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Language learning methods

Hi all! Which methods do you think are the most effective when learning a foreign language? Do you prefer learning the traditional way, by translating everything to your own language and learning the words, or is it better to rather acquire the language by watching films or music videos? Is it better to learn a language on your own or would you rather go to a language course / private teacher? As an English teacher, I have heard opinions from lots of people, but I would also like to know what italki members think.

2015年2月26日 21:45
Comments · 20

As a teacher, I have found there is no one most effective way that works for everyone. There don't seem to be even two. This is because everyone learns things differently. Some people are very good at remembering what they here, so just llistening to a lot of the lanugage and finding opportunities to use it works well for them. Others remember better when the see the language written and when they can see a lot of pictures and/or watch films. I could go on. My suggestion for any learner is to try different things: try finding writing exercises, films to watch, quizes, etc. Try each of these things a few times, say five each. Then make a list of the activities that helped you remember the language best and were most interesting. May you will find two or three. Continue with these things or tell your teacher about your findings. This will help the teacher to create an effective plan for you or help you to make a good plan for yourself. I hope this was helpful.




Hello. First Of all: I read a lot. Step-by-step , text by text I am learning the grammar and vocabulory. I write down new word in different copebook ( one with verbs and its context, another with proverbs etc.) but I don't learn it intentionally , I think it is useless, because usually one word has two or more meanings depending on context. Secondly: I speak a lot with native and nin native speakers. For me it is the best way to learn language, not forgetting of course about wathcing films, news etc. And one important thing: you must do it with interest, you should like what you Read, what watch and whom you speak to.


Nursery Rhymes have been a powerful teaching tool for my students. I always have students read after me, especially in the first lessons when they are usually nervous.

Language partners using printed scripts or e-mailed texts or texts posted on Skype are doing students a great favor. Printed material always helps for speaking and writing development.

Slow songs are greats for practice with a language partner. Telling a student to sing is not helpful, but singing for a student is a good demonstration, and the vocabulary is generally useful for study.

Lately, I have keyed in very much on printed lesson material about the study of NONFICTION and FICTIONAL literature. The vocabulary is strong, if awkard at first, so I approach that by degrees.

Finally, I would add that studying individual words is not quite as effective as studying a word in conncetion with its opposite, which is the Antonym. Studying words together such as Good/Evil, or Easy/Difficult, or Friendly/ Unfriendly are for me, a very good way to develop a broader vocabulary, more quickly.


  "The Shadow Method"  is of great benefit.


   Also,  I liked the idea that some have mentioned about talking to yourself.

Imagine going to the kitchen in the morning and  thinking and saying;

"I wonder if I have enough coffee for the week?  

Do I need to buy more sugar.  Is my friend coming over for dinner this Saturday.

 Is there enough laundry soap?   Is the universe infinite or finite?

Do I have enough research   concerning the doctrine of Causal Completeness for my test?"


     I think watching some movies,  especially the musicals  over and over  make for great lessons, especially when one has   printed out song lyrics or even some of the dialogue.

(For some movies, you can get a printed script of the dialogue, and a study of the words can really help.)


     Studying famous speeches can be a great vocabulary builder.   Once a copy of  a speech is printed out, it can be studied to great effect.




I like the traditional way, but I find it difficult to find the right word to use in a sentence. Like choosing the right vocabulary word among synonymous words.

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