Friday, February 20, 2015

The Seven Secrets of Successful Language Learning: #1 Spend The Time

I find LingQ to be a great tool for learning Russian. I have no trouble spending time with the language because I enjoy it. I do all of what he says. I watch Russian movies on my Kindle Fire. I watch and listen to tons of Russian songs on YouTube. As you can see from my blog, I watch all kinds of videos that YouTubers have taken the time to teach others Russian. Every day I spend time at LingQ going through their podcasts and following along on my iPhone or home computer.

But, there is one thing about this video that I think is a little misleading about a foreign language learning. When Steve Kaufman mentions that we need to spend time with the language and that he isn't talking about drills, grammar and an annoying classroom environment. I think it is important to recognize LingQ is one tool where you can listen to podcasts in multiple languages and read the correct words at the same time. But LingQ isn't quite enough.

I don't mean this to be at all a negative review of LingQ. I've seen other videos Steve Kaufman has shared on YouTube where he shows a wall full of dictionaries, books and other language sources. Because of this I'm positive that he uses more than LingQ as just one of his tools to learn new languages. I might be wrong, but I also don't think that he totally forsakes learning grammar. I think he just means ... try to make the tasks fun and not a chore.

When it comes to practicing Russian on LingQ, there is a user named Evgeny (you'll definitely find those if you're studying Russian there) and he talk about patterns and sometimes name certain cases and other grammar features in Russian. I had no trouble looking for grammar information online and then applying it to what I'd been listening to at LingQ. When teaching myself languages online on my own, I haven't found studying sentence composition, pronunciation and grammar to be unpleasant.