|My own photo: taken in Paris in 2012 (Notre Dame)|
I had my high school leaver's assembly today, and do you know what?
I'm not sad.
Because I know I can get my education in other institutions, but more importantly I can get an education on my own.
Let me explain. I adore learning and knowing things that are relevant to my life. For example, I love learning about books, genres, authors, bookshops, and publishing houses. I learn about them because I want to. I've never been taught in school that some publishers have umbrella-term names and own multiple publishing companies, or that the first gothic vampire novel was not in fact Dracula but a book called Carmilla that was published 26 years beforehand. Its the little things about author's lives and the tropes of a genre that I love, or the characteristics of a good contemporary novel or how to properly build a character before writing them into your story. All of these things are very relevant to my life and my future, and I couldn't learn most of these things in school. My time is better spent learning individually.
The same can be very much said for learning languages. Languages are another thing that I love (you can see the trend - its anything to do with reading or writing) and the language that I have learnt for a number of years is French, but I am no where near fluent yet. Since my time at school has ended, there are other ways of self-teaching, but you have to be selective with your resources and very motivated. Which, considering I have just completed high school, I am certainly not in the motivated mind-frame right now.
But I have ways and means of learning by myself, and these include:
- textbooks with audio CDs
- literature in your chosen foreign language
- foreign film and television
- youtube videos
- books about the culture around your chosen foreign language
- foreign pen pals
- conversation classes
All of these combined are very important but I have to stress that you must be careful about which textbooks and what level of difficulty you start out with in terms of literature. The most frustrating thing in the world is starting out with too difficult of a book and getting nowhere with it because you don't understand half of the words and have to keep referring back to a dictionary.
I will make blog posts in the future about self-teaching languages, as I think that some people who love reading in their native language may find it enjoyable to learn a second or third language and be able to read their literature too, as translations are just not the same! There are many differences in translation depending on which two languages you are comparing and your native language will not translate directly to the original language.
I also want to give tips on which textbooks you can use and at what level, because I know quite a bit about learning languages and the steps are the same for all.
There is a blog post coming this Saturday about my first French book and learning resource haul, so keep an eye out for that! I have bought a couple of things that I wanted to show you and tell you how I am going to use them for effective self-teaching.
For reference, there will be a tag that you can click which will take you to all future posts about languages and self-teaching them, called self-teaching languages. I know. Original.
I thought it would be a nice addition to my blog because languages open up so many doors, and help you learn more about your native language in the process. You'll definitely see what I mean when I make more blog posts about it.
That's just a little update! Leave a comment if there is anything in particular that you would like me to focus on concerning learning languages.
NOTE: I'll also be going to France in a few weeks, so I will take lots of photos and buy some books and blog about my experiences!