How to Learn a Foreign Language Independently (Ep. 182)

Many of us have studied a foreign language in school at some point, but far fewer of us seem to actually speak a foreign language as adults. What gives?

Well, there are many potential reasons — it could be that conversation isn’t emphasized as the much-easier-to-grade reading and writing assignments, it could be the poor choice of languages that depend on your school, or it could be that we don’t always see quick enough growth to stay motivated.

A classroom still can be a good place to start learning a language, but it’s clearly not without its drawbacks.

Luckily for us language nerds, we have the internet now, and with it come nearly limitless choices on how to move forward.

Allons-y.

Things mentioned in this episode:

Want more cool stuff? You can find all sorts of great tools at my Resources page.

Timestamps:

  • 0:02:41 – Being fluent in a language
  • 0:06:39 – Learning the specific sounds of a language
  • 0:13:56 – Having something that motivates you and some resource examples
  • 0:17:16 – Speaking a language from day one and having conversations
  • 0:22:46 – Defining your language goals and the importance of pronunciation
  • 0:26:46 – Progressing on learning a language after pronunciation
  • 0:33:39 – Creating something in your target language
  • 0:36:25 – Being evaluated by native speakers and noticing mistakes
  • 0:44:45 – Hiring people to teach you and other ways to practice speaking
  • 0:49:52 – Maintaining several languages
  • 0:55:16 – Using different resources instead of focusing on a single one
  • 1:01:02 – What is Anki and how do you use it?
  • 1:09:59 – Recap and conclusion

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How to Learn a Foreign Language Independently

Martin Boehme is a web developer, language nerd, and Nintendo fanboy. Talk to him in English, Spanish, French, or very basic Japanese on Twitter.

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