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    Im not really discussing language learning in the classroom; they kind of direct the topics you will learn here. If you were to approach a completely new language from scratch, knowing nothing about it previously, how would you start?

    How do you choose which topics are the most important and that are fundamentals you should start with above all else? How do you test your competency, what methods would you use, etc.

    Has anyone here self taught a language to a high standard?

    Curious as I'm learning Spanish, I can see myself becoming a conversational speaker but beyond that I don't know how I would approach things and become better. Maybe this is because I'm comparing it to my school French learning experience and trying to cover the topics in a similar way.
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    I would/do buy a thorough self-teaching course, which taught/teaches the fundamentals of the language. So, basically, I would cover topics in the order the author(s) chose.

    Topics are less important, in my opinion, than the ability to construct a grammatically correct sentence!

    I would keep going through the book until I got to the end. Alongside this, I would listen to and read anything I could that was in the relevant language. Then I would buy more books! I particularly like the Grammar Drills series, published by McGraw.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_...grammar+drills
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    (Original post by santanista)
    Im not really discussing language learning in the classroom; they kind of direct the topics you will learn here. If you were to approach a completely new language from scratch, knowing nothing about it previously, how would you start?
    Well, it's not the same for the German I'm currently learning but my next language is going to be Polish. Unlike French, Spanish and German..I've never actually studied a single shred of Polish before. Because of this, I had to ask myself the same question your asking here. My approach will be to purchase a phrasebook so I can learn set phrases, simple yes/no questions, numbers, the alphabet etc. Things of immediate need are often the first things to be learnt. Then, I'll purchase a copy of Teach Yourself Complete Polish and Colloquial Polish. I'll complete these, and after than I'd have to evaluate what level I was at. I would probably purchase childrens novels or parallel-text books to improve my reading. For Polish, I wouldn't have to worry about finding opportunities to converse with native speakers as there are many in my local area.

    This is the approach I'll be taking when I study, hopefully over the summer but it depends on a few things.
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    I am currently studying French at an AS level and I find it very helpful to read books that I have already read in English or books that I know I will enjoy reading. They don't have to be difficult to understand! They can be simple story books. As you go through the book you find yourself understanding more and more concepts. It's a great way to develop your vocabulary. If you read out loud to yourself then you also improve your pronunciation.
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    (Original post by 21stcenturyphantom)
    Well, it's not the same for the German I'm currently learning but my next language is going to be Polish. Unlike French, Spanish and German..I've never actually studied a single shred of Polish before. Because of this, I had to ask myself the same question your asking here. My approach will be to purchase a phrasebook so I can learn set phrases, simple yes/no questions, numbers, the alphabet etc. Things of immediate need are often the first things to be learnt. Then, I'll purchase a copy of Teach Yourself Complete Polish and Colloquial Polish. I'll complete these, and after than I'd have to evaluate what level I was at. I would probably purchase childrens novels or parallel-text books to improve my reading. For Polish, I wouldn't have to worry about finding opportunities to converse with native speakers as there are many in my local area.

    This is the approach I'll be taking when I study, hopefully over the summer but it depends on a few things.
    My native language is Polish, if you ever need any help feel free to message me and I will try to help you.
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    (Original post by sandra95.p)
    My native language is Polish, if you ever need any help feel free to message me and I will try to help you.
    That's kind of you, thank you; I'll be sure to message you if I have any difficulties.
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    This is a good question I keep meaning to learn Greek, Having been trying and stopping for the last couple years now
    I tried a teacher, that didn't work and then tried Rosetta Stone, which was terrible. So I have no idea where to go now. I still only know a few words here and there, so essentially from scratch. My parents can help me, but they aren't the best teachers

    Btw, very hard question to answer as everyone is different, but how long would you think it takes to learn a language? Not fluent, but of a high standard.
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    (Original post by Leonidas12)
    So I have no idea where to go now.
    Here are some materials for you to consider:

    Teach Yourself Get Started in Greek

    Teach Yourself Complete Greek

    Colloquial Greek

    BBC Languages - Greek

    (Original post by Leonidas12)
    Btw, very hard question to answer as everyone is different, but how long would you think it takes to learn a language? Not fluent, but of a high standard
    I honestly don't think it's possible to give even a rough idea. There are various figures always being bandied around but I think it's far too subjective to be able to give someone even an approximate figure. It has too many variables; dedication; commitment, contact with the language on a regularly basis, contact with natives, time constraints and other commitments that may impede upon the learning process; the materials used etc. Then of course there is the fact that some people are better at retaining information and learning languages than others.

    I wouldn't worry about it too much, I think that if you stress too much about reaching a certain goal or level of linguistic ability within a certain time frame, it tends to demoralise you when you don't achieve what you wanted and this can have negative impacts on future learning.

    Also another thing I do, which seems to work for me, is to write out vocab. Whenever I'm reading a passage and I see a word that I think I may have learned before and simply forgotten, I check the meaning of it and then write it down again. I recently read a very lengthy and slightly garbled article where it mentions the "distilling" of vocabulary from short-term into long-term memory. I didn't pay attention to all the pedantic specifics that the article went into, but I find that my method is in the same vein and it helps me remember words better because the more I am exposed to them, the better the assimilation will be.
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    Well now i take online classes on live mocha. But it's not a good method. The best way to learn language is literally to pick it up. But older you are the harder it is and you have to use classroom style eventually to learn grammar. The older you are, your native language has more and more impact on your learning of other languages. So more and more you are prone to use classroom style becuase simply you have to understand somethings that are rather different then in your native language.
    The problem that comes up also is pharases and how people think who speak english and how people think who speak german for example.

    But not all languages are that easy so you can just pick them up from TV shows. For example I never learned spanish in school. But i watched spanish tv shows since i was 5 and i understand it without subtitles and i also speak fluently now. The problem occured with grammar. My spanish grammar was zero and then i had to sit and learn it and start using language with grammar context. More you practice it the better. Remember, language is a skill, so it demands a lot of practice. The good thing is, you never completely forget skills.
    But for example now are many tv shows in my country in turkish, and im telling you people won't know turkish and pick them up as easily as spanish (spanish in my opinion es una
    idioma muy fácil). So yeah, some languages ask more trouble then the others.

    But yeah listening, reading a bit, practicing a language is the best way.
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    @Self teach guides got my GCSE
    @A bit of LR every day also helped a lot
    @Texting friends in target language
    @Holidays to appropriate countries
    @ pen friend....
 
 
 
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