Monday, December 7, 2015


Today as I was going over some of the language videos I have compiled on my phone, I thought about writing this to guide those people who are working on learning a foreign language.
(That phone I am using has no SIM card – it is solely used for watching or listening to video tutorials on different themes of interest e.g. languages and music.)

Here is a way that you go about making good use of videos on YouTube.
1. Work on just one language at a time
A time may mean three months, six months, or even a year.
This is important if you are taking on your first foreign language.
If you are interested in French and Spanish, work on French first for three-six months before giving that a rest and going on to Spanish.

2. Find a channel that you should exhaust before trying others
The many channels you have on YouTube offering different lessons can be confusing to you if you are jumping from one to the other.
It is the same way with using textbooks – try exhausting one first before getting to the other.
However, I must say too that if you are on Channel 1 and if you find that some concepts are better explained in Channel 2, then use those videos for those concepts in Channel 2 but still try to go through all the videos in Channel 1.
Here are suggested channels that you may start with for a few languages:
French: Learn French With Alexa (Polidoro)
Spanish: Butterfly Spanish (This is Mexican Spanish)
German: Easy German

3. Possible progress in topics
Here are possible topics that you will cover in each of those languages. They are common topics in most languages that you would like to learn:
Greeting words/phrases
Introducing yourself/others
The alphabet in that language
Counting in that language (numbers)
Main verbs (and their conjugation)
Main nouns and their gender
Present tense
Past Tense
Past Perfect Tense
Future Tense

4. How to work with videos
Watch one or two videos per week.
Mark out two hours on a particular day that you will go over the one/two videos (e.g. Friday or Saturday for working people).
Use an exercise book (or notebook) to note down all the words covered in the videos for the week.
Over the week, go over the video/videos once every day (if you can) – or once every other day – this should take 15 minutes or so.

5. Review and start another
In the next week, review work covered last week and take on another video and work on it in the same way – as described in 4.

6. Be consistent in effort
Most people never really master much before they are not consistent in their effort.
Be consistent with the two hours – and the additional hours every other day - to get the concepts to sink into your system.

7. You can visit other sites
Visit other websites and try to read stuff posted there in that language of your interest.
Alexa Polidoro, for one, has her website (Learn French With Alexa) where you can read other stuff as well as downloading other files, including audios.

8. Test yourself
After three months (or six months), try taking an online test in the language. Such tests are free and you will be graded as C1, C2, B1, B2, A1 and A2.
Those at the A level would have covered all the topics listed above (in 3).
If you are at C level, you are still at a the beginner‘s level.     

Like I said at the start, store files that you can download on your phone and while you are sitting and relaxing at home or in the office, review some of the lessons.
That is better than just going to a social network and talking about things that may not really help you, or your people. 

The most important exercise for a language student is to visit a country where that language you are studying is used.
In the Pacific we are privileged to have the three French territories of New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna and French Polynesia (Tahiti).
For Melanesians, you do not need a visa to visit New Caledonia. It is a Melanesian state.
Wallis and Futuna is one hour’s flight up from Suva, Fiji, so that too is not too far away.
French Polynesia is furthest from this side of the Pacific.
For a French student, it is worth visiting any of those states.

No comments:

Post a Comment