Episode 86

Q&A: How to Re-Learn a Language You’ve Forgotten


April 30th, 2018

29 mins 42 secs

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About this Episode

Re-learning sounds like a daunting task, but today's episode will guide you through what you need to think about.

In this episode, you'll

  • learn about the difference between conscious and unconscious language acquisition.
  • discover how to learn vocabulary so you always remember it
  • and the right learning plan for getting that language skills back.

Check out The Vocab Cookbook for more about the vocab method Acquire, Memorize, Review.

Tips For Starting A Re-Learn Plan

If you used to speak the language as a child

  1. Increase your exposure to as much as you possibly can get (films, music, youtube, consider if you can read/write?) - especially if you first learnt as a kid, because your unconscious skill is likely high
  2. Consider whether you need all 4 core skills. If you want to recover language levels as they were when you were 4 years old, chances are you’re thinking of a time when you were pre-writing. So focus on that speaking and listening, and all will be well. If you get there and then discover that you’re missing something, move on from there and consider the new knowledge
  3. Reconnect with the language community, or a language community (community is so important especially if you used to learn, and now you’re feeling like you are on the outside)
  4. Get yourself a grammar resource, but only use it when you need it

If you previously learnt as an adult

  1. Consider what you liked and what worked for you last time, and recreate the conditions for success
  2. Go with the exposure as well, though you may not ‘reactivate’ as much
  3. Do follow a textbook, but skim as much as you can
  4. Speak as soon as you can, with a patient partner on a large range of

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