Is it possible to learn a language on your own, without spending thousands of dollars in expensive courses, and by having fun and doing what you enjoy? Sounds too good to be true? Thousands of passionate language learners have done it, and many have taken their passion to new heights by learning dozens of languages.
In order to teach yourself a language, however, you need to choose the right material, something that not only suits your learning style, but that you also find interesting. This can be difficult because all language courses are packaged and marketed to present themselves as the best for everyone, when in fact we all have different tastes and learn in different ways. Naturally, then, certain methods will be more suitable and effective to you than to others. Getting to know yourself as a learner is the first step in choosing a suitable method, but if you’re a first time language learner you might not know what to look for.
That’s why I’ve built a small database of reviews of language learning materials that I think are some of the best out there on the market. Of course, you need to keep in mind that most publishers will claim that their textbook/method is the one and only set of material that you’ll need in order to attain fluency. But the truth is that no single textbook or method will ever be enough to get you to attain such a level. Alexander Arguelles, an American scholar of foreign languages and professional linguist, says that “in order to systematically study any language, you need to have recourse to four or five different methods or approaches, and certainly not all of those that exist are either inherently good or suited for all types of learners.”
Alright, well let’s now have a look at some of the methods I would recommend for your learning journey. None are perfect; they each have their strengths and weaknesses. Don’t be afraid to try a few and see what works best for you!