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The pros of learning a language by yourself

Last time I discussed the cons of learning a language by yourself, now it’s time to turn to the pros. As already mentioned in the comments under the last post by my lovely readers (thank you!), learning on your own doesn’t necessarily mean learning without interaction with others.

On the contrary, feedback from and interaction with the native speakers of the language we learn is the very best thing that can happen to us. Of course it’s nice to have a professional teacher as an “interactor” but it’s not obligatory. Nowadays there are so many possibilities to get to know and in touch with people who speak our “target” language. We can chat, we can skype, we can write emails and naturally also meet them in person.

Hence this is the first advantage of learning on your own: it doesn’t have to mean learning alone and you can choose the people you want to interact freely. This “freely” brings me to the second, very important advantage of learning by yourself. You can also choose freely when you want to learn. Whereas with organized courses you always have to follow a preset schedule, when learning individually you can use every spare moment to revise, refresh and study. This of course reminds me of the problem of concentration again but as Brenda pointed out, you just need to find materials interesting enough for you to keep you focused for a while or two.

Learning on your own also means you don’t waste your time waiting until the teacher explains some stuff (you already understood) to other students or answers all their (often unnecessary and repetitive) questions. On the other hand, though, it means you will not feel stupid if you don’t follow something as fast as the others. Your tempo depends only on you, your level and your eagerness.

These seem to me to be the most important pros of learning a language by yourself. I hope to receive some valuable feedback in the comments again!


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  1. […] biggest disadvantage of this language learning method was already mentioned in the post about the pros of learning a language by yourself. To me it’s the pace of the course and that it usually has to meet the needs of the “weakest […]

    Posted by Miss-Verständnis | The cons of learning a language in a group (pros yet to come) | July 4, 2011, 1:57 pm


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