When we learn a language, we make a lot of mistakes. All sorts of mistakes: we use wrong words, we mess up grammar, we can’t pronounce anything correctly. These mistakes are, unfortunately, inevitable. But there are also mistakes that you can and even should avoid – language learning mistakes.
There is no right or wrong way to learn a foreign tongue – only your way. We all are different, and we all learn differently. And that’s fine, whatever works for you is great. However, if you fall into this common trap, you will never make any progress.
What am I talking about? The lack of revisions / reviews (British English / American English – which word do you prefer?).
You probably know the saying – once learnt, never forgotten. If only that was true… But it isn’t. Even if you learn something by heart, it will not stay in your head forever. The only way to commit something to a long-term memory is to revise / review the previously learnt material.
There is a wonderful method you can try. It’s called Spaced Repetition System. It uses flashcards organized into several boxes labeled 1,2,3, etc. (you can have as many boxes as you wish). All you have to do is set up a schedule for when you will revise / review the cards in each of the boxes. For example, you may choose to revise / review the flashcards from the box no 1 every day, from the box no 2 every other day, from the box no 3 every 3 days, and so on. The correctly answered flashcards get advanced to the next box, while those answered incorrectly return to the very first box.
This learning technique is not only effective but also fun to use. By revisiting something you have already learnt, you ensure it will stay in your head forever (and ever).