Think you don’t have “the language gene”? Afraid it’s just not practical for you to learn a language? Tried and failed in the past? Confused by a so much contradictory advice and unrealistic promises? Then don’t miss Dr Popkins’ free “Discover how to get fluent” mini video course.
Together, we’ll deal with motivation, the key things you need to focus on in your early stages, how to study and practise to maximum effect and that all important communal aspect. There’s a concrete action step for you to take each day to make sure you get up and running.
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Below are some of my fave language resources useful whatever your language. If you click through and join one, I’ll get a small commission (though the cost to you won’t be any different). This helps me to cover the costs of running the site. It’s win-win – I only recommend things I value and use myself and think have a real potential to make a decisive difference to you as you get fluent!
Regular practice SPEAKING your new language is essential if you want to get fluent. Almost all the live one-to-one lessons I have online (via Skype or an equivalent platform) are booked through italki. There you can find literally thousands of teachers or informal conversation partners in tens of languages. You can also arrange unpaid language exchanges where you spend half the time helping your conversation partner with their target language. You create your own profile (I’m Efrogwr) and (if you want paid tuition) load up some credit. You can check out other members’ profiles and a teacher’s experience and prices. Booking slots is made easy as the calendar shows everybody’s slots in your local timezone. If you book via the link on this site, I get $10 free credit to spend on future italki lessons and – better still – so do you! 🙂
Regular visitors will know I’m a fan of the Add1Challenge. It’s a great way of providing a bit of a framework, accountability and community to your language learning.
The Challenge runs for 90 days. You decide at the beginning what your regular study commitment will be (I’ve done 60 mins a day 5 x a week and 30 mins a day 5 x a week (I’d advise setting the bar quite low and allowing for days off if you aren’t sure how you’ll fare). Your goal is to have a fifteen minute conversation with a native speaker at the end of the three months. Your initial application involves a short video and you have to record two-minute monologues at 30 and 60 days. You log your progress on the Challenge’s site and accountability and support is also provided by a “Mastermind Group” of two other participants (who won’t necessarily be studying the same language). If you want (and if there are others studying your language) you can also join a study group of three (you can meet them on google hangouts for practice). The founder, Brian Kwok, organises a live hangout or two during the Challenge, often with an expert guest. There’s a lively Facebook group for participants too. I’ve used the challenge three times for my beginner’s Basque and once each for my advanced Russian and German. Check out my posts on Howtogetfluent for my reviews and you can see my videos on the H2GF YouTube channel.
New challenges open most months. Check out the application process here. If the next start date hasn’t been announced yet, they’ll let you know when it is.
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