Learning a Second Language in School

Learning a Second Language

Learning a second language is often a process that takes an investment of a significant amount of time and energy, as students focus on learning the complicated nuances of another tongue. For high school students, this investment may seem to be a waste of time or an unnecessary complication to be juggled with an assortment of other challenging subjects demanding one’s attention. In fact, learning a second language before pursuing post-secondary studies often gives students an edge over their peers, while also improving job prospects in the future. Furthermore, the personal growth and enlarged perspective such learning opportunities provide allow students to become better rounded individuals, benefits of which can be demonstrated in several different areas of life.

For students who have already determined that post-secondary studies at an accredited college or university are the right path for them, foreign language knowledge is often a graduation requirement. The vast majority of these academic institutions require at least two years of foreign language study, whereas some schools may require as much as four years of study. Meeting these requirements before graduation from high school means students will not need to take language courses while pursuing an advanced degree. This leaves students with more time to focus on the core curriculum for their chosen degree path, while also eliminating an additional obstacle towards obtaining one’s diploma.

In addition to the many benefits that foreign language study can present in the field of continued education, students who have mastered another language often secure better positions within their chosen industry following graduation. An increasingly competitive job market that has been dramatically impacted by the effects of globalization means job candidates with strong foreign language abilities are in great demand across a wide assortment of different industries. Individuals who can demonstrate proficiency in a particular language have a myriad of options open to them, some of which may come with higher salaries.

Another reason language learning should be encouraged in the high school setting is for the many advantages young language learners have over those who attempt to master a second language later in life. Linguistic experts have confirmed that individuals given the opportunity to become familiar with a second language at a young age demonstrate higher levels of proficiency and greater comprehension than their counterparts who began studying the language after their formative years. While high schoolers have already missed the crucial period during which their brains formed an understanding of how language works, they nevertheless have a unique advantage over adults who long ago closed the chapter on learning the ins and outs of verbal and written communication.

As students continue along the path of language learning, many are surprised to discover the desire to see another country or experience life in another part of the world. Some of these students opt to spend vacations traveling through foreign lands, while others may instead live abroad for a period of time. Not only can students benefit from being immersed in a culture where the foreign tongue is the dominant form of communication, but the perspective and world view many are left with starkly rivals those of individuals who have never seen how other parts of the world function. This perspective can be an invaluable resource for those hoping to work in an environment that places an emphasis on reaching customers dotted throughout the globe.

While the different benefits of learning a language could be extolled for days, ultimately language learning also proves to be an overwhelmingly fun experience for the majority of students who choose to embark on this adventure. Learning to express oneself through foreign words and embracing concepts that may be different to those accepted within one’s native culture forces individuals to reflect upon their own personal identities and how they have been shaped by the world around them. For many language learners, this phenomenon is a cathartic experience that allows one to obtain a more nuanced grasp on human societies in general, in addition to a greater appreciation for the academic process.

 

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Be Your Best for the SAT

It can be tough not to become overly stressed about an upcoming SAT exam. Many students find themselves feeling overwhelmed as their test day approaches. But these pressures are often self inflicted and self defeating. To reduce this stress, it is helpful to place the SAT exams in perspective. While the score is an import aspect of the college admissions process, it is not the only factor.
College admissions administrators consider other aspects of an application as well, including letters of recommendation, academic grades, extracurricular activities and admissions essays. Also, students can retake the test as many times as they like. Many individuals find themselves choosing to retake the SAT because of a low score. And it is true that a high score can only be a positive for a student’s record.

While it is understandable that the last thing a student is thinking about on test day is eating, being on one’s best means preparing physically as well as mentally. A part of this physical preparation involves eating a healthy meal before taking the test.

It is wise to avoid junk foods that can give provide short-term boost of energy. They often leave a student feeling tired and drained mid-way through an examination. Complex carbohydrates, such as those found in bread or potatoes, are a better bet. These foods will provide energy that lasts longer than candy or other sugary snacks.

Staying motivated and energized leading up to the test is crucial to success. A little exercise, such as taking a brisk walk or playing basketball, can help to calm the nerves and enforce mental alertness. Exercise is known to help reduce stress under a variety of different circumstances. Of course, the student should not have too much of a good thing. Excessive exercise can lead to physical exhaustion or simply being too tired to fully concentrate on the questions asked on the SAT exam.

Students about to take the SAT should also keep in mind the difference between effective, diligent studying and over-studying to the point that the information learned becomes garbled. The student studying for the SAT should learn what is needed for the exam and nothing more. Learning to approach studying in a focused way that still leaves time for relaxation is key to retaining information and using it during the exam.


