FOREIGN LANGUAGES

How to Teach Yourself a Language: Our Top Tips

Chapters

  1. Get the right resources
  2. Realistic goals
  3. Immerse yourself
  4. Make mistakes
  5. Go travelling

 

Learning a foreign language is probably up there on most people’s to-do list. You dream of doing it but you simply don’t have the time. Language lessons can also be time-consuming and expensive. But there is another way. 🤔

Why not teach yourself whenever you have a few spare minutes? Turn your dream into a reality by following some of our simple advice.

 
 

1. Get the right resources 📕

Can you teach yourself a language? Of course you can, but most people will need a little help. And this help is cheaply and readily available on your phone. 

It’s never been easier to teach yourself common languages like French and Spanish or even less spoken ones such as Hungarian and Swahili. Apps are good alongside or instead of school classes. 💡

Apps are often able to offer you helpful tips about how to teach yourself as well. If you’re more of a paper and pen type of person, do some research and look for the best textbooks to reach your goal. 

Remember, though, as you don’t have a teacher, you’re going to need a textbook with answers! 😉

Working together with a tutor can also make the world of difference when it comes to learning a language. At GoStudent, we have a huge pool of language teaching experts available. Whatever language you want to learn, we'll be able to find the right tutor for you. Why not book a free trial lesson today? 😃

 

2. Realistic goals 🞖

 

A question many people ask is, ‘Can you teach yourself a language in a year?’ The first thing is, you cannot rush it. 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

We recommend setting yourself a goal but it’s vital that this is well-thought-out. There is no point in giving yourself 200 words to learn in a week. By the end of the first week, you’ll be frustrated when you can only remember 20 of them! 

On top of this, whatever motivation you did have to teach yourself at the start will already be starting to fade. It’s much better to learn 10 or 20 words a week. That way you’re likely to maintain the motivation you need to continue to self-teach. And by the end of the year, you could have over 1,000 new words! 😊

 

3. Immerse yourself 🏯

 

If you’re wondering how to teach yourself a language, a good approach is to absorb yourself in that language. We suggest incorporating language learning into your daily life. 📅

For example, if you’re studying Japanese, watch films, access online articles, listen to music and read books in Japanese. That’s how you learnt your native language after all so why wouldn’t it work with a second or even third language? 

And with a large choice of streaming services, we have more foreign language content available to us than ever before. 

Don’t be too worried about understanding every single word. That’s when it becomes hard work and too stressful. Getting the general message and enjoying the learning experience is key to your success. 💪💪💪

travelling-teenager

4. Make mistakes 😲

 

Yes, that’s right. Most people are afraid of speaking a new language and making mistakes. Rest assured, this is perfectly natural whether you self-teach or have a tutor

In fact, as much as learning a new language is important, making mistakes is also important because you can learn a lot from them. 👍👍👍

When in doubt, ask a native speaker if you are pronouncing something correctly or if you have the correct word for what you’re trying to say. 

Teaching yourself a language doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. It’s OK to check-in from time to time and it’s reassuring to know you’re on the right track. ✅

 

5. Go travelling 🛫

 

Finally, ‘Can you become fluent in a language that is self-taught?’ We think that the answer is most definitely yes. And the easiest way to do this is to go and live in that country for an extended period of time. 

Even if commitments keep you in your own country, a holiday will do! Without doubt, at some stage in your language-learning process it’s natural to want to experience the culture and people for yourself. 🌎🌎🌎

This is beneficial for a number of reasons. The main one is necessity. If you’re lost in Madrid and need to ask for directions to the station, the necessity to speak Spanish is far greater than if you’re reading a similar conversation in a textbook. In short, you have created a need to be understood and be able to function in that language. 🗣️

There’s also motivation. Anything you’ve learnt in your native country will be put into practice and you’ll be rewarded for all the hard work you’ve put in over the weeks, months or years. 

You’ll also get the chance to use the real language. That is, not the one that’s in a study book, but one that people actually speak, slang and all! 🤩

There are many ways to learn a language other than being in a classroom full of other students and a teacher. Why not start your self-study journey today? If you need some motivation, check out our article on why learning a foreign language is important.

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