This week I decided to try what it would be like to learn – or at least to do homework – without the help of the internet. Usually, if I’m doing some language homework, I open up WordReference or Google Translate as a useful place to look up the odd word or two. This weekend, however, I needed to go to the library to get some work done. I find it hard to concentrate at home and there are more resources in the library, such as bigger dictionaries and grammar books.
I didn’t bring my computer with me in order to avoid procrastination on Twitter or some of my favourite websites (ASOS), so I was left completely with my books. In order to work on my German and Spanish homework, I collected two large dictionaries just in case I needed them and sat near the languages books in the library. It was really helpful to have the dictionaries beside me, and I found that after a few minutes, it was much easier to concentrate than it would be if I were using my computer to look up words.
I had decided to study more grammar once I had finished my homework, so I went to the bookshelves to look for some suitable books there. I used two books, one for each language (Practising Spanish Grammar: A Workbook by Christopher J Pountain, and Essential German Grammar by Guy Stern). It worked well and I got some really good work done. I think it’s a good way to study when I really need to avoid distractions. There are a lot of good languages resources in the library and it is especially helpful for grammar books. However, because there are other people around, and because it is supposed to be a quiet place, it’s not a great place to study a language. When studying a language, one often needs to listen to recordings or practise the pronunciation of words. For this reason, the LRA is better, although it doesn’t stay open as long!