SAT prep

 

begins with organizing the various resources and materials required for the subject matter presented on the test. One way for a student to improve his/her chances of doing well on the SAT examination is to ask instructors to help in developing a list of resources and supplemental materials that can be used while tutoring for the different sections of the SAT.

Studying with friends or family members can make studying not only a more pleasant experience, but also a more productive and effective one. For example, creating or purchasing flash cards on the SAT prep topics which friends read out could be an excellent way to retain information that is being studied. It can also be useful for several students at the same school to form their own SAT study club so they can prepare as a group. Other students are also more likely to find the time to help if they are preparing for the exam too.

There are numerous free SAT online resources available for those doing SAT prep. B Line Test Prep’s free SAT online resources offer practice tests that will offer feedback on a test taker’s performance. When taking these tests, it is vital to carefully examine the resulting scores to see where the weak areas are so they can be addressed during future studying.

Some high schools, community centers and community colleges offer assistance to those wanting to study for the SAT.

 

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How to Choose a College Once You’ve Been Accepted

College Decision

Though it probably feels like getting accepted into several colleges or universities of your choice would be a great problem to have in the spring of your senior year, it will end up being more of a curse than a blessing. Making the final decision about where to spend the next four years, which program best suites you and dealing with the financial aspect is nothing short of overwhelming, especially when they are several good choices.  Remember, make a decision based on you and your needs rather than what your peers are doing or not doing. An undergraduate degree plays a major role in a person’s career.

Look at the material
When you visited college campuses on a college tour or trip, refer back to any handouts of brochures you were given. Jot down as many notes as possible to help make an informed decision.  It will help to lay out any material you have to visually see what you like and dislike about each school. It’s nearly impossible to be objective without having all of the facts. Try to remember what you were thinking and feeling while you were standing on each campus or speaking with an admission’s officer. Decide which ones immediately stand out in your mind.

Do some additional research
While thinking about your final decision, write down any questions or concerns you may have. Feel free to surf the Internet to get answers or simply call the campus to ask away. An admission’s officer will have the answer to most concerns you will have. These people can help you to feel confident about your decision and ensure you choose the right school for next year.

Be practical
For many students, cost is an important factor in making your decision. If you are being offered a particularly generous financial aid package or scholarships from one of your top school — it may help to bump it ahead of the competition. Similarly, an acceptance from a good state school with a great deal for students in the state can be tough to pass up if cost is a big component of your choice. Also, you may want to consider other practical matters, like the location of the school and how far from home you would be while attending college.

Chat with your parents
By talking to someone you respect like a parent, sibling, professor or counselor, you will be able to bounce off ideas in regards to pros and cons. Getting advice from people who know you the best can help when trying to pick the “right choice” out of many options. Simply talking about it with others will help in the long run to be the perfect balance between objective and emotional. A guidance counselor may also be able to help you to narrow your options and a parent may have insights from going along on the process with you.

Once a college becomes your number one pick, tell your family and friends the good news and then immediately let the school know you’re accepting their invitation to be part of their college. The best part of all of this will be the ending to the college search process and knowing SAT prep is long behind you.

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10 Steps To Help You Pass the SATs

Sat Help Steps

If you are like many high school students, you will be looking to enter college to continue your education. You will have to choose which university would best suit your needs and you will have already started looking at how you will finance this next step in your life.

However, have you taken your SATs yet?

Many students will start in their junior year, preparing for that important test. They know that it is important to get a high grade. Some will study endlessly and some will suddenly cram only weeks ahead of the testing date. But what is the best way to study for this exam.

Slow and steady, gets the job done. Make sure you have planned for enough time to completely and thoroughly review and study for each and every section. Don’t try to take this exam unless you have given yourself at least several months.

Below are ways to help you learn to study, to get your mind ready for preparing for the SATs. Some will be so simple you will wonder why you didn’t think of it earlier.

Also, remember that you can use B Line Test Prep’s free online SAT tests, and sites to aid in your SAT preparation.

So, what are some of the ways you can start studying?

Sat Tips

Tip one: Dust off that old library card. You’ll need it when you start this first tip. Reading. Go on, read a novel, or two. It doesn’t matter what the novel is, whether it is some romance novel, or the latest sci-fi thriller. There will be many questions that will test if your reading and comprehending skills are sharp. The more you read, the more you will be training you mind so that when you begin the verbal test, you will not be left out in the cold.

Tip two: Its time to break down and bookmark an online dictionary. Many of them have a “word for the day.” You must have a firm grasp on words and their meaning.

