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25 / 05 / 2004

DON'T LET SUMMER STOP YOU (PART 2): meaning and examples

Good morning everybody,

Today we continue with the topic of ways of keeping our English alive during the summer holidays. I want to thank all of you who sent in your suggestions yesterday, which are included at the end of this Vitamin.

Imagine coming back after summer with your English at the same level or even better than when you left. It is possible, but you have to make the choice to do something with English during the holidays and WRITE IT DOWN! Don't just say it, write down a plan, follow it and keep track of your progress during the summer.

A plan could be as simple as "I will read aloud for 3 minutes every day during my summer holidays" or "I will read an English book at the rate of at least two pages per day during my summer holidays," etc. It doesn't have to be complicated, but it must be something measurable that you can keep track of on a calendar or in your agenda. As Africa, one of our Daily Vitamin recipients, wrote, "find something that you really like, choose a hobby maybe, and try to do it in English". Following are some suggestions:

1) Read a little English every day, both silently and aloud to improve pronunciation. Graded novels created especially for different English levels are an excellent option. Anna S. suggested reading newspapers or magazines in English instead of the Spanish press.

2) Making video and cinema in English a part of your leisure activities during the holiday months can keep your comprehension abilities keen and help you to improve your vocabulary. Africa suggests at least one film per week.

3) Jordi suggested playing computer games. As he said, it's a way to practice English comprehension in a relaxing environment.

4) Anna M. suggested translating songs from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English. As she explains, it's a good way to forget how horrible the summer songs are by concentrating on their linguistic translation.

5) You may want to participate in different language exchange programmes or activities that are offered in your city.

6) And of course, if you like grammar, you may want to dust off that old grammar book and consider revising a bit each day, or every other day.

There are thousands of other possibilities, and we received a lot more suggestions. But I think you get the idea. There is nothing "magic" about these ideas, but they work. The trick is to create a plan and follow it. You may even want to start now, to begin to form your habits before summer.

Have a good day!