Foreign language conversation
Do you want to learn a language, try foreign language conversation.
The best is conversation with a native speaker of your target foreign language. This post will cover:
Foreign language conversation
- My reasons why I think conversation is one of the best ways to learn a language
- How to use this tutoring to the best of your advantage
- Where to find a foreign language tutor
Why conversation with a native speaker is valuable to learn a language
I have taught languages for many years now. I have also been learning languages for many years. I have tried every method under the sun. In my opinion if you are serious about learning a language one of the best methods is to have a tutor in your target language to speak with. It is like the matrix, you can learn on your own and use programs but until you are out of the simulation programs (or text books if you may). You need to practice speaking, not just studying or watching movies in your foreign language. One on one foreign language conversations not in a class.
Maximizes your conversation lessons
Most people just show up to lessons whether it is at a school or a private tutor and expect to learn a language. This does not work. What you need to do is study every day. Day in and day out and let your 1 hour a week with a tutor be cream. Just practice where you can flex what you have learned. I have worked with students that learn words and study everyday and they make progress and others that just show up. If you just show up you will not get worst, you often improve but very slowly. But if you drill with flashcards at home or a language learning program and then practice with native speaker conversation in your foreign language then you will improve.
I recommend flashcards as the best way to learn on your own. I if you want to learn Russian for example I have great visual learning flashcards as well as other languages.
For the lessons I recommend 70% pure conversation (where you are corrected and repeated patterns of mistakes are noted by the tutor and worked into the grammar lessons) 20% grammar drills (real drilling – not too much explaining grammar) and 10% other, which could be dictation, reading/pronunciation work etc. This grammar drilling consists of having the native speaker drill over and over verbally different iterations of grammar examples.
Foreign language conversation resources
Where is the best place to find a foreign language conversation tutor for lessons? Look around the Internet and ideas on my site. I would say classified ads is also a good place to start. If you are in the states craigslist, in the UK gumtree or use the Internet as many tutor have pages. Take your time and write a few teachers as each persons style is different. Language schools are ok but are pricey, better to find lessons on your own.
Picking the right foreign language tutor
English native speakers in Europe are often backpacker hipsters and not very good unless you find someone doing it for a couple of years. The same goes for say a Russian or Polish tutor in the UK or USA. Also I am not a big fan of skype lessons (I have had many people ask if I do these lessons, but I turn them down) as they are really not the same, you need a 3d real person, your brain takes information in differently when its real. Computers are great for learning a language on your own but for conversation you need a 3d person, your brain needs 3d real for languages in addition to other resources like flashcards. If you do not have too much choice in experience, girls are better teachers but if you find a guy who has been teaching for a few years men are better conversation teachers.
Dating your language teacher
It is interesting to note some people do wind up dating their conversation teacher. A lot of the teachers are young and beautiful and are in a new country looking for new experiences and you have an interest in their language.
What if you have a girlfriend or boyfriend who is a native speaker is there any value in taking private lessons. Yes, because your partner does not drill you like they should, they are too nice. If you have a partner who is in your target language your lessons should be mostly drilling, not explaining. Explaining which many language teachers, especially none native speakers do are of little value because language is a reflex.
Let me know if you have any other ideas about foreign language conversation or what you think is the best way to learn a foreign language.