Tip three: Go out and buy yourself a notebook. Now, write in it every single day for at least 15 to 30 minutes. It might seem silly or awkward but the time you spend honing your writing skills will pay off when you reach that section of the test.

Tip four: Don’t throw away your daily paper after you skim through the sports or entertainment section. Dig around, find that crossword puzzle and work it completely. There are also sites online where you can work a puzzle a day. This will help sharpen your skills, reading comprehension and deduction. As in writing in your journal, doing a crossword puzzle can be another tool to make sure you are ready to take the SAT.

Tip five: Admit it–you only skim through the paper for the headlines. Stop as of right this moment. Tell yourself that from this moment on, not a day will go by that you don’t read the newspaper. Take a story that interest you and give it a new title or go through and find a way to change a word or phrase. Do this every day. This is still training your mind to think quickly and cohesively.

Tip six: And here you thought that it would be boring to do anything to prepare yourself for the test. While you are making sure to read, write and do crossword puzzles, go on and try a hand at logic problems. Each logic puzzle has every bit of information you need to solve it correctly so take your time and pay attention to what is said.

Tip seven: Got a box or crayons? How about markers? If not, go out and get them and start drawing. You don’t have to be a good artist, but here’s why drawing is a good idea. Once you get to the math section, you will run across questions dealing with geometry. Sometimes a question will have a shape and other times it will not. With a couple of months, building your skills at drawing, you should be able to handle the geometry questions a lot easier.

Tip eight: Sign up for a SAT question a day. Try to work the problem out yourself. Do a quick search, using key phrases like, free SAT online, or SAT prep. Find one that you are comfortable with and sign up. The more you practice, the less likely the SAT will seem to be intimidating.

Tip nine: Make sure you can do fraction to decimal conversions. If you need someone to help, look for a tutor in your area. Don’t let this part of the test frighten you.

And finally, tip 10: in the words that are printed on that now famous book, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, in warm friendly letters, “don’t panic.” If you take your time, practice the steps above, you will find you will be much more comfortable in taking the SAT test for your next educational step.

Get to work now. Don’t hesitate or keep putting off studying. The more you procrastinate, the more likely you will not be ready for the test. But with time, with effort on your part, you should have no problem with the exam. You should pass it with little or no problem.

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Choosing the Best High School Senior Year Schedule


Choosing College

Senior year of high school can be an exciting and challenging time in a student’s life. Many students are enjoying their last year with their childhood friends, doing SAT prep and looking at colleges. For college bound students, picking the right courses is essential in order to be accepted into favored schools. Students should take courses in which they can do well but are not too easy. Picking the proper courses can prepare students for college level courses, and they can help give them time to look at SAT online prep.
Free SAT online prep is available to students across the country from B Line Test Prep. Some students spend lots of money on expensive SAT prep books, but finding the right sources can save students time and money. SAT online prep often focuses on preparing students for certain sections of the SAT. Free SAT online prep can give students practice SATs, give them real past SAT questions and provide them with time saving tips for the big test. The SAT is generally broken down into three parts: writing, critical reading and math. Critical reading and math are the two parts at which most colleges look, so students should certainly focus on doing well in those sections.

Aside from the SAT, students need to choose good classes for their senior year. There are many classes that can provide college credit in high school. For example, dual enrollment courses allow students to take part of a class at their high school and part of that class at a local community college. The class usually gives some college credit hours to the student upon completion. Doing well in dual enrollment classes is a sure way to save time and money once students reach college.

If dual enrollment is not a viable option, students can look into taking advanced placement (AP) courses. AP courses are fast-paced courses taught around a college level of difficulty that end with the taking of the AP test. An AP test is scored on a scale of 1-5, and generally, if a student scores a four or a five on the AP test, he or she is eligible to receive credit for the course once in college. However, students should only choose AP courses in subjects at which they excel to ensure good grades and a good score on the AP test.

For students who may not be up to the challenge of AP or dual enrollment courses, honors courses are available. Honors courses look very good on transcripts, and they are essentially high school courses taught at a slightly faster pace than standard level courses. If students pick a healthy combination of honors, AP and/or dual enrollment courses during their senior year, they can coast through the college application process and be prepared for anything that college courses may throw at them.

 

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The Effectiveness of the SAT in Predicting College Performance

Sat Prep Effectiveness

While SAT scores correlate very strongly to an individual’s performance in college and thereafter when they enter the workforce, they do not give the full picture. There is much more to success, both in college and in the wider world than the scores of one test. Various studies have shown that while some kids perform poorly in high school and still manage to pull out of their tailspin in college, this is not the case in the vast majority of scenarios. Factors that may make a student change course include taking SAT prep seriously and also finding subject majors in college that they enjoy.

