Fluent in 3 Months
The Best Way to Learn a Language: What the Science Says
by KATIE HARRIS
“What’s the best way to learn a language?” “What’s the quickest way to learn new words?” “How can I sound like a native speaker?” “Do I really have to study grammar?”
Language hackers ask themselves these kinds of questions all the time.
We all want to use effective study methods so we can learn a language quickly and speak it well.
How can we know if we’re spending our time on the right things?
Everywhere you turn, language teachers are using different methods and giving conflicting advice. Some learn vocabulary by memorising word lists, others absorb it naturally by reading. Some concentrate on the sounds first, others prefer to improve their pronunciation as they go along. Some swear by grammar drills, others never open a textbook.
Fortunately, language learners aren’t the only ones who’ve been puzzling over these questions. Linguists, the people who study the science of language, have spent decades observing how people learn languages. And while they don’t have all the answers yet, they have discovered a lot of cool stuff about what works and what doesn’t.
So let’s take a look at some of the most common questions in language learning, what science has to say about them. We’ll also look at the strategies science provides that can help us become better language learners.