How to Learn a Language

Learning a language can be a daunting process. Should you self-study? Take a course? Buy a software program? Hire a private tutor? What kinds of learning systems are available and which might be right for you? How about the myriad online resources available? And, very importantly, where should you begin? Oh, by the way, how long will all this effort take anyway? You will find the answers to these questions in this short but thorough guide to learning a foreign language.

Author Jeff Blum has taught English and studied four languages (Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese and Thai), but he still struggles just as anyone must when learning a language. Jeff did extensive research on all aspects of language learning in an effort to improve his own efforts and he has carefully curated that research into this guide to help you with your efforts as well.

This is no book of secrets or shortcuts. Learning a language is a commitment, but knowing about the various challenges, issues and approaches available will help. In the book you will find:

  1. A look at the systems and techniques advocated by various language learning experts and sites
  2. A consideration of personal factors in learning a language (motivation, personality, goals, etc.)
  3. A look at the 8 language learning blocks with recommended resources for tackling each
  4. An overview of the most popular language learning products on the market (Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur, etc.)
  5. A comprehensive set of resources to aid you with whatever approach to study you pursue
  6. An appendix listing every external link (more than 200) referenced in the main text

Whether you are young or old, beginner or advanced, studying your first foreign language or your fifth, there is something for you in this book. If you are a language teacher, this book might help you better understand what your students are up against while giving you ideas and extra resources to aid your teaching efforts.

External Links Found in the Book

As promised in the book’s appendix, here is a listing of all the external links found in the book.

