I believe in the hard way to learn a language. I believe in doing such things as sitting down and either listening to the radio for a few hours a day in your target language or doing exercise in grammar books. I think there are many methods that will make studying easier to learn, such as music or travel or flashcards, but you have to approach it with persistence. In this post I will also tell you the easiest way to learn a language.
The hard way to learn a language
When I have a student tell me they are not making progress, I dump them with homework. I tell them to buy a book and do three chapters of grammar exercises a week and explain the ideas in the exercises to me. I also make them read a book in English and write papers on it. There is no way you will learn a language without learning that the responsibility rests on you. You are the one, not the teacher who is responsible for studying. Study every week for x number of hours and then go to class to practice. If you complain you are not good, ask yourself do you study five hours a day?
For most people they have the will and will take the hard way, but they do not have the time. Therefore it becomes a time management issue. Even for me I have not time to improve my Polish and I live in Poland. I know I have to go back to the old ways, the hard ways and make time and do it.
The easiest way to learn a language
My wife learned English just by speaking to me. It is an easier way then the above mentioned methods. She never studied English in school and spoke only a few words when we meet. I overloaded her with English until her brain hurt as I love to engage in conversation. Now she is fluent in English. I guess that can be called the easy way to learn a language.
If you are trying to learn a language on your own I would recommend tools to make it easier:
- Make your own language flashcards and carry them with you. I have a box of several thousand words and phrases.
- Download audio mp3s and use them. There are many places to go, such as the gutenburg.org. I am starting a free site with audio mp3s for language learning www.mp3languagelearning.com – If you send me files I can use them on the site.
- If you religious read the entire Bible in your target language. By the time you finish you will speak the language
- Buy a grammar book and do every exercises in the book and outline the rules
- Practice with native speakers, that alone will help, if you are somewhere in the middle of Kansas try Internet chats.
I have notices women love to do grammar and book work while guys prefer conversation, ironically. Both are effective, but to work both need overload and work. This is why I believe in the hard way to learn a language. I think there are easy ways to learn a language, but you have to take those methods and apply them with will and determination. And again the easiest way to learn a language is fall in love.