The Linguist / To Self

The Secret to Learning a Foreign Language as an Adult

I previously wrote on the importance of learning another language. It’s a known fact, however, that we learn better as children because our brains are better wired for learning at a younger age. But fellow adults, have no fear – learning a foreign language can be easy as ein, zwei, drei even at a mature stage in your life. The following article was written by David Bailey, CEO of Spotnight, on Quora, published by TIME Magazine, and reblogged here for your enjoyment.

TIME

Answer by David Bailey, CEO of Spotnight, on Quora.

I’ve learned several foreign languages as an adult. I was able to learn French to conversation fluency in 17 days using the following techniques. Note that I had previously learned Spanish to fluency so this was not my first foreign language.

In summer of 2005 I stayed with a French friend in a tiny village in the Beaujolais region of France. No one in the village spoke English and, since my friend knew I had an ambitious learning goal, she refused to speak to me in English as well.

I set up a routine where I did the same things every day.

In the mornings, I woke up and wrote out longhand the regular and irregular verb tables for 1.5-2 hours. I managed to get through an entire pad of paper in two weeks. I still believe that writing…

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