How to Learn a Language

There are many articles asserting that their way of learning a language is ‘better,’or  ‘the best,’ ‘ the only,’ etc. way. Many also boast that their way is ‘new,’ ‘innovative,’ or ‘non-traditional.’ Most of these articles start with the premise that the way language is taught in school (rote memorisation, etc.) is not a way in which people actually learn a language. Many claim that classroom instruction makes people worried about ‘perfection,’ or ‘too much grammar.’

These things may be true for some people (maybe most); however, everyone is different and doesn’t learn the same way. Some people might benefit from rote memorisation and extensive learning of grammar. The methods espoused in these articles are not wrong, bad, or incapable for most people to use with a great deal of success. However, learning languages is something that each person must develop for themselves to be successful. Each person learns how they learn. There is no right or best way to learn a language.

A quick note: the claims of article writers and language learning programmes of having a ‘new, innovative’ way of learning, are false. Most basically use the same method, with a few changes here and there. This ‘new’ way has been around since at least 1878 (when the Berlitz Corporation was founded by Maximilian Berlitz), and probably longer.

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