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gracerph

Enrolling in a Class or Studying on Your Own

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Hello everyone! :)

I find classroom learning to be effective in helping me learn a language because there is a constructive teaching plan that is formulated by teachers and everything about the language is tackled. Just like in regular schools though, there are also levels that have to be completed in order for me to fully learn the language. I'm happy with the end results though because at the end of each language course, I not only have learned a new language, but I also receive certification as proof of my learning.

Aside from the formal classroom learning, I also make it a point that I do some further studying on my own when I'm at home. It may not be considered as studying, but I find watching films and shows regarding the language I'm learning as a helpful tool in my language absorption.

How about you guys, how do you prefer your language study, in a classroom setting or in an informal way such as studying it on your own?

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These methods are rather complementary. studying on your own will make you go further on your own depending on your zeal, studying in a class will give you the rare privilege of having people to interact with in the chosen language.

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I prefer learning independently in all possible ways.
Of course I do take a language teacher in the beginning, but I never do it in a classroom, I do it in front of my own workspace.

When learning independently, I learn much faster, I learn what's relevant to me, I can even request my teacher(s) to work on my weak points rather than working on whatever they offer at the moment.
So do I want to train vocabulary? Grammar? Alphabet? Pronunciation? Listening? Reading? Writing? Speaking? I choose whatever I feel I need to improve most on.

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I always do both.  Enrolling in a formal language class not only gives me discipline, but also allows me to study in a rigid manner.  Being with a teacher is helpful as he will guide me in areas where I am having some problems.  But outside of class, I always do self-study because I want to train myself to be a better student.  Most of the input will have to come from you, and the teacher is there to help you along the way.  He/she will not teach everything for you; there are things you will have to learn on your own.  Who knows, you may even know more than your teacher.  I still have my Japanese textbook and notes with me, and read them from time to time.

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@gracer....I find I like the traditional classroom setup as my main way of learning, and then using other bits and bobs on the side to enhance my learning process. I like learning with others and having the guidance of a teacher. The interaction with other learners is also important to me because it spurs me on. I like to gauge my progress against my classmates, but don't necessarily let it pile the pressure on. It's just nice to have some sort of reference point, a gauge and a support network through which to speed up my learning process. For me, having a teacher is also good because they can easily identify where I'm flagging and guide me along the right path. No matter what method I employ to learn a foreign language, I will always want to be part of a class for those reasons.

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A language camp is the ideal environment to learn your target language in an efficient manner, but they are rather expensive. Learning on your own has the benefit in allowing you to advance further in your study without boundaries, but people have limitations, therefore you should be aware that you'll hit a milestone where you'll need some tutoring help. 

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I'm currently attending a class on the German language becauses I need a certification for German proficiency. I actually prefer to study on my own because I want to have more control on my learning pace. However, I also appreciate the value of being a part of a class because it puts pressure on you to speak the language and also allows you the opportunity to speak and practice the language with the teacher and other learners. So for my German class, I go with the flow at class and then learn some more at home. 

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While I would like to enroll in a class, I find independent study incredibly useful. I can go at my own pace and use study time to review old things when I need to. It also works much better with my schedule. I have not taken a formal language class since high school, and the first year there were some behavioral problems with the other students. Very little time was spent on learning, and as a student who genuinely wanted to be there, it was frustrating. I know it would not be like that if I enrolled now, but my method is working for right now until I can afford something more formal.

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I prefer to study in a class. I think it provides motivation and it helps you get real-time feedback on your work and your pronunciation.  It's also more disciplined than independent study.  If you have a really good teacher, they can also answer questions outside the classroom.  Independent study is nice, especially when you can't attend a live class, but sometimes you can make a mistake and not notice it.  It's easier to find a class now that we have the technology for live video classes.

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I think that a bit of both are necessary. I find that you get more done in a class room. Very often there are people that might need something explained to them that you didn't think of yourself. So being in a classroom setting has that benefit, on the other hand watching movies in the language that you are learn can really be an invaluable tool.

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I have never considered myself a big fan of paid courses since all they do is suck all of your money and turn the learning process into something annoying and also boring. I don't really know which course you're attending to, but it must be really fun and interactive for you to consider it as a good thing, for real. Courses are basically another school where you'll be oblied to study and therefore, you will end up hating it. That's my opinion though.

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Of course it's always better to learn formally by taking foreign language classes, although they can pose as an extra expensive expense, so most people will just try to self-study until such a time that they can afford to enroll in such a course.

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Years ago,I enrolled in a language school to learn a language. After weeks, I did not have time for the language class, I stopped going to class and decided to self learn. I was committed to learning, however, I could not learn better. You can self learn, however, you need to be more dedicated and find couple of hours every day to learn the language.

