Ways To Learn Foreign Languages By Yourself

This article focuses on discussing different ways of learning foreign languages without teacher's help.

Ways To Learn Foreign Languages By Yourself

In the era of high technologies, access to knowledge and easy-learning practices is maximally simplified. Any information can be obtained by just having a mobile device or personal computer, as well as access to the Internet. It would seem that learning a foreign language on your own nowadays should be an easy task. However, most people who want to learn a language without the help of a teacher still struggle with a number of challenges. The choice is now too wide. So how to choose which learning method is right for you? Let us discuss the merits and drawbacks of all of them.

Using a textbook

The most common way, which appeared even before the spread of the Internet, is to study a language using a textbook. Modern textbooks are structured in a way to make the student get interested, but at the same time to give the opportunity to get acquainted with all the necessary information. When choosing a textbook, pay attention to the structure, the presence of thematic sections and convenient tables with basic rules, as well as the presence of accompanying audio materials and a workbook with exercises in which you can work out what you have learned. Of course, there are some textbooks in which exercises are included in the content of the chapters and follow after the explanation of the material, but this format is considered more outdated. For beginners, it is better to choose textbooks with a thematic division into chapters, in which the acquisition of grammar goes in parallel with the acquisition of vocabulary, and it is better to refer to textbooks completely devoted to grammatical structures later when you feel more confident. Beginners also should not start multiple textbooks at the same time: this can confuse a learner and kill the motivation for self-studying. Learning the language by using a textbook is no the way that is suitable for everyone. It is important to create a comfortable personal schedule and be able to correctly set small and realistic goals without overloading yourself with a big amount of tasks. Often, students who choose this method find partners for studying together and also a person who can support or check the development of the material.

Learning using a hobby

The second method is more suitable for creative individuals who do not like strict rules and systematic learning. We recommend using it as a supplement to any other way. Surely, you have often heard about the existence of «wizards» who managed to learn the language on their own just by listening to music and watching their favorite TV shows, films, and TV series, as well as reading magazines, comics, or books. Indeed, this method can be very effective even though there is no system. However, it should be remembered that for a person with zero knowledge, this method will not be effective. It is usually used by people with an elementary or intermediate level of the language. In addition, you should not overlook the fact that people using this method as the main one are most likely taking notes and practicing what they heard or watched, either trying to use the material in live speech, or by coming up with and repeating sentences in their minds.

Learning through live communication

Just as in the previous case, this method is most effective for people who are not eager to sit over textbooks and do exercises. If you are an extrovert or a sociable person, communicating with a live person, a native speaker of the language which you learn, can help you in independent language learning. You can communicate both live and online. The second method is the simplest and most convenient, but it is important not only to write messages but also to talk: use free methods, such as Skype calls or any applications that support communication using Wi-Fi. Make a friend who shares your interests, who can easily and without formalities help to explain the rules or correct mistakes in time. If you can not find such a person on social networks, there are many specialized portals and applications that allow you to find a friend or interlocutor for language exchange and communication, such as InterPals, HiNative, or iTalki.

Watching free YouTube tutorial videos

Jne more free method has now become obvious to a lot of learners. There are many YouTube channels that structure playlist tutorials for easy navigation and consistency. All that remains is to find a reputable and respected channel that provides quality content. Of course, the presence of the host (teacher) in the video, his or her neat appearance, good speech, and pleasant voice are also important. If live communication and «being in the moment» are not of fundamental importance to you, then this format may be effective. In addition, on long-standing channels with a rather big history, viewers ask questions and discuss difficult or cheesy moments in the comments under the video, so you have the opportunity to clarify what seemed difficult.

Online courses

This method is not free as a rule, however, for objective reasons, it is considered the most effective modern way of self-learning the language. We are talking about courses that provide access to a platform with lectures and assignments. Modern online language courses have different plans or rates. You can choose the one that is more suitable for you both in material terms and also depending on your temperament, learning speed, and goals. The cheapest tariffs, as a rule, imply access to information and tasks without any feedback and the ability to communicate with other participants. Accordingly, more expensive tariffs provide more opportunities. When choosing this method of learning, it is important to first familiarize yourself with the reviews and the full course program. The choice of a suitable tariff should also be taken with responsibility.

We recommend that our readers choose the suitable language learning way. If you are learning a language on your own, which method do you think is the most convenient and productive, and why? You may have tried several ways. What difficulties did you face? Try to thoroughly think about all your answers and choose the best self-learning way. We wish everyone to find their own comfortable instruments and systems so that the language learning routine seems like a pleasant pastime and is associated with a hobby, not with forced labor.

Text by
Maryana Selezneva