One common method of learning foreign languages is traditional courses. These are especially recommended for beginners. The course would include a textbook with notes on grammar, examples of dialogue and language exercises. Linguaphone is a great example.
Another method is an all-audio course. It may be in the medium of cassettes, CDs or podcasts. These have the benefit of exposing the student to authentic pronunciation and a reasonable amount of vocabulary. Popular examples are the Pimsleur course and Michel Thomas audio courses.
Computer aided courses are another option. These usually come on CD or DVDs or could be downloaded. The material may include:
Interactive exercises and tests contribute to student participation. Some courses may also include audio analysis programs which allow a student to record samples and provide feedback on the student’s pronunciation.
Other tools are recommended when studying a foreign language. Dictionaries are indispensable and are available in a few varieties. Bilingual dictionaries are recommended for beginners. Monolingual dictionaries are more suited for advanced students and native speakers. Other options are illustrated and electronic dictionaries.
Grammar books explain the structure and syntax of a language and provide usage information. This is especially useful for students who prefer to understand exactly how the grammar of their chosen foreign language works. Other learning styles may favor learning grammar by immersion and usage.
Phrase books may be very useful when traveling. In this case, pronunciation information is particularly important.
Flash cards are a great tool for memorizing vocabulary and grammar. These can be made on your own, with the instruction of a tutor or purchased for a specific language. Flash cards are most effective when used regularly.
Each method appeals to a different learning style. It is important to know which method matches your style. As you gain more experience learning a foreign language you will discover what is your learning style. A combination of different methods may work best for you.
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