In need of a productive hobby? Want to speak the same language as your family? Or just want to watch anime without English dubs?
Whatever your motivation for teaching yourself a language, you’ve made a smart choice!
On top of the social benefits, learning another language can also transform your brain. Studies suggest that being bilingual makes you smarter, helps you multitask, and improves your memory.
And thanks to the sea of knowledge available on the internet, learning a new language by yourself has never been more accessible. Our DIY language learning guide breaks down the solo language learning process into six easy steps.
But before you start crafting your independent language learning roadmap, let’s look at what teaching yourself a language really entails.
Benefits of self-studying a new language
Not sure if solo learning is the right option for you? Here are a few reasons why we recommend teaching yourself a language:
- You can learn on your own time. Unlike classes where you have to meet regularly at set times, you can fit independent learning into your busy schedule by creating a routine that works for you.
- You can learn what you want. Most courses have a set curriculum or lesson plan you have to follow. With self-study, you have control over the type of content you want to learn based on your language goals.
- You can save money. Generally, learning a language at home will be more affordable than taking a community college class or hiring a private tutor.
- You’ll develop a stronger work ethic. Teaching yourself a language isn’t easy. You have to find the right learning resources, stay motivated, and find opportunities to practice—all on your own. Self-taught language learning forces you to become more disciplined.
If you’re still debating between going down the independent learning route or taking the traditional classroom path, read up on our in-depth comparison between the two learning methods.
What is the easiest language to learn by yourself?
If it’s your first time learning a new language on your own, we recommend choosing a language that’s closest to your native tongue. Generally, languages in the same language family share more similarities and will be faster to pick up.
For English speakers, the easiest languages to learn by yourself are Germanic languages, such as Dutch and German, and for Spanish speakers, Romance languages, such as Italian and French.
Looking for more options? Here’s the complete list of languages ranked by difficulty level.
At the end of the day, the easiest language to teach yourself will be the language you’re most interested in. If you want to start learning Korean so you don’t have to wait for English subtitles on your favorite Korean dramas, why force yourself to learn Dutch? When choosing a target language, think about what inspired you to learn a new language in the first place.
What is the best way to teach yourself a language?
Language experts and researchers agree that the best way to learn a new language is by immersing yourself. Unlike other learning methods, language immersion doesn’t rely on memorization or translation. Instead, your brain naturally picks up new words and phrases through constant exposure and context clues.
In a fully immersive environment, you speak, hear, and read solely in your new language. The most popular way to experience total immersion is by living in an area where your target language is primarily spoken. Language immersion schools and camps also emulate fully immersive environments.
If you can’t commit to fully immersive experiences, look for learning opportunities in your everyday life. We have a variety of ways to unlock partial immersion experiences—even if you’re teaching yourself a new language from your couch.
For instance, Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion method combines immersive learning with digital learning to make the best way to learn a language accessible to everyone.
How to find the best resources for independent language learning
With language learning, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. It may take trial and error to discover the most effective learning tools for you, and that’s perfectly normal. If you’re unfamiliar with the solo language learning journey, read on for a few starting points.
Online language learning programs
It’s no secret that we’re fans of using online programs to aid independent learning. Compared to textbooks, digital platforms are more affordable, comprehensive, and immersive.
While technology can’t entirely replace total immersion, it can come pretty close. To find a program that immerses you in language, look for these main features:
- Does it help you get conversation-ready? You want to learn useful phrases for real-world conversations, not imaginary dialogues with talking animals.
- Does it help you practice speaking out loud? One of the hardest parts of learning a language on your own might be finding opportunities to speak the language. Rosetta Stone lets you practice saying words, but takes it a step further by giving you immediate feedback on your pronunciation.
- Does it allow you to learn from native speakers? When you surround yourself with experts and native speakers, you learn the language how it’s actually spoken.
The Rosetta Stone app checks all the boxes above and more! From your first lesson, you’ll be reading, listening, and speaking in your target language, without your native tongue.
Use a combination of different tools
Even if you swear by your favorite language learning app, it’s important to pull from various resources to support your self-study. Textbooks can’t provide feedback on your pronunciation, and language exchange partners might not be well-versed in all the niche topics you’re interested in.
That’s why it’s important to go beyond just one resource to teach yourself a language. Diversifying your learning materials maximizes your exposure to various aspects of the language, from accents to culture. Consider joining conversation clubs, listening to podcasts in your target language, or anything from this list to boost your language skills!
Discover more of what you love
Learning a language by yourself requires you to plan and be resourceful, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. The best part about learning a language on your own is getting to choose content that you enjoy.
If you’re not a fan of reading textbooks, don’t read them. Instead, hone your language skills by reading what you like, be it gossip magazines, mystery novels, or song lyrics. In the name of language learning, even binge-watching TV can become studying!
Teach yourself a new language with Rosetta Stone
Why do so many learners look to Rosetta Stone as the North Star of their solo language learning journey? It’s simple. Rosetta Stone brings all the benefits of language learning without compromising your freedom or flexibility.
Rosetta Stone not only helps you with immersive practice, but also provides the real-time support you need to make great strides. Plus, you can customize your learning experience to meet your unique goals. And with lessons that only take 10 minutes each, we’ll let you get back to your busy schedule in no time!
Teach yourself a language anytime, anywhere on the Rosetta Stone app or rosettastone.com.