The Final Chapter
Here are the key ideas that underpin your learning:
Work towards your goals
Spend as much time as you can with your language
Use the language in order to learn it
Trust the process
Here are some key ideas you should use with your method:
Progress through your course. This will structure your learning. Make sure you follow others’ recommendations but prioritise what you enjoy using. Do not rely on your course to make you learn. You will learn once you use the new words and forms you encounter in your course by drilling and seeing them in your input.
Drill and reinforce your knowledge. This allows you to develop aspects of your language you might be neglecting.
Use flashcards to drill grammar and vocabulary. Words are the biggest barrier to comprehension, so focus on them if you want to understand more. Using sentences is ideal. Learn to make your own flashcards and add in words you encounter in your course and input.
Drill using content. This lets you learn any aspect of your language in a way that lets you see it in use.
Practise your language to integrate everything you have learned together.
Listen and read as much as you can using content that is interesting and comprehensible. YouTube, Google, and language-specific communities are your best shot at finding good content. Reading a book is a great way to get input for learners of all levels.
Speak and write to help solidify your understanding. Find a conversation partner and start speaking when you feel comfortable.
The latter parts will have given you lots more activities to try and principles to integrate into your learning. Choose what you study based on your goals and weaknesses. You can choose activities that are meaning-focused, language-focused, or fluency-focused. Do a range of study activities to get some variety.
Practise then drill. Practice will help you combine your skills together and identify weaknesses. Drill will help you focus on these weaknesses to improve your performance.
Mistakes are a common feature of language learning. Avoid building fossilised mistakes and errors by using the language in context and getting feedback on your output.
Congratulations on making it to the end! You should now be in a comfortable position to learn a language all on your own. Having read it all once, the full guide is unlikely to stick in your mind, so be sure to save this guide somewhere and come back at a later date once you feel your study stagnating or you need some fresh ideas. There will probably be something here to help.
Next you will find a large set of appendices that provide more guidance on using flashcards, studying grammar and vocabulary, using content, and more. Be sure to check it out if you’d like some more ideas.
If you have gotten here by reading the whole thing, please take a moment to send me an email with any thoughts, feedback or error corrections you may have, no matter how small. I am always trying to improve and your input is greatly appreciated.
Thank you for reading!