Step 4: further learning activities

In this step you have several options. Depending on what you want to learn you can now focus on:

  • talking,

  • reading, or

  • writing

Telugu. With this approach you only go for what you really want to learn. If you are satisfied with listening and understanding Telugu you are done with step 3. Otherwise you go on for exactly that skill.

The big advantage of this approach is that we master one aspect at the time. At the end of step 3 we now have a clear understanding of the meaning of Telugu and are familiar with the sound. All the coming exercises can now build on that basis. This makes them much easier (and fun) to follow.

Talking

The chorus method

If you are interested in talking Telugu you can use a method called "The Chorus Method". Use your favorite lessons or phrases that you used in the previous steps 1 to 3. Take the MP3 player, turn the volume pretty high and start speaking very softly along with the sound. Repeat that until you feel comfortably with following the words. Take your time, there is no hurry. You are still on the super fast track to learn Telugu.

After a while start to speak a little louder and begin to turn down the volume of the MP3 player. Step by step raise your voice and reduce the player volume until you can barely hear the recording any more but speak in a natural way. That is it. You talk perfect Telugu! Congratulations!

One remark on recording: Some learners wish to record what they speak onto another MP3 recorder. Please do so only at the end of this step, when you think you have mastered this lesson. It is important not to record too early (as it is done in traditional language laboratory exercises) because the native speaker on tape must remain your model, not your own first attempts.

Shadow speaking

If you feel reluctant speaking along with the recording in a chorus, try "Shadow Speaking". This is to speak one ore two syllables behind the native speakers you are listening to. This takes a little practice, but it might be particular helpful if your have troubles with the pronunciation of Telugu.

Reading

Active listening with a difference

Start with repeating step 2 but this time follow the words in Telugu, not the word-by-word translation or transliteration. In the beginning stages you may cheat from time to time and have a brief look down to the transliteration, or follow it from the corner of the eye.

Remember you can always stop the player to let new letters-sound combination sink in. That is part of the process. It is also helpful to use the A-B loop function to work out a certain word or phrase until you feel comfortable with it.

After a while you will be able to follow larger and larger sequences of the text in Telugu until you can read the whole piece. At this stage try to cover the transliteration with some sheet of paper or tape and repay the sound. Can you follow it? Great!

Writing

Dictation

A simple but powerful exercise is to write the text from the lessons. Play the sequence, write it down, compare it with the printout.

Start with a small chunk. If you have troubles with a sequence, divide that into the half and work on that only until you feel comfortable with it. Take a break to let that sink in. Than come back and work on the other part. At the end write through the whole piece.

Writing english words

Play with writing English words in Telugu alphabet. Use Roman for missing letters. Send this to a fellow student and see if he/she can read that. You'll see that is fun.

Fill in the blanks

Print out the interesting parts of a lesson and paint over some words with white tape. Then fill in the words from memory.

A variant of this exercise is to paint some words with a dark green or dark blue marker. Then take a red film or foil and cover the complete section. This way the marked words become black, while you can still read the rest of the sentence. Perhaps you have to double the red foil so that the marked words become completely black. The big advantage of this technique is that it is simple to create and you can check your filled in words quickly by simply removing the foil from the text.

Remark: If you work with red letters, you have to use a dark-red marker and a blue film to get his effect.

Where to go from here?

Ready to try it? Here is a simple 9 week tutorial that leads you step by step through all the points explained above. It is called the First steps of learning Telugu...