Learning a new language is always an excellent choice for various reasons. It is fun, challenging, and brings a unique perspective to your thinking and dreams as it gives a portal into another world.
According to various research, it can sharpen memory and improve cognitive thinking and communication skills. You can also make a career requiring languages.
It can form a good impression on others, making the learner intelligent and appealing.
But studying a new tongue is often considered daunting, especially if you try to do it on your own. It can be an overwhelming and intimidating task.
Is it possible to learn independently? How hard or easy is it to do by yourself? And how to learn a language alone? Let’s find out all in this article!
Table of Contents
- Ways and difficulties of learning a new language
- Is it possible to learn a language by yourself?
- Benefits of learning a language on your own
- Drawbacks of learning a language on your own
- How to learn a language on your own?
- 1. Set your strategy right
- 2. Jump right in!
- 3. Learn the language as it is spoken in the real world
- 4. Don’t Overburden Your Mind
- 5. Try to speak the other language
- 6. Examine what you’ve learned in depth
- 7. Also, be consistent
- 8. Make Use Of Resources And Social Media
- 9. Take a few short notes
- 10. Listen to audio lessons in the target language
- 11. Keep translation software on hand
- Wrapping Up on Language Learning by Yourself
Ways and difficulties of learning a new language
A language in itself is not hard.
Instead, the ease or difficulty of the language is more determined by different factors. For instance, your mother tongue, learning style, motivation, dedication, etc.
Of course, some languages are naturally more complex than others. That being said, a new language can be tricky.
The effort needed to move across linguistically complicated structures makes language studies challenging.
Likewise, learning to think in a distinct language is equally demanding. But, above all, it takes time and commitment. But, despite that, one thing for sure is that it is not impossible.
With the right encouragement and guidance, you can master the basics and maybe even go the extra mile and reach total fluency based on what your passion calls for.
There are many methods to learn a new language.
E.g., you could make new friends who speak your target language. You can also watch a movie or TV series in that language, read books, travel to the country, and use the best language-learning apps.
Or go the traditional way and enroll in language classes. And, of course, you can learn on your own.
Is it possible to learn a language by yourself?
Unlike in the past, learning a new language on your own is workable. You don’t have to go to a physical classroom to study nowadays. Instead, you can take entire courses from the comfort of your home.
In short, you can pick between online and offline language learning.
Yes, it is possible to learn a language independent of a teacher. With the right resources and motivation, self-learning can be an effective way to acquire a new language.
But, it can also be complex and demands discipline, persistence, and a structured approach.
In all this, if you do not feel like going and paying a tutor to teach you a new language. And then, sitting through hours and hours of classes, you can always learn a new language all by yourself. Yes!
That is possible. How?
You ask, well, the answers lie in the below. So read on and discover your inner self-learner. But before that, specific pros and cons to the process.
Benefits of learning a language on your own
Learning a language on your own can have several benefits. This includes but is not limited to.
1. You can set your own pace
Learning the language on your own will allow you to change your schedule and pace to your heart’s content. You are both a teacher and a student in your own right.
This allows you to adapt your learning to your lifestyle and other duties, such as work or family obligations.
If you need more time to understand a particular concept or topic, you can take as much time as you need. You can do it without feeling rushed or falling behind a class schedule.
If you find any topic easy, you can move quickly and skip ahead. Finally, the ability to customize your learning experience according to your own schedule. Thus, speed can make the entire process more pleasant and effective.
2. Financial investment of the bare minimum – cost-effective
Learning a language alone is cost-effective, as you don’t have to pay for classes or a tutor.
Many free or low-cost online resources are available. For example, you can learn a language through podcasts, apps, books, videos, and websites.
You will use free resources or pay for services that are small compared to other alternatives. E.g., if you try to study via printed sources, you may need to invest in textbooks. But the overall cost is affordable.
3. There are a lot of learning resources
The internet has enabled people to access a wide range of language-learning materials, software, and tools anywhere in the world. This means learners have more options than ever to find the resources that best suit their learning style and goals.
Several excellent textbooks, specialist websites, podcasts, audio lessons, videos, online simulators, apps, YouTube, blogs, and self-study resources are available.
