Language Learning

3 Steps to Learn a Language and Master Fluency By Yourself

Last Updated on February 2, 2022 by Charmaine | The Canadian Wanderer

If you ever wanted to learn a new language, I recommend that you test the waters on your own before working with a teacher. Learning on your own has many benefits: you can set your own goals and track your progress of how you are doing; work on a schedule that fits you best, and it forces you to be more proactive and take greater initiative for your own learning.

Here are three easy steps on how you can learn a language on your own!

Step 1: Build Vocabulary with Babbel

Learning always begins with the self. For this reason, I recommend taking the initiative to learn on your own using online language software before reaching out to others to help you. The first time I tried to learn French via online, I used Babbel and I loved it! That was in 2012 and today, it has grown to many other languages! Today, you can learn English, French, Spanish, German, Turkish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Indonesian, Dutch, Polish and even Russian on the site.

I love their site because it is very interactive and makes learning more interesting! They don’t make you learn a lot of information at once. Instead, it breaks it down in chapters and introduces only a few vocabularies each time. Then, it tests your memory using multiple choice and fill-in-the-blanks. Finally, it ends off with a listening comprehension, where you learn how the words are now used in the context of a real conversation. It really is an all-in-one interactive package that makes learning fun!

Try for FREE for ONE MONTH here and start learning!

Step 2: Learn to Speak with Lingoda

Once you have learnt some vocabulary, it is time to work with a teacher to perfect your pronunciation and improve your fluency. I suggest using Lingoda for this step. Lingoda is an online platform where you can work with native teachers around the world, anytime you want! It is a website that runs 24/7 and you can choose your lesson and what time you wish to take it. Each lesson focuses on one of the four competencies: Speaking, Listening, Reading or Writing. The curriculum follows the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), and you can get a certificate at the end of each level.

You can choose between having a group (up to 5 students) or private classes. Even though group lessons are said to have up to 5 students, sometimes there is only one or two, and sometimes, none other than yourself. This means you can have a private class for the same price if no one books that lesson. I really liked that flexibility and find both to be advantageous. If it has one or two other students in the class, we can share ideas together for the discussion. If it is only me, the teacher can focus on helping my pronunciation and cater the class to me.

With Lingoda, I have also taken the Language Marathon where you are required to take a number of lessons during a certain period. If you complete it successfully and followed all the rules, you get part of the tuition rebated. I took the half marathon, where I took 15 lessons per month for three months. I got used to taking lessons, almost every day after work, and it helped me to become confident in my French skills. If anyone wants to learn a language quickly, I highly recommend Lingoda, as it allowed me to be exposed to different teachers and teaching styles.

Get a 7-day trial and learn now!

Step 3: Practice Speaking with a Language Partner

notes macbook study conference
Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

Once you have started to understand the language more, it is time to find someone to practice with you! This is really key because you need to practice your new knowledge and to not forget what you had just learned. Personally, this is my favourite part because I like meeting and helping people, so this is killing two birds with one stone.

In my How to Make Friends Abroad post, I already mentioned that language exchange is a great way to learn from locals. Since you are also teaching someone your native tongue in exchange to practice theirs, it’s a win-win situation and you both learn something for free! For many years, I have used Conversation Exchange to help me find a language partner when I am in a new city. They have a ‘country’ option where you can scout for someone who is located where you currently reside in. However, if you prefer an online conversation, they can also do that too!

It is important that both partners have an equal time to speak and to get to practice their targeted language. I generally like to have one language in 20-30 minutes and then switch to the other language afterwards. During this time, the partner listens, converse and try to point out any advice to improve their speaking skills.

Language Learning using Mobile Apps

Learning a language is not easy. You have to be patient and persistent, but in the end, mastering a language is the best feeling in the world. Good luck and have fun language learning!

* This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you decide to enrol in the program, I’ll receive a small commission that goes toward supporting the website. However, all opinions are my own, and I thank you for your support. 

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39 Comments

  1. This is helpful. I love learning languages and new tips are always welcome. I should try to find a language partner!

    1. Absolutely! It’s also a great way to meet people and to have a conversation starter!

  2. So helpful!! I wish I had this when I moved to Sourh Korea. I had a language partner and it was really helpful. Great tips that have worked for me in the past. Thanks!!

    1. I’m glad you can relate. 🙂

  3. Having someone to practice with is so vital. I make my boyfriend learn languages before we go traveling so we can practice together!

