by Tobi Gbadamosi
There are many people who aspire to learn a language by themselves. However, having tried several times with books, online sites and apps, audio and video formats etc., they still find it difficult to learn by themselves. Below are useful tips on how I was able to learn six languages by myself without necessarily having to travel to the target country.
1. Have a strong purpose and passion.
Choose to learn a language you have a strong purpose for, because strong purpose gives birth to passion or strong desire. Strong desire is the driving tool or bulldozer that pushes through any hurdle or challenge along the way of your learning. For where there is a purpose, there is passion, and where there is passion, anything is possible.
2. Allocate at least 30 minutes daily practice.
Schedule at least 30 minutes every day to practicing your chosen language. If you want to speak, you must practice daily. The more time you allocate the better and faster you assimilate.
3. Make use of the useful phrases.
Here at Linguaself, we decide to start every language with useful phrases and expressions which means, you are speaking from the get go.
4. Be patient.
Do not try to learn everything at a time. Don’t rush it. The best way to improve on a language is to learn one step at a time.
5. Always be speaking!
Language is learnt to be spoken not to be kept. You retain it by using it via speaking or teaching. If you can’t easily find who to practice with whether offline or online, speak to yourself!
6. Have a notebook and dictionary.
Get a dictionary in your target language and a notebook. Create new words and phrases apart from those found in this website for daily practice.
7. Practice law of substitution.
Law of substitution is substituting what you have learnt for your already known language. For example, if you have just learnt, “Excusez-moi” in French which means “Excuse me”, substitute the French expression regularly for the already known English part even when speaking in English regardless of whether your listeners understand or not. This will help to create a consciousness and even curiosity from your listeners. Tell them the meaning if they ask you and this will further improve you.
8. Inform others that you are learning.
Let people know that you are learning a language so that they can ask you questions and monitor your progress.
9. Perform your daily activities in your target language.
Learn to think, act, pray or perform your daily activities in your target language.
10. Expose yourself to helpful content.
Be exposed to things related to your target language like songs, movies, programs, newspapers, magazines, blogs etc. This will help improve your listening and reading skills.
11. Practice everywhere.
Anytime you find yourself idle, use that opportunity to practice, whether in the bus, rest rooms, traffic or anywhere you have a free period.
12. Don’t be afraid of mistakes.
Be open to making mistakes, I mean a lot. You won’t be perfect the first week, month or for some not even a year. The lessons here are very easy to learn and will yield fast results, but still take your time. You are not competing with anyone. You are not in it for show off but for mastery. The essence of making mistakes is that, it opens your subconscious mind to express itself. If you are too cautious and conscious, you will never attain fluency. At the beginning, you will be even mixing your known language with your target language but never mind.
13. Make your daily routines in your target language.
Whatever you daily do, convert it to your target language e.g. Prayers, songs, phone settings, social media etc.
14. Move along with people of the same purpose.
Camp around friends and people who know your target language. Go to places where you can find people who are learning like you or better than you. Always visit there.
15. Write regularly.
Always practice writing in your target language in order to improve your writing skills. When you learn something new, write about it. Regularly write. Set a goal for yourself from a page to two, three pages etc.
16. Visit this site regularly.
If you diligently practice these aforementioned tips and visit this site consistently, in no time, you will learn your desired lingua yourself!