This page of my blog is made for those who want a one page process of how to learn a new language. It might be a long page, but it will be worth the read. Let’s get started.
Choosing Your Target Language
First, consider your goals and motivations. Possibilities include:
- Personal interest – you love the culture, the food, the music, the grammar, etc.
- Utility – i.e. how useful the language is to you
- Family – you want to communicate with relatives more easily
- Easy – the language you choose is similar to your native tongue.
- Work – this language can create job opportunities for you.
After considering all of these, you’ve narrowed it down to 3 possible languages. Spend some time studying all three. “Some time” does not mean 1 hour, it means, 2 to 4 weeks of time. This study time also means learning about the culture, the food, the people. Do you like how one language sounds over the other two? Learn a language that you love, not a language that could be useful.
How long should I study each day?
This is relative to how much time you’re willing to commit. I think a good standard is 60 to 90 minutes each day of focused study. During this study session, you should practice speaking, listening, writing, and reading. If you don’t have time to study for upwards of 90 minutes, doing a 15 to 30 minute review of past vocab is still good. Making your brain think in your target language is your end goal for each day!
Where can I find resources?
Easy! The Intenet, your library, Amazon, Reddit, and even videogames just to name a few. If you have internet, type into Google “learn <insert your target language here> free”.
I suggest doing some research and finding a Basics book that is able to give you structured learning. Some examples:
- Italian – Practice Makes Perfect: Basics
- Basic Mandarin Chinese – Reading & Writing Practice Book
- Complete Finnish Beginner to Intermediate Course
What does a Standard Daily Routine look like?
I’m going to base this off a 90 minute study session. Please remember that you don’t have to study all at once. You can break it up. I will show you 2 daily routines, one that is 90 minutes straight while the other is broken up throughout the day. Obviously, these are very basic examples, but they lay a good foundation for what your study plan will look like. Please be consistent with studying each day.
90 Minutes Straight
0-15 minutes – review yesterdays vocabulary and review grammar
15-30 minutes – go over new vocabulary
30 – 60 minutes – learn a new grammar point
60 – 75 minutes – actively listen to a video in your target language
75 – 90 minutes – read and speak aloud a short passage in your target language
90 Minutes Broken Up
Wake up – 15 minute on reivew vocabulary from yesterday
After you get ready for the day – spend 30 minutes on a new grammar point
During your lunch break – read and speak aloud a short passage in your target language for 30 minutes
After dinner – wind down with a video in your target language, actively listening for 15 minutes
Is Duolingo Good?
I don’t support Duolingo as being a main source of learning a language. Remember how I said you should dabble with a couple languages if you’re having a hard time choosing? Well, dabble with Duolingo. It is important to keep in mind that Duolingo is more of a supplement to learning, and will not teach you a language on its own.
Should I find an iTalki Teacher?
Absolutely. I have been speaking to my current Italian iTalki teacher for about 10 weeks now, and my Italian has improved immensely. iTalki is great because you work on your speaking, pronouciation, and listening skills. Plus, you get to make a new friend from another country!
This page is definitely a work in progress. If you have an recommendations, please leave them below in the comment section!