Shouldn't we all be fluent bilinguals by now?!
It is clear that the classroom setup is not the best use of our time, energy, and resources when it comes to teaching students, or teaching yourself, a new language.
Before I share my tips on learning a new language without textbooks, there are some things that need to be in place for one to learn. I have compiled a list of what it takes, I mean,
what it really takes, to learn a new language from scratch.
* Many phrases/sayings taught in textbooks are not useful when speaking to people casually on a daily basis.
It is hard in the beginning to learn a new language. But once you start understanding some pieces, the rest of the puzzle pieces will fit into place and begin to make sense.
Now that we got the fundamentals out of the way, here are some of the tools I used to begin learning Italian, to eventually becoming fluent as a native speaker.
Tools to help you learn:
Imitate those that know the language.
Repeat what you hear outloud. Try to copy their intonation and expression/gestures.
Speaking another language uses new face muscles, and imitation also helps with pronunciation. Repeating what others say will start you off with a few phrases to build from.
Spend time with children who speak the language.
Read a book in both languages.
Pick any book you like. It is good to choose one that uses simple language but is also lengthly, such as Narnia, any book by Roald Dahl (Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, etc.). Have two versions of the book: one in English, and the other in your language of choice.
Read them together, one on top of the other with the English version on the bottom. This will help you learn new words not by definition, but by the context of the sentence.
Always have a pen and paper handy.
You will need to write down new words you hear throughout the day!
Ask A LOT of questions.