Friday, 29 January 2010

Pencil in some time for new vocabulary

Memorising vocabulary is not easy if you are working with a random list of words. Meaning helps memory and so does activity. If what you learn is associated with images and, better still, with activity, then you are more likely to be able to recall words and phrases. Doing a practical task using German instructions and repeating them out loud as you go through each step could be a great way to learn. For instance, cooking using a German recipe, especially something that you will do quite frequently, will soon have you muttering the instructions as you do familiar tasks. Burn into your memory not in the oven.

Yesterday I included a video about watercolour painting. With that you might need to note down the phrases used but then you could read them out loud as you try to paint.

Sequences for processes can help you acquire and memorise vocabulary more readily. Following yesterday's art theme I visited the Faber-Castell website and found they have an animation about pencil production and what they are doing to protect the environment. This is intended for children but presents a single sentence with each step through the manufacturing process. Try following it through several times and see if you can then write down the process in your own words or with phrases you've remembered. So follow the invitation "Besucht mit uns die Bunstiftfabrik!"

If you do want to learn some vocabulary while practising some drawing techniques then you could try looking at some of their product descriptions. A good example would be Malen und Zeichnen mit Grip Stiften which illustrates some possibilities and has the description alongside. While you do it you can describe the process in the present tense and afterwards you can practice using a past tense - simple past when writing, perfect for speech. Notice the use of werden passive in the example here.

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