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Best Ways to Teach Yourself a Language

So you’ve decided to learn a new language – Woohoo! But you’re probably sitting in front of your computer screen wondering where to even start. What’s the best way to teach yourself a language? Do you buy a text book? Sign up for a class? Download Duolingo? Whilst it’s accepted that the best way to learn a new language is through full immersion, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do on your own to get started. You might want to also have a look at the article I wrote about the best ways to improve your Spanish.


When we think about learning a new language what usually comes to mind is speaking. But there are actually 4 main building blocks of language learning. 

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking

It’s important that you practice all of these if you want to master your new language. Make it a habit by spending 10-15 minutes a day everyday practicing each one of these.

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Nothing beats the help of a skilled language teacher, but if you want to supplement your lessons with at home practice or even start learning a bit on your own, here are some practical ways to help you get started.

  1. Use an app. Technology is a great tool to help you learn a new language. Apps like Duolingo to practice daily and learn new words. This can help get you comfortable with the new language.
  2. Create flashcards. When you’re trying to learn a new language, repetition is key. Flashcards are great for new vocabulary words that you can practice in your downtime. Make sure you say the words allowed so you cover all 4 areas of language learning (writing down the word, reading the word, speaking the word, and hearing yourself say the word).
  3. Find a language buddy. Organisations like Meetup Group often host monthly meetings or dinners where you will be able to practice your skills with other people.
  4. Set goals. When you set a tangible goal to learn 50 new words or practice one new phrase a day you will start building your vocabulary and your confidence. Make sure you are writing, speaking ,reading, and listening to these words or phrases.
  5. Use the language in your everyday life. The more exposure you have, the more comfortable you’ll be. You could switch your phone to the new language or labelling things in your home in the new language.


  1. Listen to podcasts. Podcasts are an easy and free way to increase your exposure to a language. They allow you to get used to listening to French words and also help you get exposure to ongoing lessons and new vocabulary.
  2. Listen to the radio or the news. It may feel overwhelming at first but it will help you get used to the speed and vocabulary of native speakers.
  3. Watch movies with subtitles. Not only will you get to watch your favourite movies, you’ll also be learning a new language.
  4. Read children’s books. It will help you with your reading skills and because the language is simpler it will help teach you the basics of a language like numbers, colours and basic vocabulary and questions.
  5. Practice speaking out loud to yourself. Even 5-10 minutes narrating what you’re doing will help practice speaking and putting together a sentence outlaid in real time.

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The hardest part about learning a language on your own is finding the motivation to get started and keep going. That is why finding a learning buddy to practice with and motivate each other can be really helpful. If you’re interested in getting a language tutor to help with this don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at

No matter how you go about learning a new language, the most important thing is to have fun and don’t worry about making mistakes. Language learning is about the process – enjoy it!