Family Background, High School Grades and College Performance
Several studies have shown that students who come from homes with educated families tend to perform better on the SAT than students who come from less-educated, working class backgrounds. In families with a tradition of education, both high school performance and test scores tend to correlate with the student’s collegiate grades. This may be due to the possibility that parents who are themselves educated may be more inclined to participate in their child’s learning experience than parents who have had limited schooling. It may also be due to these students having access to educational resources that poorer students do not. This, of course, does not mean that the students from backgrounds without the tradition of education do not sometimes work hard and do well despite being their disadvantages. In fact, in some cases students who do poorly change course in college and wind up improving their grades. In other cases students take their SAT prep seriously and get a good score on the test even after having poor grades throughout high school. There are exceptions to the rule, but such stories, however, are not the norm.

Controversial Aspects of the Test
One accusation launched at the test’s makers has been that there is a bias inherent in the test. This bias is said to be against poorer people. Critics say that wealth is a factor in test performance as some students are able to pay thousands of dollars on coaching to pass the test whereas others are not. As a result of the criticism, College Board, the SAT’s administrators, have revamped it to include a writing section along with other changes. The idea is to reduce the advantage of coaching by making the test less easy to coach. The other changes include raising the point totals. Previously, students were able to score as many as 1,600 points, after the changes this rose to 2,400 points. The writing section has also made the test longer. The total time to take the test was raised to three hours and forty-five minutes, up from three hours. Still, critics say that the writing section is not enough as it is both overly simple and students may still be coached to pass it.

How Colleges View the New Writing Portion
Many colleges choose to ignore the writing section when assessing students for acceptance. The perception is that it does not do enough to reflect the writing skills of those taking the test. Some of the colleges who are skeptical of the writing section’s value, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Georgetown University, are quite well-known. The writing portion of the test consists of a set of multiple choice grammar questions and an essay. The essay portion requires students to read a quotation, and then write an essay to support their position with regard to the quotation. While some critics remain doubtful of the writing test’s efficacy in predicting which students will do well and which will not, some have responded positively to the changes made by College Board. The University of California is among those who have accepted the test after threatening to discontinue its use.

College Board’s Response to Criticism
College Board’s senior vice president, Lawrence Bunin has defended the writing section and the test as a whole, saying that the writing section has proven to be both “highly reliable” and “valid.”

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Top Five SAT Writing Tips

Sat Writing Tips

Many students preparing for the SAT feel lost when they begin to study for the writing portion of the exam. Most SAT prep programs and books try to cover this section, but it is by far the most difficult to study for. The following five tips should help you prepare:

1. Don’t panic. If you allow yourself to become too anxious, your thoughts will get frantic and your essay score will suffer. Taking the time for SAT prepwell before your exam date will make you feel more confident and less nervous at exam time.2. Know how to structure an essay. Graders want to make sure you know how an essay is structured, so write four to five well-organized paragraphs with both an introduction and a conclusion.3. Show off what you know. Using more advanced words properly will help your score, as will citing examples from your knowledge of history or literature to strengthen your argument.4. Be tidy and organized. You don’t want your poor handwriting, punctuation, or paragraph separation to distract your reader and grader from what you’ve actually said. Write in print instead of cursive and be sure to leave an indentation before a new paragraph.

5. Use all the time and space you are given. Take your time and don’t rush. Your essay will benefit from extra time for outlining and editing. Also, research shows that SAT essay graders consistently give longer essays higher scores, so try to use every line on the page.

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Breaking Down the SAT: Sentence Completion

Sat Sentence Completion

The sentence completion portion of the SAT is designed to test your vocabulary and reading comprehension through the use of contextual clues. The section will provide you with a series of incomplete sentences where the test taker is responsible for filling in the missing word or words from the choices provided. A multiple choice consisting of five potential answers will be supplied for each question.

