When I say learn Dutch in minutes, I don’t mean you can learn the language literally in a few minutes. I’m sure you know that I wasn’t implying that!
You can learn a language more effectively by spending minutes a day, every day studying as opposed to an hour or more or cramming loads of work in once or twice a week.
The aim of this blog is not to analyse the different methodologies relating to the study of any subject, but look at the methods that are available particularly for independent language learners.
As I stated in my post (How do you like to do it?) there has to be a reason to study a language if you want to have any level of success. If there is a defined purpose for your study then you are less likely to give up when you encounter difficulties.
This page then is about my study of Dutch. I love going to The Netherlands (to give the country its proper name) and so I thought why not learn the language!
Learning the language of any country to a good standard makes you feel less like a visitor, as increased proficiency makes for meaningful engagement with native speakers. It’s nice to be able to order “Een koffie met room voor mij en een glaasje wijn voor mijn vrouw, graag!”
But after you’ve got a buzz from spluttering out your first ever holiday phrase, you feel really flat because that’s where the conversation ends. “Why didn’t I push on when I got to coordinating conjunctions or the passive voice?”
This is the problem for independent learners of any subject not just languages. When you get stuck, where do you go for help! The problem with most books they encourage you to move on when you fully understand the chapter you are working on. That’s great if you fully understand it and can move on.
What if you don’t understand? How long do stay there working through the chapter again? I’m sure when we were kids growing up we didn’t understand everything that was said to us. But it didn’t stop our language development did it?
So why is it when we become adults and we have been through the education system, amassed large amounts of knowledge and had many life experiences, we suddenly become unable to do the first thing (along with walking) is the ability to learn a language?