Study Techniques You Should Teach Your Language Students

Bryn Bonino
5 min readJan 8, 2019

You are confident that the scope and sequence of your lessons, and that your lesson plans are well structured. You know that your preparation will get your language students meeting your the learning objectives, as long as they do what you say.

Then, why do you need to teach your language students how to study?

Well, there are two principal reasons. First, most of your student will not do everything you tell them to. So you need to teach them the best actions to take while acting with a degree of autonomy.

Second, and possibly most important, there is a long road to take when gaining proficiency in any language. Take a look at the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, and you’ll see that so much learning and practical application goes into the 11 levels of leading to error-free language production.

The next question is, what can you tell your students they can do outside of class to work toward language proficiency? This article will give a few great ideas to get started.


Yes, I am starting this list of study practices with an app. Specifically, I am recommending Duolingo because they are dedicated to studying languages in a fun and no-stress way. If your students are just getting started with learning the language, they can begin with the lower levels of Duolingo. If your students are more advanced learners, they can take skip ahead by taking one of the “shortcuts”.

One of the main reasons why I like Duolingo is because it stands by is main mission of making learning free and fun. If your students are competitive (I bet they all are to some extent), they will be motivated to practice language by competing against those who they follow. If you create a Duolingo classroom, you can have your students compete against each other for points, rewards, and levels.

Now for a note about the content. You may think that Duolingo is not a good study choice for your students, because the vocabulary that is being taught is not in your scope and sequence. Well, your students likely have a goal of proficiency, full stop. With Duolingo, they will be studying language at their appropriate level. They will also practice predicting mean, correct spelling, and…

Bryn Bonino

Educator, marketer, and photographer. Learn more at