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.
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.