Recite, recite, recite

Recitation is a very traditional language learning method (Recitation is a very traditional language learning method.) It’s not the most fun of all the options, but there are definitely arguments for it.

Reciting something that has been written natively gives learners a chance to simply get used to phrasing, rhythm, and sentence patterns that might otherwise get left behind when purely creating output (that is, making up the sentences yourself before you say them).

I know that I have definitely had trouble with the flow of my speech because I am still trying to work out what I want to say while I’m saying it. If you have a prepared text in your head, you will more likely be able to say it naturally. Reading aloud is obviously a middle step.

I like to have a native speaker record their reading as well, so I can listen as I read along with the text. It helps a lot with working out exactly how to say things, and where to put the pauses and the stresses.

On the downside, it can be boring and (necessarily) repetitive. It also sometimes doesn’t seem like it’s helping you create output. On the upside, it’s a great feeling when you can master long passages and begin to start speaking more like a native.

What are your thoughts on repetition as a language learning activity?

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