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How do you learn a language best?


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There are so many different ways to learn languages. Doing online courses, using websites, learning from teachers, using workbooks, having an online tutor... There are so many different options. I personally like learning from someone who's already good at the language, so I like learning from a teacher, although I do often use online resources to help me.

How do you learn a language best?

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  • 1 month later...

A child learns language the fastest because he has focus and good memory. As any subject of learning, the easiest way to learn is to practice. You cannot learn how to ride a bicycle unless you have tried it. So for language, it is the same technique - use the language, converse using that new language and you will learn fast.

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I personally learn a language best through a combination of methods. I prefer the classroom set up where I'm learning from a teacher and interaction with other learners. I also like the use of workbooks. Where possible, I also like to be surrounded by native speakers against whom i can do some practicing, if they don't mind LOL

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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't think there is only one magic recipe to learning language much better. I believe it is a combination of self-study using online resources, attending classroom lessons, engaging in a conversation wherein the medium is the target language, and familiarizing/immersing yourself into the language experience itself.

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Well I learned English through online games. MMORPGs, to be exact. A lot of them relies very heavily on communication (because you have to strategize and organize your party before going through dungeons, and stuff like that - basically planning), so like it or not you're pretty much forced to talk. In my case, whenever I talk to them, I just somewhat 'mimic' them. The way they talk, the way they word what they want to say, their grammar, etc. So I just get better at English every time I talk to them (the people I played with are mostly Americans or British). So you're basically having fun and practicing at the same time.

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Total immersion is what I now see would work for me. I had tried all the techniques known to me but I am still not learning to fluency level. I get bored easily and I know I am not inclined to learning languages. If given the chance I would love to live in a place where I will make daily interactions with the native speakers 24/7

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  • 3 weeks later...

The best way to learn a language is to learn the basic structure first. Then what you should do is get a dictionary of that language and also some literature of that language and start reading, working your way through the literature with the help of the dictionary. This way you will learn the language while having a lot of fun.

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The best way to learn a language is to learn to read first and then start reading literature of that language. The more you delve into the literature, the more you learn the language. Literature is the soul of any language.

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For me, the best method is translating something on my own and having a fluent or native speaker check my work.  That's how I did it when I was in school.  I would go try translating anything I could with the knowledge that I had and have my teacher (who lived in both France and Spain for about 10 years) correct it for me.  He would explain my errors, so I could become better.  I mostly love listening to foreign music and trying to translate that. 

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Immersion is always the best way of learning a language. What I personally recommend is learning a bit of the language and rather than putting yourself smack down in the country that speaks it, I'd go online and chat it up with people who speak it. You'll pick up on a lot of things that way. I'm currently doing that with Japanese and the results are fantastic.

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Some people here claim that classrooms are the best places to learn a language, but I disagree.

Let's assume you need to attend a classroom once a week, taking 1 hour each session, being taught to 30 students at the same time, and every student has an equal amount of practise.
First you spend/waste a half hour on listening to boring grammar rules in your own language, then everyone has only 1 minute to speak!
This equals 1 minute a week of practise!

I learn best doing this:
1. Have 3 sessions of 30/45/60 minutes a week, spread over each week.
2. Go over my Anki decks on my phone when I wake up, when I stand in a queue, when I go out for a walk, you name it.
3. Hunt down new vocabulary and grammar on web blogs, news websites, forums, etc. and take them to my language sessions on Skype.
4. Listen to music in the language and watch videos in the language, ACTIVELY! (I only listen/watch passively in my free time or while doing my job.)

My overall costs are much lower and my learning is much more effective than if I would go to a classroom.

Out of the entire classroom thing, I especially believe exams are a bad invention nowadays.
Instead of having its original purpose (testing your current skills), exams nowadays only stop you from gaining skills.
This is because exams normally come with too difficult questions and you may either fail or pass.
When I do an exam, I prefer to see what I do right and where I need to improve on, not seeing if I can continue doing what I want or not!

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I think having someone who knows the language well teach you is the best way to learn. Nothing beats sitting down, online or in person, with a real person who is willing to help you learn. You can learn many things out of a book, but some things are better taught with human communication. For me, I practice by myself first and then I test it out on a real person. 

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Hello everyone! My name is Jorge Solis. I think that the best way to learn a new language is to submerge yourself in said language. The natural conversations that you engage in everyday are the best way to practice. Also, try reading books that are not too complicated. This will enlarge your vocabulary and you will gain a lot of grammatical knowledge as well.

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Start young! It was already mentioned above but kids really do pick up languages really well. As an adult, the easiest and least intimidating way for me was through duolingo. I can play/learn at my own pace and will not get judgment from anyone (that's just me being too self-conscious though) :laugh:. I haven't moved past the basics of German so I can't take the next step yet, but the plan is to enroll in a German class. It really helps to constantly use the language in everyday settings. Then in my free time, I am planning to read children's books and maybe the newspaper to familiarize myself. I also watch casual German lessons on Youtube which really help as well.

