OK, so we’ve got the definition of fluent under our belts and we’re chockablock full of real reasons why getting fluent is worth the effort.
So today I’m going to show you how to get started.
But it has to be today.
You can’t wait till next week.
There are 7 days in the week and “someday” isn’t one of them.
Later on we’ll go through super efficient ways of doing things, but for today I just want you to get started.
So… and this is really simple.
Just head over to iBooks, Audible or Spotify and pick out 2, 3 (or more) audio books about the language you are learning.
Do check out the samples they have first and pick ones that you feel you could put up with listening to for a few hours.
Ninja Tip: As with anything in life you could spend hours searching online for cheap or free materials, but you’d just end up wasting so much time – the one thing we can never get back! So make the investment in a few real audio courses, it will pay for itself many times over, and I’ll show you how to get the money below! (Plus of course you are setting a fantastic example to your students because you of course want them to keep paying for your lessons too! 🙂 )
Out of all the audio courses out there my best, by far, of all of them is Michel Thomas. His courses are seriously the best in the world. They don’t have them for all languages, sadly, but they do for many. Go for the App version if you want it on the go.
My brother did the French version and after a couple of hours could say things like “What do you think of political and economic situation in France at the moment.” Yep, it’s that good!
Check out his amazing method in this (hour long) video:
Other recommendations …. Earworms is a fun series I quite like, with music behind the talking which really makes getting through the whole thing a lot easier.
If Earworms doesn’t have your language then “Rhythms Easy …. “ courses (e.g. search for “Rhythms Easy Thai”) is cheap and interesting. They have the same idea as Earworms but with slightly, errr, “different” music. I haven’t quite decided if they are so cheesy that they are super kitsch cool. Or just plain cheesy. 🙂 Also they do have some big mistakes so just be careful (e.g. telling the time in the Thai version)
Pimsleur is also great if they have it for your language. It does go pretty slow and I found it hard work getting through it each day in Spanish, but it gives you a wonderful foundation and some amazing ways of teaching e.g. starting complex words from the end, not the beginning. The price is higher than the others, but consider it an investment, how much do you charge for 16 hours of lessons? 🙂
Living Language also have some fantastic series for learning vocab and is well worth picking up in addition to one of the other courses. ( I used them for learning Japanese and Italian vocab.)
Ninja Tip: Always check the title of the course. I once spent $30 on an 8 hour “Learn how to study hindi” course. And yes, it taught you how to study Hindi. Not a word on how to speak it though!)
Of course you’re going to be investing money here, you have to do that in any business.
And you want to know how to get the money?
Drinks! Yep, drinks.
I always tell this to my business students, the best way to get the money to start a business or learn a language, is to give up your favourite tipple. Whether it’s coffee, cola or beer, give it up for 2 weeks and use the money to buy a language course. It’s infinitely better for you! 🙂
In business courses I would also suggest to sell your TV, but we’re going to need that later when learning from cheesy TV shows!
Anyway, so now you’ve got your courses, listen to them today. Skip the latest TV show tonight and listen to your new teachers. And … speak the things out loud. (We’ll come on to how to get supportive people around you in a bit!)
In this day and age you don’t have to live in a country to learn that country’s language (compared with goal setting and working “smart,” the country you actually do the learning in doesn’t make much difference) but if you are lucky enough to be in the country, use the fact and get people to correct your accent right from the beginning.
It’s also amazing how many of the new words you’ll hear around you right away. Quite frightenly so, sometimes it seems like the whole world has been listening to your tapes and suddenly started using those phrases! But it’s just like when you want to buy a red car, suddenly every car you see is red.
So cut out the coffees, head over to iBooks or Audible and let’s put the first toe in the water.
Next we’ll show you how to swim a mile in only a hundred meters,
P.S. Ninja Teaching Tip: Do you assign listening material to your students as homework? It’s amazing how much time commuting, waiting, relaxing that we can use by having an iphone chocked up with useful listening materials. Can’t find any good ones to recommend? Record your own – they’ll love having their own teacher with them all the time! Or of course Genki English always goes down a treat! 🙂