You can explore some of the paid and free language-learning apps. So you’ll have plenty of choices for choosing your educational route.
Yet, with so many resources available, choosing the most effective and appropriate for your level and learning needs is paramount.
4. Pursue your passions while learning
There are no restrictions on how you study languages.
You may watch a TV show or movie in that language, listen to podcasts, or even follow the local bands and listen to music. You can also read in the language, join online communities, and travel to immerse yourself.
Incorporating your passions and interests into your language-learning journey can make learning more enjoyable and engaging. It can also motivate you to continue learning and improving your language skills.
5. There won’t be any sharp criticism
While learning a language through self-study, you may not face sharp criticism from teachers or classmates. This can be a positive aspect for some learners.
A self-guided strategy is suitable if you have gained a chronic aversion to school criticism and the thoughtful ways a tutor would point out your mistakes.
You can be free of the fear of judgment and freely practice speaking your target language.
This can create a more comfortable learning environment where you can make mistakes without fearing being judged or criticized. This can be especially beneficial for online language learners who are shy or need more confidence in speaking a new language.
You can personalize your language learning experience to focus on the areas that you find most interesting or valuable.
For example, if you plan to visit France, you can focus on learning French and vocabulary specific to that region.
7. Personal growth
Learning a language alone can be a rewarding experience promoting personal growth and self-discipline. While it can be challenging, overcoming obstacles and making progress can help you build self-confidence and resilience.
It requires dedication, perseverance, and the ability to overcome challenges, which can help you develop valuable skills for other areas of your life.
Overall, language learning by yourself can offer various personal growth opportunities, from increased cultural awareness to enhance problem-solving skills and self-confidence.
Drawbacks of learning a language on your own
While learning a language on your own can have many advantages, it also has some potential drawbacks. This includes:
1. A lack of self-control
Because of a lack of setups and guidance, learning on your own can be challenging if you don’t have a structured plan or clear goals.
Knowing which materials to use or topics to focus on can be tricky without guidance from a teacher or language expert. Only a few people can muster the motivation to exercise often.
You will not see any concrete results if you learn languages on excursions – every few months for nearly 5 hours in a row. This must be done at least twice a week for one hour.
2. A lack of command – limited feedback
Language learning involves trial and error; knowing if you are progressing can be challenging without teacher or language expert feedback.
No one will correct you if you make a reading, writing, or speech mistake. You will need to learn how to use words properly or explain grammar to you. Anarchy reigns supreme when there is no control.
Regular feedback can make it easier to identify areas where you need improvement or to know if you are making mistakes that could hold you back.
3. Difficulty in selecting appropriate resources
One potential drawback of learning a language alone is difficulty selecting appropriate resources.
With so many language learning resources available, finding your way around a massive amount of information is challenging, which will be most effective for your learning style and goals.
It needs to be explained how to ensure their quality and arrange work on them: where to begin, what to pay more attention to and what to pay less attention to, and so on. In the brain, the dilemma of choice causes information chaos.
4. There is a lack of a training program
It isn’t easy to effectively organize the educational process without pedagogical instruction.
It is preferable to commit this to a trained instructor who will develop a program based on your level, the purpose of learning English, and previous student success.
Learning independently requires self-discipline and motivation, which can be challenging for many. Without the external explanation a teacher or classmates provides, losing focus or becoming demotivated can be easy.
5. A scarcity of competitors
No spirit of healthy rivalry encourages you to accomplish more without a teacher or peers.
When learning a language independently, one potential drawback is that you may need more competitors or peers to challenge and motivate you.
Comparing your progress and skills to others can make it easier to know if you are making adequate progress or need to focus on specific areas to improve.
In a classroom or group setting, you can interact with other learners, practice your skills in conversations and activities, and receive feedback from teachers and peers.
This can be a more dynamic and challenging learning environment to help you quickly improve your language skills.
6. Limited access to cultural immersion
Language learning is not just about gaining linguistic skills; it also involves learning about the culture and customs associated with the language.
It can only be easy to fully understand and appreciate the language and culture with access to cultural immersion experiences. E.g., living in a country where the language is spoken or participating in cultural events.
