Learning a language by yourself: 10 simple tips

Self-study of language is gaining more and more popularity with the development of Internet communities and social networks. Even if you do not have the opportunity to go to language courses or study with a private teacher, this is not a reason to deny yourself the pleasure of learning a new language. In this article, we will look at 10 simple and interesting ways to learn a foreign language without the help of a teacher. Let’s go!


1. Apps

Every year there are more and more applications for learning a foreign language. Most of them have free versions that still allow you to learn a language. Those apps that run on a subscription also have a trial period during which you can explore the functionality and see if you like the approach to learning. If you do decide to buy the paid version, ask your friends and acquaintances first if they use this application, and whether they have a referral code. Such a code will give both you and your friend good bonuses!

2. Student literature

Most often, for self-study, it is advised to read fiction in a foreign language. At the initial levels, reading such texts can be frightening in their complexity, so we advise you to start with adapted texts. They repeat the plot of the original but adapt the text to a certain level of language proficiency. Reading the literature of your level helps to consolidate the learned vocabulary and learn new. You can buy such books in almost any book or online store.

3. Videos

Many foreign language teachers run websites, blogs, and record free training videos on YouTube. It helps them not only attract new students but also share their knowledge with those who cannot yet afford private lessons. Sometimes, in addition to single videos, teachers record full video courses that can be bought on their website.

4. Podcasts

There is a growing number of podcasts for language learners. They are recorded by both teachers, students, and native speakers. If your level is high enough, then it is no longer necessary to look for podcasts for learning, you can listen to any for pleasure or professional growth. You can find links to podcasts that are right for you in thematic groups, blogs, or websites.


5. Movies and TV series

Is it possible to combine rest and training? Yes, if you love movies and TV shows. On most streaming platforms, it is possible not only to choose the language of the movie but also to turn on subtitles. At first, it may be easier with subtitles in the native language, and at higher levels, you can turn on subtitles in the language being studied, or watch without them at all.

6. Free online courses

Large learning platforms, such as Coursera, include not only professional training but also courses for learning a foreign language. The biggest advantage of such courses is the possibility of free learning. If need a certificate of completion, then you can buy a full course or subscription. Do not be afraid if courses are too expensive, in some cases, you can apply for a scholarship or get a big discount.

7. Language exchange

Practicing a language with a native speaker is very important, but classes with a native teacher are usually much more expensive. A great free option is a language exchange. You can meet an exchange partner at your university or submit an announcement on social networks or special forums. For language exchange, you do not have to live in the same city, you can meet online and talk in the desired languages.


8. Language clubs and marathons

Language clubs have long been popular. Due to the pandemic, many of them are now online. People who learn a language meet and communicate on chosen topics set by the organizer. Teachers and native speakers are often present at such meetings. Recently, language marathons have been gaining popularity. This is a learning option in which you make a plan and intensively learn a language together with like-minded people. To participate in a marathon, you must set a goal. For example, to move to the next proficiency level in three months of intensive self-study. Keep in mind that participation in the marathon requires diligence and concentration, you will have to practice almost every day!

9. Teach-yourself books

Before the advent of the Internet, self-teaching books were one of the most popular means of self language study. Since then, they have been changed significantly, now combining both print and digital resources. Books of many publishers provide a special code for entering a student’s account, where there will be not only audio and video, but also additional materials on the course and tests. Such integration makes learning more interesting and modern, doesn’t it?

10. Songs

Last on the list, but not in importance, songs! Even if you do not like to sing, daily listening to songs in a foreign language helps a lot in the learning process. We all know that popular songs have a simple and memorable chorus that is easy to remember. Also, songs are often used by teachers as additional materials because they allow a student to switch from grammar assignments and rest while listening.

What methods have you already used? Do you have any favorites?

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