Use many materials at the same time to learn faster.
Part 31 of the Poligo Guide to Learning a Language.
SECTION 4: This section explains how to divide the language into smaller parts and how to learn each part.
So you have a lot of different things to learn from. How do you manage them all? Basically, you use them together and/or swap between them. First, you do a few lessons in one set of materials. Then, two things might happen:
When these things happen, you should switch. Go to another book and start continue. In a language, most materials cover the same things in about the same order. When you switch materials, you will review what you have learnt from the last set of materials. However, you will have new situations and examples. This will keep it fresh and interesting.
For example, you might have two texbooks (Textbook A and Textbook B) and a set of listening materials (CDs):
Keep going like this, using the materials together and swapping between them:
When you use many materials at the same time, you create a relationship between your beginner textbooks and beginner audio materials (the things you read and the things you hear). It is best if you can get a matching set: a textbook that has its own full audio materials. You can listen and read at the same time. You will learn a lot about how to read the language and how to pronounce it.
But you also get a lot from when the text does NOT match the audio you use. You need to make things a little difficult to get the most benefit. The trick, though, is that it is also, in my experience, ideal if some of the audio does NOT match a text. You should listen again and again to this material to train your listening skills. You should try to repeat what you hear out loud. You should shadow as closely as you can. As time goes by and you learn more of the language, you will understand it and remember it very well. You get several extra benefits from doing this:
You should use these materials until you are 90% accurate, or until it gets boring. Remember to keep it fun and interesting! You should use this listening to immerse yourself in the language (especially when you do not live in a country where your target language is spoken). Keep these recordings on your music player and listen when you can: on the train; in the car; waiting for your classes to start; whenever you have the chance!
Read about some other ways to immerse yourself in language.
If you have one really good, complete textbook for your level, that can become the centre of your language learning. Use it as the main guide to your learning, and then support it with other materials. For each language topic, look in your other books and materials to find the parts that match that language topic in your main book. Use the supporting materials for variety and interest.
When you use this method, it means you can set your own pace. You can learn the parts of the language in the way that suits you. You do not need to follow your class or the order of the book. You can jump around and do the things that are most useful or easiest first and save the rest for later. This is how you use the map we will give you. You can also develop your own map of how to learn the language.
When you use this method, you will quickly find that you have too much to learn. That is perfect. It is, in fact, a central point to the method. You should drown in the language. Do not always worry about remembering (or even understanding!) it perfectly. Let a lot of it wash over you. Catch what you can, and be happy. You have to balance two main ways of learning:
So, you should have a lot of material to learn from:
And for each type of material, you have a style of learning: