Too lazy to read? Watch the video here for a short summary.
My story of language learning
I have been trying and reading about countless different methods of language learning, absorbed hundreds of ideas of "how to become finally fluent" and have talked to countless people of how they learned their target language. The reality is this: There are hundreds of different methods out there: The mimic method, chunking, Michel Thomas' method, TPRS, just speak the language, learn a language with music, learn a language in the shower, learn a language on the toilet (ok, not sure if this exists yet, but I am sure that it will be invented soon). And the list goes on and on….
At some point I got so frustrated "digging" through all these methods and finding out "What's the best method?" and "What method would be best for my students?" that I decided to sit down and ask myself one simple question:
I currently speak 4 languages:
I learned all of these languages before knowing of any language learning methods. But it still worked.... so the question is: HOW?
The answer is very simple and is the foundation for the 3Plus1-Formula:
#1 First, I had the right Mindset. I learned English before living in the US as an exchange student, I learned Spanish before going to Mexico and I learned French before going to France. I had a clear goal. I wanted to learn these languages. I was motivated. Basically: I had the right mindset. Also, luckily, I was blessed with fantastic teachers for Spanish and French (English not so much). They made it so much easier for me to fall in love with the languages and to actually have fun learning.
#2 Second, I learned relevant content. What do I mean by this? Relevant are things you can actually apply. So I looked for relevant content. Not just any random content, but real-life dialogs. For each of the 3 languages, I bought a book with real-life dialogs and audio (back then we still had CDs). I sat down, went through the dialogs, kept pausing the audio and repeated after them. The key is here: RELEVANT content. In many textbooks they teach you the names of furniture before they teach you how to order food in a restaurant. Why?? Ordering food in a restaurant, asking for directions, asking about the price,... these dialogs are so much more relevant than what you often learn in German textbooks. The content was in dialog-form, just like in real-life. But that's enough about "relevant content". It also means that observing natives and basically "copying" them will help you to speak correctly. Translating literally in your head won't get you anywhere. Copying natives will eventually make you speak like a native.
#3 Third, I repeated the dialogs again and again: This one is key. Tony Robbins always says "Repetition is the mother of all skill" and I agree with him 100%. I would repeat those dialogs until they started to "grow out of my ears". Repetition doesn't have to mean that it is boring. No, repetition can happen in so many different and exciting ways. I will talk more about this in my free workshop.
+ Plus 1 And last but not least: There was a Reality Check: At the end of my learning I had a reality check. What does this mean? A reality check is something where you put into practice what you learned and whatever you wanted to accomplish. If your goal is to speak German, then the reality check is to speak to native Germans. What did that mean for me? I went to the country of each of my target languages. That was my reality check and it really was tough at times, but so worth it.
Does this mean you have to go to Germany? No, it does not. But you do need some kind of reality check at the end of your learning. Why? Because they keep us motivated, give us feedback and make us improve. And ultimately, they make our goal become reality.
So let's summarize the 3Plus1-Formula (or the 4 R's):
I am hosting a free workshop where I give you 9 free German dialogs and show you how you can put this Formula into practice today!
IMPORTANT: The Workshop starts on May 1, 2019.