A question I get quite a lot is "Can I really learn a language properly without going to formal classes?". And it is a fair question. Traditional thinking would suggest that in order to learn something like a language, you must go to school-like classes. And before the internet became so wide spread, I would have agreed to a certain extent. These days though, you can learn a language just using your computer and a little nouse.
One thing that has improved is the amount of high quality books and audio products that are available these days. Wander into any bookstore and you will be amazed with the amount and quality of what's available. As far as books goes, I really only recommend a dictionary and perhaps a phrase book. They are tools that complement other things, I don't really think learning 100% from a book is that effective.
What I do think is very effective is using the combination of software and audio programs. Not only do you learn what you would learn in a book, but you actually get to experience the language. Hearing and speaking the language you are learning is so much more effective than just reading it in a book and imagining it in your head. And in recent times, the quality has just risen and risen. There are some that are definitely better than others (You can see the best ones at my site) and products for all budgets. For a full review of what I think are the best 3 products, you'll have to visit my site.
Something else thats able to take your language learning to the next level is Myspace. In the "olden days", people would often grab a penpal from overseas and send letters back and forth. But this wasn't very effective for learning a new language. These days, with the invention of the internet and the rise of Myspace, meeting native speakers for language learning is a real possibility. All you need to do is create your own profile in Myspace, which is free, then look for speakers of your language of choice that also speak English. And considering there are over 100 million users worldwide, it is not hard to do this at all. It's just a matter of sending a message to possible partners and within days I guarantee you will have more than enough people willing to help you out. And this isn't a one way street. You can also help them improve their English, which is great fun as well.
While I may be a bit biased here, I also think that content based internet sites can be very beneficial. It's not just my site either, there are tons of high quality sites out there, offering you all sorts of learning benefits. These sites are especially helpful if you don't have the funds to purchase one of the software/audio products. Most of the time, they really can get you through.
So, next time someone asks me if they really need to go to classes to learn a language, instead of listing all the reasons why not, I'm simply going to send them this article.
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Anthony Dwyer believes that everyone, regardless of financial status, deserves to be able to learn Spanish. Which is why he created JiffySpanish.com, a free site that allows you to Learn Spanish Online
Article By: Anthony Dwyer