    1. That’s such a great idea! It is so motivating that way!

  4. I love learning other languages! I used to be fluent in Spanish but I’ve lost it so I’m currently in the process of relearning it 🙂 I also started teaching myself Norwegian too, just for fun lol

    1. It’s the worst to lose a language. They say if you don’t use it, you lose it! I truly believe that. It’s always fun to challenge yourself with a new language and to see the accomplishments!

  5. I went to Romania last summer and picked up quite a lot! I was so dedicated to keep up with learning the language when I got home… but I got very sidetracked ha. Some great tips here. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It’s so easy to get sidetracked – I know what that feels like! It’s nice to know though what techniques worked for you! 🙂

  6. I would love to learn a new language! I know bits and pieces of Italian but definitely need a little more to communicate. Duolingo is a cool app for learning another language:)

    1. Yes! I used duolingo before and I do think it is quite good, but I prefered using babbel. I think it provided a bit more with conversation examples. It does take a lot of effort to become fluent so good luck!

  7. Charmaine,

    What about getting a boyfriend that speaks the language? 🙂 Believe me, you will be fluent in no time!! hahaha

    The best tip I would give is to always think, when planning something, in that foreign language and of course make sure you surround yourselves with the natives.

    How many languages do you speak?

    Telma @ Blank Canvas Voyage

    1. Hi Telma! Unfortunately, with that boyfriend teaching method, never really works out for me! My boyfriend loves English so it’s easy for me to express myself but we do practice speaking Cantonese together because we are in Hong Kong. I speak mainly English and Cantonese with some French and Mandarin. Still needing more work though! 🙂

  8. I love the idea of a language partner! It reminds me of Eat Pray Love 🙂 I don’t get to travel much yet, do you know if there is a site or ap that introduces you to language partners without having to meet face to face? Does Conversation Exchange “allow” that or do all of the people on there expect to meet each other?

    1. Hi Kelly! Yes, conversation exchange has options if you choose to use Skype. You can also find someone who lives in your area who is a native of another language that you wish to learn (that is possible too!) There is a bunch of apps that does it also. I was going to write another post about apps I’ve used and recommend. A few months ago, I used Tandem app on my Android and I will recommend it!

  9. I really should make the time to learn another language. Thanks for giving me the tools to know where to start.

    1. No problem! I hope that is interesting for you and helpful if you choose to do it!

  10. This is super helpful! Babbel is another online tool I’ve used. It’s great because you can take the app on the go with you, so you can listen to it in the car, work, or wherever!

    1. I’m so glad you used it and that you agree! I love how they have an app – makes it more convenient!

  11. laceedoeslife says:

    These are great tips for learning a new language. I need to do this one day!

    1. You should try it! Let me know if you need support along the way!

  12. I also share your Babbel love! I like that it’s much more in depth and methodical than DuoLingo. I feel like I don’t learn anything when I do DuoLingo, but Babbel really helps me grow.

    1. That’s so great to hear! I’m glad it helped you also! What language(s) were you learning? : D

  13. Very helpful. I am living in a french speaking country and even though I learned french in school it has been a long time since I’ve spoken it. I try my best to practice but I still struggle a lot with it.

    1. I’ve also struggled so many years in French and so living there was so difficult! I hear your pain!

  14. Some great tips here. I’m always up for learning new languages, and yes, having a learning partner where you can converse with is awesome. You learn the language so much faster when you can converse with someone in that language.

    1. Glad you agree 🙂

  15. Thank you for sharing tips! I’ve been meaning to learn another language. So many programs but I’ll try the one you suggested 🙂

    1. Let me know how it goes and if there is anything I can do to help!

  16. […] my last post on how to learn a language by yourself, I talked about a few methods that have helped me progress in my languages skills. This post is a […]

  17. Great post! I agree that practice is key once you’re familiar with the general sentence structure and have at least some vocabulary to use. I remembered when I was just starting out with Spanish 4 years ago, I signed up for an language exchange program even before I got any formal lesson. It really sped up the learning process. 🙂

    1. I really do think it helped me also! When I used to do academic programs, it was too passive, but when I had someone to speak to and can send messages to, it helped me a lot!

  18. awesome tips! it can be tough to commit to learning a language so this is helpful!

    1. glad that’s helpful! 🙂

  19. […] How to Learn a Language By Yourself […]

  20. Shreya shukla says:

    Nice. Plz suggest me other web site to learn different languages and app for find partner for practice.

    1. Hi yes you can! If you want a conversation partner, try Conversation Exchange (website) or HelloTalk (app). I also used Babbel (paid) to learn in the past.

  21. Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely feel this amazing site needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the advice!

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