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Deliberate practice. I'm currently taking an online course about learning how to learn. It's a combination of using the pomodoro technique, spaced repetition and applying what has been learned with other people. I use HelloTalk and iTalki to do that. The pomodoro technique and spaced repetition is mainly for memory, so grammar and words. 
Other then that when I have spare time i've bought a graded reader in korean on google play and i'm going through it, figuring out what i don't know and broadening my vocabulary. 

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Making the second language part of your life and using it because you want to use it not because you feel you have to study. Find things that you can manage in your second language (even if only just) and genuinely enjoy doing and then do them regularly. Choose lots of different media and vary between speaking, reading, writing, listening. Oh, and don't make these kinds of mistakes!

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I learn languages through a combination of immersion and frequent study. It's not enough to either crack open a book or live among a culture where the language is spoken; you have to do both. Plenty of foreigners live in Seoul, South Korea for years (even decades!) but they never bother to learn the language, even while they are surrounded by it. Likewise, many Korean students spend their entire childhoods from kindergarten to university studying English from books, but never really learn how to put it into practice. I knew a Korean English teacher with a degree in English who could tell you anything you wanted to know about English grammar... in Korean. She couldn't form simple English sentences though, even to tell you what she had for breakfast!
You have to immerse yourself in a language, and crack the books!

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I learned English by watching A LOT of American TV shows (mostly sitcoms) and reading A WHOLE LOT of romance novels. I didn't even consciously set out to be good at the language - I just did what interested me. Of course, it helped that  in my country, the language of instruction for most subjects (like Math, Science, even GMRC) is English, so I had a rudimentary understanding of it at a very young age. But being comfortable with it, understanding its grammar rules, and speaking it with ease happened because my interests happened to align with learning it. I guess in some ways I followed the advice of most of you: I immersed myself in the language (without packing my bags and flying to North America or the UK).

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While I started learning through school teachings, then courses, and always with the aid of books and homework books, at this stage of life I have found that listening to languages makes easier to learn them, while doing online research for rules of grammar and spell.

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  • 2 months later...

The best way to learn the language is to speak it. That's actually the reason why people learn the language fast when they are surrounded with people who speaks that language. Practice is the key. I would advice you to learn the basics, then keep on practicing it.

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The ways to learn languages are varied, and the best ways to learn are closely tied to what the learning style of the language learner is. Immersion, if possible, is one of The Best   ways to acquire a new language. The need to communicate tunes one in at a unique level that is not possible in other venues. Daily practice with the language, in written, and auditory forms helps tremendously if immersion is not an option. 

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On 10/25/2015 at 10:16 PM, Anju said:

Deliberate practice. I'm currently taking an online course about learning how to learn. It's a combination of using the pomodoro technique, spaced repetition and applying what has been learned with other people. I use HelloTalk and iTalki to do that. The pomodoro technique and spaced repetition is mainly for memory, so grammar and words. 
Other then that when I have spare time i've bought a graded reader in korean on google play and i'm going through it, figuring out what i don't know and broadening my vocabulary. 

 

Have you heard about mind maps?  Those can also be used to learn a new language, I'm using them to help me remember and learn some Dutch grammar key points.  It does work, but it takes a while to get used to it. 

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I tend to think that taking a course is the best way to learn, even though I have never taken a course many people I know have done it and they do learn pretty fast. This wasn't my case at all, I been learning at a really slow pace since I was a kid but what really boosted the learning process for me was chatting with other people and using google's translator constantly.

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Practice, practice and practice. Yes it sounds simple and it is simple but you must practice every day for atleast 4 hours per day honestly and in a week you will realize how good you've improved. I can give you an example you read a book in the language you want to learn even if you don't understand what it really says just read it throughly for a week and at the end of that week you will have a wider vocabulary and a better sense of grammar I can assure you that and then you can move on the songs of that language you want to learn and you will get used to the words even faster and that's when you will be able to make a progress.

I recommend you get a friend in the language you want to learn so you can practice on chat, talking, etc. but trust me practicing every day, every single day will make you learn that language faster than anything.

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Personally I learn best if I can have things written down in front of me, whether that's online or worksheets or however it's written. Only speaking it I find it really difficult to remember the words and phrases, and to know if I'm pronouncing them correctly. Conversation and speech is a necessary part of learning though of course. I just can't do it without anything written down myself. 

I did find speaking to someone that was a native was definitely a useful tool for learning though. I have a friend that's Spanish so conversation with him made me learn better than if I was learning from someone with Spanish as their second language.

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