Using a teach yourself language course is a great way of learning the basics of a new language. It's ideal if you don't have time to go to a class or can't afford lessons, or if you want to see how much the language really appeals to you. Admittedly this is not the best way of learning a language, but it's still a very useful one. Here are some ways to get the most from a teach yourself language course …
One way of getting the most from a teach yourself language course is to try different ones before you buy one. The best way to do this is to borrow them from a library. All teach yourself language courses cater for the more common languages, so there can be a bewildering selection for French, Italian and Spanish. Test them out so that you can find the course that best suits your style of learning.
Once you've picked the course that works best for you, don't let it gather dust on the shelf. We usually have good intentions to make the most of our course, but then don't bother working on it or let other things get in the way. Set aside half an hour each day to listen to the CDs, read the book and do some exercises. Regular practice will help you remember what you've studied.
Does your course promise that you will be fluent in no time at all? The reality is that it will take a lot longer to learn even the basics. Don't lose heart when you don't seem to be making much progress. Remember that it took you years to learn your own language! Keep working on your course, little but often, and you'll gradually build up your knowledge.
The CDs that accompany courses are good, bit don't rely on them alone to help with your pronunciation and comprehension. You'll find hundreds of TV stations, radio stations and videos in your chosen language. These are excellent for helping reinforce what you're learning. It doesn't matter if you don't understand most of what's said; you'll soon start to pick out words and hear more of how they're pronounced.
A course is a great way to teach yourself the basics, but don't rely on it alone to learn the language. Use other methods to back up what you're learning from the course. Treat the course as a springboard and don't miss any opportunities that you can find to learn some more. The Internet offers so many ways to access the language you're learning.
You may also find it useful to repeat the lessons that you've already studied. Unless you've got a faultless memory, you're unlikely to memorise everything first time round. Try working on a few lessons and then repeating the same few. This will help reinforce the material that you've learned before you move on too far.
Speaking a language is perhaps the most difficult part of learning, but one thing missing with a teach yourself course is that you don't get to have proper conversations. Look for opportunities to practise your conversational skills. Don't worry about making mistakes; that is how you learn.
The reason that teach yourself language courses are so popular is that they can be a very good way of acquiring a basic knowledge. Whether you want to travel in the country, or simply learn for fun, a teach yourself course can be fitted into your lifestyle and timetable. You can always take a more advanced class later on. How many languages do you speak?
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