The founder of the blog Dedicated Polyglot has published an ebook in which she explains how using non-traditional methods of language learning can be more effective than textbooks and formal lessons.
Her book starts with the idea that learning a language is more about experiencing a country’s culture than simply learning grammar and sentence structure.
Most textbooks are a waste of time; it can take a lot of patience to wade through all the selections on the market. Classroom learning also gets the thumbs down because you only move as fast as the slowest learner. It can also be very expensive.
So what are language enthusiasts supposed to do? They can start by finding a language exchange partner through a website. It’s amazingly easy to do this and its an effective way for each party to improve their language ability. Plus, you may also gain a friend too. In my experience, keeping in touch through email or Skype has improved my fluency very well and has only been helped by careful use of google translate.
Most people give up on learning a language but if you experience an emotional response through another language this book argues that you will be more likely to persevere and stay the course.
One of Maria’s languages is Korean (and it just so happens that I am currently learning it myself) and she states that it has been through immersion in Korean media (cartoons and music) that she has managed to learn Korean. So called K-dramas, in particular, have enabled her to absorb much more korean. As she points out, once you have watched a few episodes of a particular drama, you will be familiar with some key vocabulary, since most of these shows emphasise strong feelings such as love and sadness.
It’s great that there are new perspectives on language learning. Through the blog and now this ebook I have realised my love of language learning, and particularly, learning Korean. Most surprisingly, it seems that learning a new language can actually cause a person to think differently. For example, when speaking English, Maria is more open-minded; whereas when she speaks Korean she feels more in tune with her emotions.
It’s a helpful book because it shows that there is more than one way to learn a new language. I’ll continue to learn Korean and I’ll continue to follow anything this language guru recommends in future.
Download Maria’s e-book from Amazon.
You can also read her blog at dedicated polyglot.com.