What is the best method for you to learn languages?

One thing that I realized in polyglot community, that polyglot mostly learn by themselves, not in school or course. That is interesting to know and share your most effective method.
For me, I just having genuine conversation in target language. No book, no grammar, but I will acquire it unconsciously. I like it.

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In my experience, I’ve studied my languages depending on how close the target language is to my native languages. As much as I enjoy learning Slavic languages, for some of them, I have been studying some of them with a tutor because they are not easy. Haha. For Portuguese, which is a language that I just started, I started learning with apps, and then I have been practicing recently, since Spanish is a similar language.

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I have been using mostly language learning apps and self-study workbooks. I also use media input(videos, books and music) in my target languages to familiarize myself with the sound of the language. Only recently began participating in a Spanish conversation group. I am working towards fluency in three languages, but it can be a bit difficult on one’s own. I love the discovery process while learning a new language.

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discovery process, I like it too. I love when I realized which method works best for me :blush:

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what do you learn with tutor? the grammar or speaking practice? I always use tutor to practice speaking

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It depends on the language, but generally I focus on grammar first and how I can combine words to create sentences. For vocabulary, I analyse songs that I like with the English translation next to it or TV series to find words that I don’t know and that I want to learn. And honestly I use Duolingo (I’m not going to hide it) mainly for vocabulary. I’m basically a input learner (a lot of it) and I don’t practise speaking that much, but as I’m not in a hurry with languages I don’t need to speak them as soon as possible.

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Recently, I was taking Bosnian lessons on Italki with a tutor, and I had speaking practice. I had one lesson where I reviewed pronunciation. I would use a tutor for both things if I have to.

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That is my approach as well! Right now I am using Duolingo and YouTube to learn Finnish. It is so fascinating all new words and sounds that I can’t find in my native language (Spanish)

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I think it depends, in my case, I can focus more when I’m studying by myself. I use a lot of youtube so I can get used to how the lenguage sounds.

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Singing songs in the target languages

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I am still finding my best method to study. But currently, I like learning with different methods like repeating, thinking in other Language.

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The best method is the method you’ll stick with. If you can make language learning a habit and something that you enjoy doing, there you go.

I’ve been learning Japanese for almost a year now (since the last Polyglot Conference in Japan) and I’ve gone though a variety of apps and methodologies and it’s kind of an evolving process. The only thing that is constant is the habits I’ve developed. I tend to do most of my language learning right after I wake up. I’m still in bed and then I do about 30 minutes to an hours worth of app based activities (Anki, Hammer (my new favorite SRS app for Japanese), LlingQ and LingoDeer). I always do 2-3 lessons on Duolingo on my subway ride to work and at night I like watching Netflix Japanese dramas and Anime. I also do 2 or 3 italki lessons with various Japanese teachers during the week.

I’m always trying to optimize this process too as I’m busy with work and family. If I have dead time or waiting time, I can get in a few more SRS cards or just listen to YouTube or Podcasts. Input is huge and with Japanese there is just so much juicy content out there.

Anyways, I’ve been able to stick with this method for almost a year now and I’ve been able to keep it up (and tweak it every now and then).

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I personally like to combine multiple methods to expose myself to the language in a lot of different ways that compliment each other. I think in the end you have to just go with the method you enjoy the most because you’ll work at it more and not the method that is theoretically more efficient. The other thing is maybe it’s not the method itself that is the most important but your commitment and perseverance in working toward your language learning goal and keeping yourself motivated.

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My life long I have been learning languages in classroom settings. First in school then at university and later at the adult education centre (“Volkshochschule”). I prefer excellent teachers - not necessarily native speakers, but those who have good didactical skills and an excellent pronounciation. To give an example I had a very good Danish teacher and she was Austrian.
I am still attending a course of Norwegian Bokmal the course program lists it as a “B2 - C1” course. Besides all my classroom learning I have added some elements of self study, as I now taught myself the Russian printed alphabet. I would do 1-2 classes more, but I can’t financially.

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That is brilliantly put! The method that works is the method that you will stick with. So true… but nobody has ever verbalized it for me so well.

Personally I find that using the language actively (emails, chat rooms, chatting when travelling, etc.)is the best method, even when I am at a low level… it has always been relevant to my life, and I guess that’s why I have always “stuck with it”

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The one that continuously evolves, and it depends on my personal strengths and weaknesses and the language at hand.

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Hola, I am Azeera from Chennai, India. Please let me know how you are learning Old Norse, Faroese and Scots…Tell me about the resources… Even I find it very difficult to find resources to learn Welsh.

not the best method, but at least sustain what i’ve already learnt…
para mi, escucho las radios todos los dias.
également en français, je regarde des émissions de télé-journaux.
with sites like “radio . garden”, the world is within our reach.

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For me just a lot of inputs: reading books and listening to their audiobooks, watching some movies/series with subtitles and others without it, listening to mini-stories and so on …for example when I want to learn new vocabularies about some field I watch a documentary about that field. no grammar book, no trying to remember anything just enjoying the language that I learn.

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For me, what has always worked best (in language learning and every other subject) is “learning by doing”. I like taking courses or italki lessons, reading books, watching movies or TV or YouTube videos suitable to my current level. I do sometimes enjoy to use apps, too, especially for vocabulary learning, but I can’t stick with them continuously as I usually get bored by these apps and then have to take a break from them.

My approach may not be the fastest way to learn a language, but for me, it is the one that works best :slight_smile:

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