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There are learning videos and advice blogs all over the web, many polyglots review different methods or provide their own ones. Do you follow these instructions, do you mix your way of learning, do you try out a new method now and then?
I often have a look at other people's explanations, and I try them out often. I also use both my methods and the ones I found on the internet.
I use a variety of resources, but I don't follow any one program. Honestly, as both a language learner and a language teacher I'm skeptical of language programs. Communication is messy, creative work that you can't buy in a box.
My current "program" includes:
- SPEAKING! The most important thing for me is conversation. It's really IMO the only way to learn a language! I do three free one-hour Skype exchanges every week (30 mins in Spanish, 30 mins in English/French) and two paid one-hour Spanish tutoring sessions every week.
- Reading something every day - I read a children's novel for 10-15 mins before bed. The structures are easier, and the story is easy to follow. Right now I'm reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I also work through an article every week.
- Writing something at least four times a week - either a notebook entry, an email, or else do a few pages of a grammar workbook
- Listening to something at least four times a week - I'm currently working my way through a language-learning "telenovela" called Destinos. It's cheesy, but it's helping me learn. Of course, I also practice listening when I'm on Skype.
- Listening to music - I choose a song on youtube with lyrics included and listen to it every single day. By the end of the week, I can usually sing along - if it isn't too fast.
- Practicing vocabulary - I use a free flashcard app called Anki every morning for 10ish minutes.
What methods do you use? How much time do you think a person has to spend on language learning?
I think your workout is a good one; I will certainly try out the singing exercise.
I admit that language learning is a creative process! I agree! This is even more reason to change methods every now and then, for them not to get boring!
I do use a mixture as well, and I try out new things from time to time!
I do grammar exercises with a book.
For some languages I use flash cards and learn the vocabulary, mostly I try to work my way through a text and to understand it.
I write something, and I do a translation. I read the explanations on grammar, write them down and work through the corresponding text bit by bit.
I also use various online offers, to get in touch with others or to use the offered tools and features.
I think, it normally takes long to learn a language, but you don’t have to work on a daily basis, because you will not forget, what you did, otherwise schools could not exist! You don’t learn everything on a daily basis, the same goes for language schools, you go there once or twice a week and that is enough to keep you running!
However, I believe we can talk much earlier than we think!