  1. liseries.com
  2. Lengthy Travel
  3. Jana Fadness makes a good argument
  4. collection of language profiles
  5. Omniglot
  6. Greg Thomson’s growing participator approach
  7. Wendy Maxwell’s
  8. accelerative integrative methodology
  9. social interactionist theory
  10. theory of second language acquisition
  11. relational frame theory
  12. Language Hacking Guide
  13. Pimsleur
  14. Speed Learning Languages
  15. Rosetta Stone
  16. Fluenz
  17. Assimil
  18. How Long Does it Take to Learn a New Language?
  19. What? Me Worry About Language Learning?
  20. How to Learn Any Language in 3 Months
  21. novel written in Spanish for Spanish language students
  22. list of the most popular words
  23. How Many Words Do You Need to Know in Spanish (or any other foreign language)? And WHICH Words Should You Be Learning?
  24. spaced repetition system
  25. Anki
  26. spaced repetition
  27. Quizlet
  28. subtitles
  29. Learning With Texts (LWT)
  30. Benny’s LWT introduction video
  31. how to export the vocab from LWT to Anki
  32. Internet Polyglot
  33. PhraseBase
  34. Memrise
  35. LingQ
  36. Multi-Language Words Memorizer
  37. EasyWords
  38. Myths About Vocabulary Acquisition
  39. How to Learn a Language in 90 Days
  40. This great article
  41. 5 steps to learn a language in 3 months
  42. advice from Tim Ferriss to deconstruct the language
  43. Odeo
  44. podcasts page of So You Want to Learn a Language
  45. Open Culture
  46. The Podcast Directory
  47. spanishpod101.com
  48. One Minute Portuguese
  49. Coffee Break Spanish
  50. Show Time Spanish
  51. 50 Great Language Learning Podcasts
  52. video courses page
  53. TuneIn
  54. e-Reader like the Amazon Kindle
  55. The Polyglot Project
  56. Learning With Texts (LWT)
  57. Dual Clip
  58. Transmiti
  59. Assimil
  60. Byki
  61. 4 Considerations for Choosing a Great Book for Language Learning
  62. Chuala
  63. Livemocha
  64. Rhinospike
  65. Listen & Speak
  66. useful app
  67. Forvo
  68. EmbedPlus pronunciation dictionary
  69. Meetup
  70. CouchSurfing
  71. WAYN
  72. InterNations
  73. Conversation Exchange
  74. Benny’s review
  75. MyLanguageExchange.com
  76. My Happy Planet
  77. PhraseBase
  78. PolyGlot Club
  79. Polyspeaks
  80. SharedTalk
  81. The Mixxer
  82. The PenPals Network
  83. Verbling
  84. Benny’s review
  85. chatonic
  86. babelyou
  87. Lenguajero
  88. diacritics
  89. Livemocha
  90. Lang-8
  91. Tips for Choosing a Spanish School
  92. iTalki
  93. LingQ
  94. eduFire
  95. How to Resurrect Your High School Spanish… or Any Language
  96. Top 10 Language Courses
  97. Speed Learning Languages
  98. Rosetta Stone
  99. Rosetta Stone TOTALe
  100. part II
  101. part III
  102. detailed and honest look at latest version (TOTALe)
  103. the TOTALeTM compares to the previous versions of Rosetta Stone
  104. Fluenz
  105. some consider it a superior product
  106. comparison of Fluenz and Rosetta Stone
  107. Pimsleur
  108. good review of the Pimsleur method
  109. Michel Thomas
  110. Mango Languages
  111. Matador’s review of Mango Passport
  112. Babbel
  113. Assimil
  114. Byki
  115. DuoLingo
  116. one reviewer seems to find quite effective
  117. Word Lens
  118. article about learning Spanish
  119. The Most Effective Method for Learning a Language Alone
  120. Language Support category for Firefox addons
  121. Language & Translators category for Chrome extensions
  122. TripLingo
  123. Quick Locale
  124. Localized Apps
  125. DuoLingo
  126. Google Translate
  127. Education category on iTunes
  128. Android Market
  129. Skype Translate
  130. DualClip Translator: Use Hotkeys To Translate Foreign Language Text
  131. Translate Text From Any Application With Transmiti
  132. Audacity
  133. Google Translate
  134. WordReference
  135. Conjuga-me for Portuguese verbs
  136. 123 TeachMe for Spanish verbs
  137. Verbix
  138. Google Translate
  139. WordReference
  140. Lingro.com
  141. Rikai.com
  142. ALJ
  143. Jim Breen’s dictionary
  144. 50+ Dictionary & Reference Sites
  145. e-books
  146. video courses
  147. massive listing from Omniglot
  148. Word2Word
  149. BBC Languages
  150. MIT OpenCourseWare
  151. Open University
  152. Utah State University
  153. Carnegie Mellon University
  154. Omniglot
  155. StudyStream
  156. StudyStream introductory video
  157. 70+ Online Language Communities and Resources
  158. Busuu
  159. Lang-8
  160. LingQ
  161. LiveMocha
  162. Rhinospike
  163. Yookoso!
  164. jgram
  165. dado que
  166. Noche Oscura en Lima, Peru
  167. specific languages
  168. Nulu
  169. general resources page
  170. The Polyglot Project
  171. Abroadlanguages blog
  172. Adventures of the Directionally Challenged
  173. AJATT
  174. Babelhut
  175. Confessions of a language addict
  176. Create Your World Books
  177. Creativity & Languages
  178. Damian Gryski
  179. Fluent in 3 Months
  180. Foreign language acquisition
  181. Foreign Language Mastery
  182. Foreign Language Road Running Channel
  183. Get Fluent Fast
  184. Growing Participator
  185. How to Learn Any Language
  186. Keep Fluency
  187. Keith’s Voice on Extreme Language Learning
  188. Language 101
  189. Language and Mind Mastery
  190. Language Fixation
  191. Language learning advisor
  192. Language Learning Expertise
  193. Language Museum Blog
  194. Language Trainers Blog
  195. Leaky Grammar
  196. Learn a language
  197. Lingua Frankly
  198. Linguanaut
  199. LinguaTrek
  200. Look Out, Knock Head!
  201. Omniglot
  202. Polyglottally
  203. Spanish-Only
  204. Street-Smart Language Learning™
  205. Syzygy on Languages
  206. The Everyday Language Learner’s Ten Week Journey
  207. The Linguist on Language
  208. The Mezzofanti Guild
  209. The Road to Fluency
  210. The Yearlyglot
  211. Tower of confusion
  212. I Learned to Speak Four Languages in a Few Years: Here’s How
  213. Ways to Approach Language Learning
  214. David Bolton’s Language Learning Tips
  215. Language Learning and Technology
  216. You’re not studying, you’re just…
  217. Peace Corps Volunteer On-going Language Learning Manual
  218. New ways to learn a foreign language
  219. On the mortality of language learning methods
  220. Lessons learned from 50 years of theory and practice in government language teaching
  221. Leave me alone! Can’t you see I’m learning your language?
  222. Kick-starting Your Language Learning: Becoming a basic speaker through fun and games inside a secure nest
  223. Language Learning in the Real World for Non-beginners
  224. Building a Corpus of Comprehensible Text
  225. A Few Simple Ideas for New Language Learners…and old ones needing some new life

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