“Practice is the mother of all skills” said a popular proverb and in the case of second language acquisition nothing can be more true. Of course, no one can deny that practice is the best and only way through which students can master a second language, the English language in our case, however, the process of practicing and continuously using newly acquired skills shouldn’t end with the class or course students are taking.
This is why it is so important to know the exact reason behind learning a second language. By knowing this you can determine the amount of implication and how much time you should invest in keeping your knowledge fresh.
Regardless of the level you reached while learning the English language, without continuously using or practicing you will slowly lose track of your progress. As most people aren’t polyglots or have a particular passion for learning languages, they choose to learn English or any other second language for some immediate benefit. It can be a new job, going to collage in a new country or even relocating altogether.
If you don’t find yourself in a situation where you use the English language daily then maybe the following tips can help you keep what you learned fresh and not stagnate or even forget huge aspects.
Practice All The Time
Even when you are past the point where the English language server your purposes, in order to maintain your mastery of it you have to keep practicing. This can mean anything depending on how well you spoke the language in the first place. Simply watching an English spoken movie could be enough in some cases, other speakers, however, may need to retake classes or at the very least review some grammar, syntax and vocabulary lessons.
Use It At Home
If taking time out to practice the English language seems impossible due to your busy schedule than simply using it around the house may prove to be just what you needed to keep information fresh. Use it while cooking, when speaking to your family or roommates(if they speak the language) or while talking on the phone. Its quick, time efficient and can help cement things like vocabulary, pronunciation and accent.
Use It In Public
If you have a chance, try using your English in public. Try giving tours of your city to English speaking tourists, try going to English oriented stores, restaurants or try meeting English native speakers that reside in your city. The social element of speaking a foreign language may help you retain it even better.
Tie It To A Passion
Most polyglots don’t forget any of the languages they learn, regardless of their number because they have a real passion for languages in general, one that transcends the use they have for a new language in a given period of time. To keep your English fresh and up to date try tying it to a passion of yours. It can be anything really. If you like collecting stamps for example, make sure you join stamp-collectors forums that speak in English or try finding English speaking collectors with which to trade and discuss over the internet or on your city and region.