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It depends on the language. Since I am learning German and Dutch, I know there are plenty of learning materials and resources available online so I make use of these rather than attend a physical school. It's costlier to learn in a classroom, and personally, I think it's unnecessary to get a private tutor for these two languages since there are a lot of people speaking them, there are a lot of books about these two languages online, and there are also apps that can help you practice the phonetics.

However, when it comes to learning Russian, I believe I might have to go to an actual school since Cyrillic has been quite challenging for me to transliterate, and I noticed that the sequence of words in Russian sentences vary from English.

There are some languages that can be learned without formal schooling, but I won't deny that there are difficult languages that would need a teacher to master.

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I've never actually enrolled in a class to learn a language before, but maybe I would have if I had enough time. I am studying Afrikaans right now, and I do all my lessons by myself, with a lot of help from the internet. So far, I'm pretty happy with my progress and I think that I'm doing as well, if not better than I would in a formal class. 

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I like both. Classroom learning is definitely a good way to learn since you are learning from someone who speaks the language and can help you with tips and tricks on how to learn the language better. Doing it on your own is also nice since you learn what you want.

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I give credit to those who can teach them-self another language.  It takes a lot of time and dedication to study something that intense by motivating yourself.  I personally have to learn in a classroom where I can ask someone questions and have a person there to help correct and guide me when necessary.  I need to have an incentive to sit there and study or do homework, such as submitting it to the professor.  However overalls my biggest thing is having someone there that can help correct my pronunciation of words. 

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Right now I'm teaching myself my target languages without the use of a classroom and I'm specializing in learning to actually speak the languages by listening to other people speak them.  I studied Spanish in a classroom for four years in school and never became fluent in it because I didn't like the teachers and the way it was taught.  They mostly just had us memorize many random words all the time without teaching us to formulate them into sentences.  I've been relearning Spanish using the internet and have taught myself more about how to speak it than I ever learned in school.  I would like to have an opportunity to take some language classes again to refine my skills but I know now that what I teach myself outside of classrooms is even more important than basing all of my language learning on a class.  It's what I learn outside of class with people who actually speak my chosen languages that will really advance me.

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I prefer being in a class as it provides a bit more structure and having specific milestones that a tutor puts out gives me a bit more to work towards whereas if I just set those up myself I sometimes tend to be a bit more lax and allow myself to delay it. Still,I think both methods can work equally as well just maybe depending on the person and which one works for them best. I think some people might do a lot better when they aren't around other students when learning. 

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I agree with you @Baburra. Although I also study on my own, there are just those days when I just don't have the motivation to do so, which would sometimes delay my learning because I tend to procrastinate. I find classroom learning helpful in this instance because it gives me a sense of formality and responsibility. Just like what you said though, I think it still depends on each individual characteristic of learners. :)

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Well, I have never found classrooms to be helpful.  I have however found one-on-one sessions extremely helpful. Also, I have found community based learning to work as well, which is why peer-to-peer studying or study groups or similar arrangements work really well. However, ultimately you will have to learn on your own because no one can teach you anything you don't want to learn.

IMHO if you can afford a one-on-one tutor, then get one. Otherwise, I would rather prefer learning on my own.

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I agree with those who say there's benefits to both, so that combining the two would probably be the best route to go down. The thing I like about the classroom setup is the fact that you have structure and guidance from the teacher. Plus if there are others in your class who are as equally driven, it can really spur you on to push yourself harder and do better. You can gauge your progress against theirs and the class presents a great platform through which to learn from each other. I definitely couldn't rely solely on learning on my own. It probably works for some, but being the sort of person I am, I'd probably lose my motivation too.

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On September 13, 2016 at 2:26 PM, gracerph said:

I agree with you @Baburra. Although I also study on my own, there are just those days when I just don't have the motivation to do so, which would sometimes delay my learning because I tend to procrastinate. I find classroom learning helpful in this instance because it gives me a sense of formality and responsibility. Just like what you said though, I think it still depends on each individual characteristic of learners. :)

I'm the type that works better in a class but to be honest I think I would learn even better if I had a tutor that can teach me regularly. What I always found difficult studying in classes is it's sometimes difficult to learn or focus as much as I would like to when the teacher's attention is divided among a class of many people, but at the same time I guess it also adds to the interactivity and enjoyment. 

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I liked having a teacher when I was younger to guide me but looking back, the classroom was a really ineffective way to learn a language.  I think it's better, if you can afford to, learn privately.  Buy as much hard materials like books and workbooks with cds to learn from.  Then get  a tutor or someone who speaks the language to practice speaking one on one with.  One of the problems with learning in class its that you're practicing with another person who know as much as you do and can't correct you.  Plus, most schools have you practice making sentences that you would never or rarely use in a conversation. 

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