Approximately one-fourth of the critical reading section of the SAT is comprised of sentence completion questions. Furthermore, each of these questions must be answered within the span of a minute in order to allow for enough time to complete the test. As a result, it is vital that students familiarize themselves with the format so they can answer as quickly and competently as possibly.One strategy for answering these types of questions is to fill in your own words to complete the sentence. This allows your mind to quickly understand the context of the sentence and the type of word that would be appropriate. Once you have selected your own word, you can also answer the question simply by locating the proper synonym. If there are multiple answers that seem synonymous with the word you chose, read the sentence with both words and confirm which makes more sense. Another tactic is to pay close attention to specific words or phrases that alter the context, such as “however” and “in addition.” These words serve as clues to whether the word contrasts or complements the preceding statement. For instance, the following is an example of a common type of sentence completion question taken from B Line Test Prep’s free SAT online course:Although H.P. Lovecraft wrote many of the world’s most influential horror stories, during his lifetime he was ____.A) famous
B) unrivaled
C) obscure
D) renowned
E) masterfulExamining this sentence, we can see that there is a clue at the very beginning. The word “although” indicates there will be a contrast or unexpected outcome at the end of the sentence. As the first portion of the sentence lauds Lovecraft as an influential writer, we can surmise that during his lifetime he was anything but. Using the stratagem listed above, we can fill in the blank with the words “not influential” or “not very good.” Shuffling through the potential answers, all seem to imply the opposite save for C) obscure.

Like most sections of the SAT, the sentence completion section is ordered from the least to most difficult question. Therefore it is imperative you move quickly through the early portions in order to allow for enough time to complete the test. You can take advantage of an SAT prep to further acclimate yourself to the questions and time constraints in order to better prepare you for the actual exam.

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SAT Preparation for Sentence Error Questions

Sat Preparation

Everyone who takes the SAT exam must do their best to pass the sentence error section of the test.

Were you able to catch the error in the above sentence? Try again.

The pronoun “their” does not agree with its antecedent “everyone.” If you were able to discover the error, you have demonstrated a thorough understanding of what the sentence error section of the SAT exam will ask of you.

The New Writing Section
The new writing section of the SAT exam is comprised primarily of Identifying Sentence Errors questions: 20 questions at the beginning of the multiple choice portion and another 10 at the back, for a total of 30 questions. The basic concept of these questions is to determine whether the provided sentence contains a grammatical mistake and to identify from four underlined options. If there is none, select the fifth option titled “No Error.” Basic in theory, this section of the writing section can be challenging for students and requires practice and a thorough understanding of agreements, sentence mechanics, and grammatical proofing.


Sat Preparation Strategies and Tips

 


The best way to begin your SAT prep for the writing section of the exam, is to tune your “inner ear,” or rather, developing an innate ability to detect mistakes by sound. Just as our eyes can signal that we have misspelled a word incorrectly, our ears can also alert us to sentences structured incorrectly. Repetition is one of the best ways to strengthen your aural response, reading sentences similar to the ones found on the SAT aloud. You can also select authoritative sources such as The New York Times or other quality publications to read from. This can be a lengthy process and for students coming up on the SAT exam date, there are other strategies and tools available to help prepare for the writing section.

Online SAT prep courses can help increase your confidence and boost your test scores by providing the essential ingredient of practicing questions in an actual SAT test format. Free SAT online prep courses vary in regards to what they offer but researching your options in advance will help you determine which SAT preparation exam will be most beneficial to you.

Check out B Line Test Prep’s SAT online course and other free resources to prepare you for test day.

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Overcoming Testing Anxiety

Testing Anxiety

Testing anxiety is a problem faced by even the best of students. Performing well on tests is more important today than ever. This is why it is important to find effective strategies to overcome testing anxiety. Overcoming testing anxiety means doing better in school and scoring higher on important tests such as the SAT.

Most testing anxiety stems from a fear of poor performance. Students, worried they haven’t studied enough, become anxious preceding the test. Procrastination leaves many students cramming at the last-minute. The best solution to this problem is becoming comfortable with test material far in advance. Being confident that you will do well provides anxiety relief. This is even more important when preparing for a test, such as the SAT, which impacts a student’s future. A solid SAT test prep schedule is essential to help you be as ready as possible. Given the availability of free SAT onlineprep materials, there is no excuse for not being prepared.Test taking is like any other skill; it takes practice to master. Taking practice tests is essential to any SAT test prep schedule. There are many online free SAT prepresources available. You can also review textbooks with practice tests and questions to help prepare for a test. This is one way to help anticipate potential test questions and find areas that need extra attention. In addition, this is also a good way to feel more confident going into a test. If you have any questions be sure to talk with your teacher. If you experience severe anxiety before a test, talk with a parent or guidance counselor. They can help you find ways to cope with your anxiety.Don’t study hard the day before a test. Read over summaries of the material and then put your books and prep work away. Take time to relax, go to bed early, and get plenty of sleep. Not spending the evening cramming and being well rested will leave you feeling confident. Being rested, calm, and confident the day of an exam will help you prevent anxiety, recall information, and follow test directions.During the test, if you feel yourself getting anxious, take deep breaths and remind yourself of how ready you are for this test. Knowing how to calm yourself down before and during a big exam is a valuable skill that will be useful throughout your entire academic career.

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