garden, the beach or on holiday and brush up on your English while you work on your tan! You can also read the news in English; BBC News, The Independent or The Guardian are just three examples of good, reliable British journalism. It will also help if you already have some background to international stories either from your own knowledge or media in your first language. By reading in a different language you may get a different point of view on a story and will probably pick up some interesting vocabulary. Opinion pieces, for example, are often great for learning idioms. Many news sites have an app too which makes reading on the go a whole lot easier.

Watching English films or TV series is a great way of keeping your language skills fresh, especially if you can find subtitled versions. Lots of libraries have English films to borrow and of course with sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus, unlimited movies and TV shows are available for less than a meal out at your favourite restaurant each month!

Find a native speaker who you can practice your speaking with over the summer - you may find they want to exchange languages and practice their Spanish or Catalan with you too! If you have no luck finding a regular language exchange partner you can make the most of the thousands of British tourists that arrive in Catalonia over the summer. You may be helping them out by speaking their native language if they haven't brushed up on yours.

Everyone’s guilty of spending way too much time online, but you can also turn this into a positive thing this summer! By switching Facebook or Instagram into English, every notification you get will trigger the language part of your brain and you will be indirectly practicing what you've learnt throughout the academic year.

Listen to some English songs too - music crosses borders like nothing else. Learn the language of love from ballads or a dozen new words for partying from rap music. For many people, songs are a major motivation for learning English and they can also be a big help in doing just that. You can often find lyrics on the internet and it couldn't be easier now with sites like YouTube having millions of songs available at the click of a button.

What better way to practice your English than by travelling to an English-speaking country, and summer is the ideal time to do just this. Low-cost flights now go to dozens of places in the UK from Barcelona or if you are feeling more adventurous you could head further afield and explore The USA, Canada or even Australia! Whatever you do or wherever you go this summer enjoy the well-deserved break from your studies but turn practicing what you've learnt into a fun thing you want to do each day - you won't regret it when you're top of your class come September!

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