Independent language learning

Do I have to take up a language course to learn foreign languages?

Do you want to learn a foreign language? More and more people would say “yes”, as linguistic skills are highly regarded these days. The question is: how to learn a language effectively? Is it possible to do that without signing up for a language course? Let’s look into it.

Language courses are not for everyone

A professional course seems to be the best option if you want to learn a new language, doesn’t it? At first glance, it’s the most logical solution. While on a course, you’re working on a schedule, with a tutor who becomes your guide in the process of gaining new skills. But it’s not for everyone. Why not?

First of all, in the modern world, time is always tight and sometimes it’s too much of a challenge to find an hour or two a week to get to the language academy. Even if your course is online, you might get stuck in traffic or have to deal with some family issues. When it happens, you miss out and then it’s difficult to get on track.

effective methods of independent language learning

Secondly, sometimes it’s really difficult to find a course you’re looking for. Especially when you live in a smaller town and you want to learn a less popular language, it can be a struggle.

And that’s not everything! Some of us just don’t work well in a group – especially with people you’re not familiar with.

But even if you feel that language course isn’t your cup of tea, you can still learn efficiently on your own!

How to learn languages on your own?

In the era of the internet, learning a language on your own is easier than it ever was. And you can choose a method that suits you best – there’s a plethora of possibilities! What are they?

  1. Textbooks

Ok, that’s a bit outdated method but for those with analytical brains it’ll work like a charm. A good language textbook may help you get through the basics of the language – especially if you like to find out more about the grammar, pronunciation rules or the basic key phrases.

Remember though, that way you’ll only learn the language in theory that needs to be followed up by some serious practice.

independent language learning with a textbook

2. Flashcards

It’s very easy to find a set of flashcards with top English verbs or expressions in any language you desire to learn. Use them on a daily basis and broaden your vocabulary the easy way!

Pro tip: look for the flashcards with the whole phrases instead of the ones with the isolated words. Learning vocabulary in the real context is much more efficient!

3. Recordings with the key phrases

Lack of time is the main reason that stops you from learning a new language? Why don’t you learn in the meantime then? You can do it, using professional recordings with the most important conversational phrases in Spanish, Italian or German. How does it work? For instance, the videos you can find on the Language Freak channel on YouTube contain phrases in your mother tongue and their translations. Only by listening to them you can learn a lot about the pronunciation. After a while, try repeating and memorising them. You can do it on your way to work or just before you fall asleep!

learning foreign languages with a teacher

4. Films and series

Make the learning process as entertaining as possible. If you’re a pop culture fan, try watching some films and series in the language of your choice. You can find them easily on any VOD platform. Fair warning: watch them with the subtitles, not dubbed!

Try different methods of learning languages at home and see for yourself what works and what doesn’t. In time you’ll find the right way for yourself. Once you’ve learnt the basics, look for a partner who you’ll talk to and gain the practice you need. Good luck!

Also read Effective language learning – vocabulary memorisation techniques and visit our channel Language Freak ?