Told you so, now Tim Ferriss is saying it, too: use material intended for natives that YOU find fun and interesting
Just a short post to share with you guys and an awesome video interview with Tim Ferriss courtesy of Benny over at Fluent in 3 Months. It’s 43 minutes long, entirely about language learning, and absolutely worth watching in its entirety, but the part I want you to see is right in the beginning (it starts at precisely 7:40 for those who want to skip straight to it) where Ferriss describes, after 6 months of failing to learn Japanese while living in Japan as a foreign exchange student, precisely what made the difference for him and allowed him to effectively learn how to speak, read, and understand the Japanese language: it’s what I’ve been saying over, and over, and over again for a couple of years now. It can basically be summed up thusly: use “native materials that were not intended to teach language in the first place” that you find fun and interesting. The part in quotes is verbatim how Ferriss described it in this video.
A quick side note: if you’re interested in teaching yourself Spanish…
I have a short post and video (that are free to read and view of course, won’t cost you more than a few minutes of your time) on how to do precisely that with the system that I put together which allowed me to become fluent in Spanish in just 6 months after years of trial-and-error by watching Spanish-language TV shows (like telenovelas, hence the name of the system) and movies, reading Spanish books and comics, and listening to Spanish music. If this sounds interesting to you, check it out by clicking the link below (the following link should open in a new tab or window for you when you click it so I’m not asking you to leave this article here):
I also include some quick and valuable tips for learning Spanish as well as a couple of the most useful free Spanish-learning websites that I recommend.
To be fair, and give credit where it’s due: Ferriss has been saying this longer than I have, hell there have been language teachers preaching this basic concept for hundreds of years now, and a lot of my inspiration for my method came from Ferriss.
That’s it. It’s that simple. Use those materials to learn the language, do whatever you have to in order to understand them and the rest will take care of itself (for the most part, you also need to start using what you’re learning with native speakers via things like language exchanges, but that can come later, this is the primary bit).
Here’s the video:
Be sure to head on over to the post on Benny’s blog about it where you can read the transcript and comments! I also highly recommend you read Ferriss’ post about this precise subject from several years ago called How to Learn Any Language in 3 Months.
A Quick Note Before We End…
I’ve got two posts that I’ve put up that I’m recommending everyone interested in learning Spanish go read if they haven’t already (if you have, ignore this, sorry): How to avoid wasting months learning Spanish the wrong way (basically this is my “how to get started right in learning Spanish” post for complete beginners) and The Telenovela Method where I cover how to use popular media like movies, music, and books to learn Spanish. Additionally you can check out the front page for a more complete list of my best and most popular posts.
Get my list of the internet's top 33 FREE Spanish-learning resources here!I put together a list of the internet’s Top 33 Free Spanish-learning resources, my favorite language exchanges and Spanish chat rooms, and more. I’ve spent a great deal of time putting together a 3-part series of articles for you on the internet’s best free resources for the Spanish-learner that you’ll get when you sign up for my newsletter–in addition to all of what you get below, I’ll be sure to send you any updates about cool new sites, resources, and learning tips and techniques that I come up with (I’m currently putting together a whole series that will teach you in great detail precisely how I go about learning a new language):
Part 1: A very long list of my favorite Top 33 free online Spanish-learning resources (tools, references, sites with free lessons, articles, blogs, forums, etc.) that’s far too long to include here, especially with all the other stuff I’ve got here that’s available just on this site alone, and I’d like to offer it to you (completely free, you don’t have to do anything other than sign up) right now.
Part 2: I explain what language exchanges are (essentially they allow you free access to an unlimited number of native speakers to practice your Spanish with), why they’re absolutely essential if you’re teaching yourself (I’m serious when I say this: it’s impossible to get fluent without them if you’re learning a foreign language on your own), how to use them, and which ones are the best.
Part 3: I cover chat rooms which are specifically devoted to connecting you with native Spanish speakers who want to learn English so you can chat with them in Spanish (and they’ll help and correct you) and then you do the same for them with their English (these are completely free to use, but rather hard to find, but I’ll tell you where the best ones are!). Sign up below!