Not Quite Fluent

Language-hack your back to school list

I happen to be an office-supply fanatic. I love them. And right now, when all the back to school stuff is on sale, I have to practice some serious self-control not to snatch up every Mead notebook I can find. These things, however, are an exception to my rules—I can’t go without them. Read on to find out the five office supplies you MUST have if you want to learn a language.

#1: Whiteboard

I can’t stress this one enough. A year ago I bought a whiteboard to hang on my wall and I use it all the time. All the time! I have a spot for my to-do lists each day and I practice writing my Chinese characters there too.

#2: Colored pens

The teenage girl in me feels the need to color code everything. Correcting in red pen somehow enhances the language learning experience for me. And hey, if the shoe fits, wear it! I like to pick up a pack of BIC gel pens or even a giant Sharpie pack each year.

#3: Highlighters

Similar to the colored pens, highlighters are really useful, especially with vocab or grammar books. During my Italian challenge, I bought a phrasebook, and in order to learn it as fast as possible I highlighted words as I learned them to learn the more important ones first. Since I couldn’t learn them in order with my time limit, this let me know which ones I had already done.

#4: Index cards

Two words: flash cards. I make them in hordes and learn a few each day. You can use those colored pens here too. 😉

#5: Notebook

I keep a language-diary-thing where I write in the target language regularly. It’s also a good place to turn to when I need a blank sheet of paper just for some writing or verb drills. Currently I have two, a small one and a big one, for different sized tasks. I know, I’m obsessed.

BONUS: Giant paper clip

Ok, this isn’t really an essential, but it sure is cool. My grandparents found a giant binder clip while going through some old office supplies and gave it to me. It’s a nice, classy alternative to a rubber band when trying to keep certain sets of flash cards together.

Comment below what your essentials are! As always, share and subscribe!

Sydney Sauer • August 29, 2015


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