IWTYAL 207: The best language learning method

In this solo episode, I describe what I consider to be the most effective approach to learning a language.

Episode Summary:

  • Begin by getting a thorough grounding in the basics – quantity over quality is best at first
  • Start speaking early on with a language tutor
  • Grow your vocabulary while getting used to the sounds of the language – listening & reading
  • Practise what you learn directly with a language partner or tutor
  • Create a lifestyle that involves using your new language as much as possible

Resources Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

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  • Sophia

    Good tips, Olly.

    It’s funny though how much different advice you can get from different language learners.

    For example, Luca Lamperiello says first quality, then quantity. While you say the opposite. He also advises to listen & read for several months (6 months, in his earlier blog posts) where as you say start to speak as soon as possible (which I’m guessing is less than 6 months).

    Kaufmann just has his listen & read and speak when you want, etc. Loki2504 does alot of listening and reading and speaking whenever his environment permits.

    It’s great how personal language learning can be, but it can make it more difficult to stick to a simple routine.

    I find myself battling with ‘the grass is greener’ effect: “this new technique, this new textbook will be THE key.”

    I’d love to know how you blaze your way through a beginner textbook (such as teach yourself) when first starting a language. Is it a unit a day? a unit every half a week? or something else?

    Thanks for all your quality work.

    • My aim is usually simply to get to the point where I can understand the dialogue from the unit 100%. To that extent, it’s a lot of listening and reading too… just like Steve and Luca say.