Huw Stephens, #Easterbands Bitesize Revision Power Hour - Languages!

19 Apr 2014 Last updated at 13:31

Bitesize Revision Power Hour - Languages!

Bitesize has actual teachers on hand to answer your questions all week, so keep them coming using the hashtag #StudySounds on Twitter, by visiting the Bitesize facebook page or emailing
  • 19 Apr 2014 14:27:01

    And with that the revision Power Hours are officially over! Thanks for all your questions. Good luck with all your revision, and do check out the link below which contains all of the Power Hours from this week. Feel free to ask us any other revision questions on our facebook page or at, and visit the Bitesize website for all your revision needs.  

  • 19 Apr 2014 14:22:45

    When you learn a new word, try to use it a few times right away. When you stop and look up a new word in conversation, make a point to use it in the next two or three sentences you say. Language learning studies show that you need to hit a certain amount of repetitions of saying a word within one minute of learning it, one hour of learning it, one day, etc. Try to use it immediately a few times and then use it again later in the day. Chances are it’ll stick.

  • 19 Apr 2014 14:20:48

    Another from Sylvie on the Bitesize page.

    Sylvie Peer
    What is BAD way of learning foreign language?
    BBC Bitesize
    Sylvie Peer I think a really bad way of learning a language is seeing it as a loads and loads of words and expect to brain to magically memorise them all.You need to use words and hear words and read them in a context that is entertaining and meaningful. Try watching a film about something you are interested in with subtitles and picking all the words you can match to your own language.Don't learn a language on your own. A language is an ever-changing thing. Find out about the culture of the country where the language is spoken. Find a native speaker. Maybe your school has a a languages assistant? Get to know them and speak the language. Don't expect to be perfect.Learning a language can and should be fun and dynamic.
  • 19 Apr 2014 14:16:47

    If you have any revision questions for languages other than French and Spanish, do send in to and we'll make sure you get an answer. 

    Devon Wallwein
    German:how do you use the future tense
    Daniel Brotherton
    What are the key difficult words to learn on the environment in German?
  • 19 Apr 2014 14:11:55

    Whoa! We've gone a bit 'existential'. But it's a good point about how our brains are able to store all this different information. This guy knows 11 different languages... But that's just showing off ;)   

    Sylvie Peer
    Does "each language" have special "place" in our brain? It's interesting that sometimes when we speak with some language we are "blocked" for another one, or something like this. As we weren't able to find proper "gate" to the particular language. How is it possible?
    BBC Bitesize
    Sylvie Peer It is true that there is an area of our brain that forms language. When people learn more than one language, say French and Spanish, a French word may come out when they want to speak Spanish. I always think this is a good thing.The more you practice a language the quicker the brain will find the words and won't even have to translate from your first language. It helps as you get better at a language and understand and recognise the regular patterns in that language. I am no brain expert but I do know that those people who have grown up speaking more than one language actually have physically bigger brains!
  • 19 Apr 2014 14:05:46

    What's the pluperfect tense I hear you ask? Find out below! 

    Charlotte Owen
    please can you explain to me how the pluperfect tense works in french? It's so confusing!
    BBC Bitesize
    Charlotte Owen The pluperfect is another way to talk about something that happened in the past.When telling a story you use it to talk about events that happened before the main event in the story.E,g My friends had gone on holiday when my brother arrived. The pluperfect is the My friends had gone on holiday part.There are 2 parts needed to make it.You use the imperfect tense of avoir or être and then the same past participle that you use for the past tense like fait/voulu/allé.French grammar takes a while to learn so use the verb table in a dictionary to help you while you are still learning. You will not know every verb off by heart so check as you go.
  • 19 Apr 2014 14:02:05

    As the wise old sage Sigmund Freud* once said: 'Don't leave your revision too late! You'll tire yourself out, have to drink a lot of energy drinks to compensate, and will generally feel rubbish." (*DISCLAIMER: He likely didn't say this - but it's good advice!)

    Lil Em
    @1Xtra helping me through my BSc psychology revision mountain! Probably shouldn't have left it this late to start! #StudySounds
  • 19 Apr 2014 14:00:15

    Figure out pronunciation patterns. All Latin-based languages will have similar pronunciation patterns based on Latin words. For instance, any word that ends in “-tion” in English will almost always end in “-ción” in Spanish and “-ção” in Portuguese. English-speakers are notorious for simply adding “-o” “-e” or “-a” to the end of English words to say Spanish words they don’t know. But stereotypes aside, it’s surprising how often it’s correct. “Destiny” is “destino,” “motive” is “motivo,” “part” is “parte” and so on. In Russian, case endings always rhyme with one another, so if you are talking about a feminine noun (such as “Zhen-shee-na”), then you know that the adjectives and adverbs will usually rhyme with its ending (“krasee-vaya” as opposed to “krasee-vee”).

    Conor Jackson
    trying to do work to @BBCR1 #RevisionPowerHour is impossible when tunes like #Antenna are played #StudySounds
  • 19 Apr 2014 13:58:36

    A question on how to learn vocabulary with a few tips. Talking of which... 

    Chloe Smith
    is there an easy way to learn large chuncks of vocab in French? Thanks xo
    BBC Bitesize
    Chloe Smith Mix up what you do to learn vocab as you cannot cram vocab that easily. Here are a few tips.First of all try to learn words by topic. Secondly don't forget to add verbs and opinions rather than learning just vocab. So write some sentences using these words. Record yourself saying different words as you will have to recognise how they sound as well as read them in your exam. Use pictures to help you, try labelling for example a holiday scene. Use the vocab from your lessons or your textbook so you are not at this stage cramming words that will never come up in the exam.
  • 19 Apr 2014 13:55:44

    Adele from 1Xtra is up for the Power Hour - tweeting a particularly nice quote from the Bitesize facebook page (shameless plug).

    Adele Roberts
    Let's go team! #StudySounds on @1Xtra right now for our online language teachers
Show more posts

Best of BBC Introducing Playlist


Huw brings you his pick of tracks catching his attention from BBC Introducing