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Learning a language alone watch

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    Hæ,

    I was wondering if any of you has any experience with learning languages alone, either online or from self-study books and alike. Is it pointless to try learning a new language alone? If not, can I self-study to achieve at least some moderately sufficient level of proficiency (say, B1 or B2)?

    I am thinking about learning some of the Scandinavian languages (Swedish or Icelandinc seems the most likely, though Icelandic has extremely complicated grammar in comparison to Swedish or English).
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    http://www.rosettastone.co.uk/

    I find this good for a full comprehensive approach



    http://www.pimsleurapproach.com/

    I find this good, I have used it for about 6 different languages, for a more basic approach.
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    It can be done but it's an extremely dry and unrewarding way of doing it.

    Why not look for a native speaker of one of those languages and offer a language exchange instead?
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    Risky. You're likely to get used to doing some error a native or teacher would've corrected. And old habits die hard.
    It's particularly true for pronunciation. If you're restricting yourself to writing and reading you can do it alone with grammar books and just, well reading. I don't advise it though, interaction with people who are proficient in the target language is invaluable for your learning. I suggest you have a look at livemocha and lang-8 to find natives who will help you; there are other websites too.
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    There are many programs available to study a language independently, such as, Michael Thomas, Pimsleur, FSI, Rosetta Stone, Teach Yourself series, short introductory courses on the internet etc. I am currently teaching myself German with the use of Assmil, and I love the method. It is a small book that comes with 4 CDs and the course is constructed around daily teaching of complete expressions and the learning of grammar points along the way by studying a dialogue, with German on one page and the English translation on the opposite page. The CD's also help you to emulate the accent and perfect your pronunciation of the language you are learning. It has exercises at the end of each day, and every 7th lesson there is a review lesson which covers the main grammatical aspects covered in that weeks lessons. It can be quite hard sometimes but the dialogues make it fun. I use this in conjunction with the Teach Yourself Complete German to facilitate my reading and writing of the German language. I'm also starting French in 2 weeks using the same method, with the view of starting A levels in these courses in September.

    Independent study is good, but it needs determination and discipline otherwise you lose motivation or get behind in your studies. You just need to find, or adapt, the teaching material you are using in order to maximize your foreign language learning. I am hesitant to pass comment on whether reaching a B1 or B2 level could be achieved through self study, as you most definitely need to be getting at least some form of contact with native speakers at that level. As with most languages, the 'standard' form we learn from books and CDs is not necessarily how it is spoken in everyday use and I am envisaging that this is what I will find the hardest aspect of learning German; when I finally go over there to use my German language skills and everybody will be talking in slang and colloquialisms, but I guess it will be fun learning them.
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    Thanks for all your responses I have signed up for Livemocha yesterday, and it looks rather nice I've started taking the Swedish course (earning it by correcting Slovak/Czech/English tasks of learners there), looks good so far I like the aspect that you can get in touch with other learners and native speakers that will correct what you produce (either say or write )
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    I study Spanish at school, but we don't really get the opportunity to do much in the lessons, although when I hit A-level will get 6 lessons a week and one-two sessions with our language assistants. I also speak German up to GCSE standard (although coming from a German family, I'm the only one who speaks it!)

    I love Spanish a lot, I really enjoy speaking it, and I feel my three lessons a week aren't enough to get me to a level which I aim to be at. I've branched out and now have lots of Spanish friends and Latin American friends who I talk to. Most of them are interested in the same things as me (horses- we meet through mutual groups etc), and so I can talk about things which interest me and then go from there. I'm hoping to get out to Spain for two weeks this summer to stay with a family in order to immerse myself with the language a lot more


    I think that the Internet is a great source. I only get textbook (which is crap) and sheets from my teacher, although he's really good, we don't have enough time (I do express languages- German in Year 10, Spanish in Year 11), so I bought my own learning materials. I have two Spanish books- ''Read and Think Spanish'' full of lots of cultural articles about Spain, and all written in Spanish, the trickier words are boldfaced and then they have the meaning of that particular word on the side of the page, it makes a positive reading experience, also have ''Easy Spanish Reader'' which I thought was really useful too, it has cross words and questions on what I've just read in Spanish, it's a good way to learn things. I also have a 'Complete Spanish Grammar'' book which is fab, and various other bits and bobs.

    Then I will jump at any opportunity to hear Spanish, as I'm not around natives, I get my DVDs at home and check the back to see the languages (just for the record, there are plenty in Swedish) and most nights I'm watch ''Bob Esponja'' o ''Los Simpson'' or something totally different. Amazon also has lots of native DVDs, in Spanish there are ones like Volver etc.

    I think the best way to learn a language IS to be around the people, but naturally we're not all able to do so, learning languages is great fun and I think you can make the most of resources on a budget, my books cost me all together roughly £20, which is a good price to pay, also there is a great website called www.busuu.com which has lots of native speakers (not sure about Swedish). Look around for foreign pen friends too!

    Make the most out of any opportunity to learn some extra language, be it DVDs or articles!

    Hope this helps
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    It's definitely possible to learn a language alone, independent study is an integral part of language learning because you can't rely on someone else to teach you a language, it has to come from you.

    As has been said already in this thread, the key factor is motivation and for most people the motivation is interaction with native speakers otherwise it's pretty pointless.

    Spending money on distance learning courses is a waste of time in my opinion. With the internet and grammar books you have all the resources you need and it's a hell of a lot cheaper.
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    Even though I live in China, I learned most of my Chinese on my own, through watching TV. If you are into movies, dramas etc. you can easily pick it up alone. Watch it with subtitles in the language that the movie is in, and then repeat what they say. You can write the words that you don't know down. You don't have to look at them again though, you'll see them come up again sometimes. You'll learn that way. Good luck!
 
 
 
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