VeggieBoards banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
841 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you who have achieved fluency in another language, how did you do it?

As for my situation, I'm new in Holland, and would like to learn Dutch as quickly as I can. It's a blessing and a curse that many people here speak English fluently, to the point where if I ask a simple question using Dutch then I'm often I'm answered in English. So between that and the fact that there's a lot of English on the radio, I've completely ruled out the immersion method as a way to learn Dutch. I was using livemocha.com for a few weeks, and while it was good for expanding my vocabulary, I found it to be not so good for helping me to get the grammar, verb conjugations, etc down. And my Dutch boyfriend also noticed some grammar errors when we looked over the website together. It's not a life or death situation for me to learn Dutch quickly, as I still have a good social life here and getting a job where I can use English once I have my work permit is doable though not as easy as if I was fluent in both languages, but I'd still like to learn it as quickly as possible. Last but not least, language classes here are expensive, but once my residence permit is approved (should be early next year), then the government will help me pay for the classes.

So basically, looking for good cheap or free ways to improve my Dutch untill my classes are subsidized. Ideally, I'd like to be able to say that I'm fluent this time in 2 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,693 Posts
I am a foreign language fanatic


Here's a few basic tips.

-Keep individual aspects of language in mind, and be sure to hit them all regularly. Listening comprehension, thinking, responding, reading, writing...

-Study daily, no exceptions. 15 min per day is better than 2 hours every other day.

-Review often. Nothing ever goes in the "permanently learned" bin.

-Learn in complete sentences. Individual vocabulary words are useful for passing tests in college, but not for communicating.

-Flash cards in target language only. For example: "How many legs does a dog have?" on one side, "A dog has four legs." on the other, again in target language on both sides, and with complete sentences only. You will begin to learn the subtle aspects of grammar without even thinking about it.

-Talk to very young children frequently. They're learning too, and speak with simple language.

-Don't rely too much on language learning material. Even at very early stages, don't be afraid to pick up a newspaper or middle school history book and have a go at it, even if it takes half an hour with a dictionary to get through a sentence.

-Be extremely persistent. If you don't forget the stuff you already learned, and learn something new every day, you will quickly make progress.

-Audio books are awesome.

-MP3 players are also awesome, and so is randomize. Any material you add to it should be randomized, otherwise you're studying the sequence as much as the material itself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,693 Posts
Oh and record yourself talking every now and then. As you practice listening, you will begin to pick up on your own flaws that other people will be to polite to tell you about. Even the ones who promise to tell you when you make a mistake, in practice, usually won't, sometimes even teachers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
642 Posts
This may sound silly, but back when I was taking Japanese, my teacher told us that when she first came to the United States and was learning English she watched a ton of soap opera type shows. She told us that it really helped her get things down because people on those shows tend to speak slowly and clearly and end up repeating themselves often.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
I speak 4 languages. The most important thing is to practice and use what you've learned, especially speaking and listening, which I find is the easiest to lose if you don't use it. Grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary just require study and of course practice. After you've learned the basics, try to think in the new language, instead of thinking of a sentence in English, and then trying to translate it to Dutch.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
841 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the tips, and it's been a mission so far in the beginning, although for the most part I'm able to do a simple grocery shopping trip now without using English, so not bad for 2 months. As of right now, I'm thinking the best way is probably to find some good new self-study material that covers both grammar and vocabulary instead of just vocabulary, as well as to practice speaking while getting my boyfriend to correct me if I'm doing it wrong, and then holding out untill I have my residence permit and the government here is subsidizing my language classes. Plus trying to read the news online in Dutch has been awesome for helping me practice, and while it does get intimidating, that's something that I do need to force myself to do more.

I actually have used the thinking in Spanish strategy while learning that language, which seemed to work very well for me!
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top