Learning a foreign language can be an exciting journey that keeps you enthused for weeks, months, years, or it can be frustrating and you may feel like giving up. We want our students to have a great experience of the languages we love speaking, French, Spanish and English. A good experience starts with choosing a learning method that works for you, and that may change over time as your need evolves.
It may seem obvious yet many people fail to choose the best way for them to achieve their goals and to experience the full pleasure of being fluent in multiple languages.
4 facts affecting how you best experience a language program
- Your purpose
- Your skill level
- Your learning style
- Your availability
How much do you need to know, how much do you want to enjoy a language? Is it for a brief or longer holiday, for a life-long experience or for a career purpose? Do you need to continuously maintain or develop your current skills?
Do you have defined deadlines, milestones?
Tip 1: Define clearly your purpose and how important it is to you. Is your purpose an exceptional mark at an exam? The key to a career step you want passionately? A perfect overseas adventure in a French speaking world you want to explore? A way to understand another culture, enjoy it like a native speaker? Having an enjoyable time with like-minded friends? Keeping Alzheimer away?…
Tip 2: Adapt your focus to the evolution of your purpose. Should you accelerate your knowledge, should you change its emphasis across conversation, grammar, literature, culture, individual learning vs shared experiences…?
Tip 3: Allow yourself enough time to make the progress you want through tuition and the inevitable “homework”. Once you have a good personal plan, your tutor or coach will keep you accountable and will support you along the way
We know that the breadth and depth of knowledge required by our language students of all ages, and the challenges they may face, can vary dramatically. Our aim is to provide the right solutions for our students, so we offer a wide range of options from group tuition classes and intensive workshops to customisable solutions such as tutoring, coaching, project support and business-focused programs or special cultural events.
Are you starting from scratch or “rusty” or progressing but far slower than you need to and falling behind? Did you try our little fun quiz? If you are not sure of your current skill level, talk with us and we will help you make the right choice.
Our classes (between 5 and 10 participants) group our students as much as possible according to their skill levels. Our experience shows however that many students find a great deal of benefits in “mixed-skills” classes as these address the various knowledge gaps, allowing all students to learn and refresh, deepen and extend their skills. Almaje’s tutors and coaches have the skills and the passion to take each student along an enjoyable and effective journey.
Do you need to “experience” a situation to memorise anything? Is reading/writing by yourself your best way to focus and learn? Or do you remember what you hear? One of these 3 very different learning styles will be your preferred way of learning. That impacts significantly on how a tuition program works for you.
Do you like running at your own pace, totally focused on your own objective? Are you somewhat intolerant of others mistakes, particularly if you are “on a mission”? A series of very precisely targeted private lessons will be most satisfying for you.
If you learn best when you are experiencing a social moment with others, sharing the discovery journey, having fun in a group, then a class is better for you. Running at the group’s pace can be very helpful, painlessly accelerating the learning for some and reinforcing/deepening pre-existing knowledge for others. And of course facilitated group conversations are far more stimulating and closer to real life situations than a monologue with yourself or even a dialogue with always the same person.
Some people find that the most effective way for them to get over the challenges of a foreign language’s grammar is to learn by practice in “group drills”. Such sessions keep them focused and motivated by learning more from everyone’s efforts. It is of course also a very cost effective way to master the tricky points that have been frustrating them.
Some students of all ages find that an overseas course is the additional energiser that keeps them motivated. They choose to progress here first and consolidate their knowledge in a full immersion context during an overseas trip.
Building a personal language program that takes into account your preferred learning style delivers a better result. Talk with your tutor or coach to optimise your program within your budget and time availability.
Working alone all by yourself without a regular tutor at your own pace can be a great solution when you have a busy life and/or may not have easy access to transport. However it can be hard to stay motivated, keep the momentum going, know how well you are progressing and whether you are picking up “bad habits” without realising it. And you don’t have the opportunity to practice with a native speaker.
That is why Almaje set-up French and Spanish tutoring on line via Skype with a structured course matching your level, or a conversation time or a combination of both. You get the best of both worlds, flexibility and support. And if illness/injuries keep you house-bound for a while, it may be a good way to keep learning and enjoying the intellectual challenge and fun.