Tips to Work on Your Language Skills

02-01-2008

How to... ...improve your language skills

  • read children`s books- you are at the source as an au-pair!

Especially those dealing with world literature are recommendable. When you come back you know all about Hamlet and Shakespeare`s tragedies plus the most important quotations – and by learning that you had an easy time reading illustrated easy-to-understand books.

  • The supermarket is the most effective vocabulary trainer: Each fruit and product is labelled, so that there is not even a translation necessary!
  • Join the local library club.
  • Before you watch the news in your aupair-country, inform yourself on your native newspage, e.g. www.tagesschau.de. That will help you to adapt new vocabularies more easily. It is also interesting to see how each nation has other centres of gravities in the news. Apart from that, news presenters have got an excellent style of speaking.
  • You are having a nice conversation with your host family and then this accursed- sorry- this one difficult word won`t come to your mind? Ask if you can deposit you dictionary right at the table- as most conversation will take place at lunch/-dinnertime.
  • This trick of enlarging you vocabulary is similar to the one with the news, but it is equally effective:

If you have read one international bestseller in your native language you can probably find it in your local library maybe even as spoken word on CD. Because you already know the story it will be easy to understand.

  • Inescapably you will learn a whole bunch of new words, because you will encounter so many new customs and national pecularities.

These tips were kindly provided by Evelyn Eveslage, who was au pair in Kent in Summer 2007.

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