In many countries the months of June, July, and August mean summer vacation. Not only for children; adults too enjoy their time of recess. When the weather is fine, all we want to think about are sea, sand, sun, and fun. Language learning? Sorry but no.
Even though summer is a period in which most people abandon their daily routine, language learners should maintain their study habit. Sure, you may tell me now that you’re not at school anymore; that no teacher will assess your knowledge when you get back after those lazy hazy summer days; that you are learning for yourself; that you can take a short break, because you have simply deserved it. Well, maybe you have indeed deserved it, but have you thought about what will happen after those two, three, four, five weeks of doing nothing?
I can – and I will – tell you.
Have you ever heard of the “summer slide”? I’m sure you have, because – let’s be honest – who hasn’t? Unfortunately, the “summer slide” is not a slide you can find at a pool or a playground. This term is used by teachers to describe the loss in learning many students experience over the summer. It is a real problem, not only for schoolchildren but for all learners.
If you decide to take a few weeks break from learning a language, I can assure you that you won’t remember half of the things you have learnt. You won’t remember the vocabulary, you won’t remember the grammar rules, you won’t remember the correct spelling and pronunciation. I don’t think this is something you would want to happen to you, is it? The good news is, this can be prevented.
It doesn’t matter if it is summer, or if you’re on vacation – do not stop learning! You want to take a break from learning new material? Fine! But do revisions. This way the knowledge you have managed to acquire will stay in your head. Come fall, you will be ready for the next part of your learning adventure.