Learning how to speak a language

Hi all

I dabble in language learning and wanted to share my experience, as well as learn from anyone here how they go about it.

My emphasis on any new language learning is primarily just how to speak it. I’m not too concerned to read or write it. I’ve pretty much only tried this one source and never saw a reason to look further since they really pulled off something amazing I thought (Well I lie, I tried school and nothing from there stuck).

excerpt from their site on their method

Michel Thomas believed that the greatest barrier to any form of learning was stress: stress from worrying about remembering what you are being taught, stress from being afraid to make a mistake, stress from failing.

With the Michel Thomas Method, all the attention is focused on removing stress and tension from the learning environment. Through the instructional method, the teacher takes on full responsibility for your understanding, and therefore your remembering, of what is being taught. In fact, the Michel Thomas Method forbids you from trying to memorize. There’s no writing, no books, no homework.

The Michel Thomas Method works ‘in tune’ with the way your brain prefers to receive, store and then retrieve information, so you assimilate it easily and don’t forget it. It works by stripping away all inessential language and breaking down the most important language into its component parts. Crystal clear building blocks are then presented, and only when absorbed and understood, the next piece of the puzzle is introduced, enabling you to reconstruct the language for yourself – to form your own sentences, to say what you want, when you want.

‘What you understand, you know; and what you know, you don’t forget.’

– Michel Thomas

Whilst driving, I learnt the greek language with them and enjoyed it a lot. They create a “classroom” environment where you feel you are sitting with a teacher, and two other students at your non-existent level.

The teacher just talks/teaches and gives you and your mates small gaps to respond or repeat (I could effortlessly pause and unpause my car player). You hear your fellow classmates stumble and correct themselves. I think having those fellow students helped me relax the most. Made me feel part of a class that’s learning together.

I’ve been pondering which language to do next and felt like Zulu would be nice since there are so many people around me to bounce it off from. I don’t have access to any french or spanish speakers right now.

Does anyone know any good sources to just learn spoken zulu from? Unfortunately the michel thomas site does not cover zulu.
What do you guys use?

The reason I’m trying to learn French is because I deal with a lot of people in Western Africa where French is spoken. Initially I just greeted them and asked after their health, but then I picked up one or two other phrases that were quite useful.

I tend to remember stuff if it comes up in informal chats, not sure that classroom lessons work as well for me.

I’d love to be able to speak Zulu myself. If you find a good method, do tell!

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