In a classroom or group setting, language learners can often participate in cultural activities, attend events, and interact with native speakers.
These experiences can provide valuable insights into the language and culture and opportunities to practice language skills in real-world situations.
7. Communication void
There is a limited chance for conversation practice. Language studies involve more than memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules; it also requires training in speaking and listening.
If you are learning on your own, you may have limited opportunities to practice speaking with native speakers or receive feedback on your pronunciation and speaking skills.
You won’t have regular speaking practice if you don’t have somebody to talk to. The words you’ve learned will remain passive — you’ll know them if you see them. Still, you’re unlikely to use them in a foreign-language discussion.
You will also make grammar and phonetics mistakes because learning a language without speaking is pointless.
How to learn a language on your own?
An increasing number of successful free language learning apps—for example, Memrise, Rosetta Stone, Memrise, Pimsleur, Babbel, Lingopie, Busuu, or Duolingo — make learning a language at home simple and comfortable.
You don’t need to sign up for classes somewhere; you can complete courses from home.
Some languages, however, are fundamentally more difficult than others. So expect to wait a long time for results.
Fluency requires a lot of patience, effort, and repetition. According to experts, even the simplest languages to learn if you’re a natural English speaker—Spanish and French—take 24 to 30 weeks.
More difficult languages, such as Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese, might take up to 88 weeks to master.
1. Set your strategy right
Every learner has different incentives. Thus, tailoring your technique to meet your needs is critical. For example, start with the essential phrases to catch up on your Spanish to prepare for a vacation.
Suppose you’re preparing to meet your German girlfriend’s parents, on the other hand. In that case, practice introducing yourself and using niceties.
You may also jump to our classes on getting to know the family (since we have courses on nearly every subject you can think of).
2. Jump right in!
Please don’t give it too much thought. Download a free app if you’re just getting started. If you’re committed to it, you can always upgrade.
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed when you begin learning something new, especially a language.
Remember that although you won’t grasp everything immediately, your brain gains languages. So continue to give it a chance, and you’ll be able to crack the code quickly.
3. Learn the language as it is spoken in the real world
This is, undoubtedly, one of the most challenging components of learning a language independently.
While it is necessary to master a language’s vocabulary, you will not understand how speakers genuinely sound.
As a result, boost your studies by hearing native speakers and practicing the sounds.
Podcasts are a terrific way to get more learning done in a short amount of time. The same can be said about viewing television and movies (without subtitles in English!).
But what about correctly practicing the language’s sounds? This one is a little more difficult.
Apps can assist with such speaking patterns.
For example, listen to native speakers and practice the sounds to supplement your learning.
Repetition tasks in specific applications encourage this. The study can also be augmented by listening to podcasts and viewing TV and films.
4. Don’t Overburden Your Mind
When you’re in the middle of a study session, it’s easy to get carried away and do multiple foreign language classes in a row.
You should study for two hours daily since that is how you do at college. But unfortunately, this kind of “binge learning” is ineffective.
The secret to success is to slow down your learning so that you can correctly commit terminology to your long-term memory. Studying for 15 to 30 minutes daily is an effective way to improve your conversational skills.
Consider taking courses on a particular topic. Are you tired of taking public transportation? Take a look at some of the basics for an Italian vacation.
Are you stuck in the world’s longest grocery line? Then, it’s time for an array of Spanish idioms. You can select where and when you learn and retain more information.
5. Try to speak the other language
If you ask me about the best approach to learning a new language, I advise you to begin speaking it as soon as possible.
Start speaking the language, regardless of grammatical errors, unfinished sentences, missing articles, or an unattractive accent. Don’t feel ashamed that you don’t speak the other language.
If no one can listen, record an audio message and play it for your language partner later. You’re well on your way to learning a language after you’ve conquered your aversion to speaking it.
But, of course, you can’t be bashful if you want to learn a language rapidly.
Draw those shameful curtains. Otherwise, you’d never learn. Even after finishing a Spanish language course, you may not be able to speak Spanish because you are nervous to say much more than a few phrases!
To learn a language quickly, you must overcome the fear of speaking wrong and put aside the shame. People can tell you don’t understand their language even if you don’t talk. So, what are you apprehensive about?
6. Examine what you’ve learned in depth
Evaluating what you’ve learned might be a pain compared to learning new things.
Suppose you want to master a language and not just memorize some fancy lines. Then, you’ll need to review what you’ve already learned.
For example, you can focus on specific grammar or vocabulary topics that you find challenging or exciting. Also, you can read books or articles that interest you and use them to practice reading and comprehension skills.
You can see and use flicks or TV shows to practice your listening and comprehension skills. You can even write your own stories or essays in the language to practice your writing skills.
7. Also, be consistent
Consistency is a critical factor in successful language learning if you are doing it through self-study.
When learning for yourself, skipping days or taking extended breaks can be tempting, but doing so can make it more challenging to maintain momentum and progress in your learning.
It’s critical to practice often, with no more than a couple of days between courses, for language acquisition to persist.
For example, exercise at least 30 minutes four to five days a week. Set a reminder for the same time each day if it would help.
8. Make Use Of Resources And Social Media
You could use language challenges on YouTube and pop-quiz Instagram stories or magazines and motivating Facebook posts to help you in your language journey.
It’s worthwhile to surround yourself with inspiring material and like-minded learners.
If you’re learning a language solo, you must build your own support network, but we know you can. So go ahead and comprehend that language!
9. Take a few short notes
One tried-and-true language learning strategy is writing in the target language.
Taking brief notes can help you stay engaged with the language and progress faster. Plus, embracing and learning from mistakes is integral to the process and can help you build confidence and fluency.
Make a list of numbers. Then, you will never forget the words you put down once you write in the target language. After that, you can write anything requiring more focus, revision, and practice.
10. Listen to audio lessons in the target language
Listening to audio lectures in the target language can be a helpful way to enhance your listening and comprehension skills and overall proficiency in the language.
Audio lessons can be beneficial for those who are learning on their own, as they offer a structured and interactive way to practice the language.
Almost all languages offer internet podcasts you may subscribe to and listen to indefinitely. The podcasts comprise audio courses, discussions, and advice.
I’m considering buying this Spanish one simply for the heck of it. Listening to someone speak to us might be more powerful than reading our words.
11. Keep translation software on hand
Google, Bing Translate, and Spanish Dict were like those last-minute phone calls you make at home when making Japanese soba noodles.
For example, you can’t remember whether to put cream before or after the tomatoes.
When guiding a cab, shopping, or having a discussion, translation apps come in helpful. If you have some spare time, you may use the apps to learn new terms by translating anything that comes to mind.
Although translation apps aren’t flawless, they help learn the essential aspects of a new language.
Wrapping Up on Language Learning by Yourself
Studying a new language can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. With the help of technology, the right resources, and practical methods, anyone can learn a foreign language and reap the advantages that come with it.
Learning on your own is definitely possible. But it requires discipline, dedication, and a willingness to put in the time and effort.
One of the most compelling ways to learn a language on your own is through immersion. This involves surrounding yourself with the language as much as possible, whether through reading, listening, or speaking.
For example, watching movies, listening to music, and reading books in the target language are all effective ways to immerse yourself.
Another valuable tool for learning a language on your own is language learning apps. Many apps cater to various learning styles and levels, making finding one that suits your needs easy.
These apps offer features such as interactive exercises, bit-sized lessons, quizzes, and games. This makes the learning process more engaging.
Besides apps, many language-learning websites and online courses are available. These resources often offer structured tasks, exercises, and possibilities to practice speaking with other learners or native speakers.
Of course, learning a language on your own does have its challenges.
For example, knowing whether you are progressing or making mistakes can be easier with a teacher or tutor.
It also needs more discipline and consistency. Plus, it does not have competition and peer pressure to perform.
But there are ways to overcome this, such as using language exchange websites to practice speaking with native speakers or finding a language partner.
There you go. This is a beginner’s guide to learning a new language without signing up for those expensive and time-consuming language centers or classes.
Go ahead and master any new language of your choice from your home.