How many times have you told yourself you were going to learn a foreign language?
How often have you wished for that job position, but there’s one catch – you have to speak Chinese!
Are you a student and dreading taking the required foreign language?
Have you already started studying a language and become discouraged?
What if you were given some keys that unlocked the process?
My name is David Durham, and some people call me a language freak. I’m conversant in seven, although I’m not able to maintain a high degree of fluency in all of them at one time with my current schedule. I have learned over time, however, that they are stored away and come out of hiding when I need them to.
I am a different person because of the exposure I have had not only to other languages, but other cultures. A language is not simply the vehicle of communication of a given culture, but it is also a collection of ideas, values and thoughts of that culture. When you learn a language, you gain access to a key that unlocks untold treasures. I happen to be one of those who believe there is not a single method of learning a foreign language. I have learned in the classroom, on the street, and in independent study. Not everyone learns in the same way, nor should we expect them to.
In my years of speaking and teaching foreign languages to English speakers, I have observed certain tendencies and mindsets that actually prevent students from progressing the way they would like in learning a language. Many language teachers are aware of these obstacles, but, for whatever reason, don’t take the time to address them with their students.
So I wrote a little book.
How to Learn a Foreign Language: 7 Tips for Making the Daunting Doable
The purpose of this guide is not to promote a particular method; there are many methods available that work well, depending on your goals. Some people need to learn in a group in order to feed off the collective energy and effort. Others do better independently. In this guide I am addressing all language learners – high school and college students as well as adult learners. It is never too late to begin learning another language, yet for so many it is a daunting and intimidating prospect.
Hence this book. It is my sincere hope that the contents not only help you along the path you have chosen, but that they inspire and motivate you to roll up your sleeves and enjoy the journey as well as the destination.
Each of these seven tips is designed to make the experience of learning a foreign language a more enjoyable experience! Yes, it’s possible! You’d be AMAZED how much of it has to do with MINDSET. And as I said before, very few language teachers take the time to prepare you mentally for this endeavor. If you’re a self-teacher, how much more important it is for you to go into the experience with the proper tools.
Here’s what people are already saying about the book:
“After reading your manuscript, I am actually considering asking my Hispanic friends to take me on as a student! Your tips encouraged me to believe that learning a new language does not have to be a chore, but can be especially enjoyable with the right attitude.” - Melodie, Tennessee, USA
“I LOVED reading your thoughts & learning from your insights!! As an American who has lived & worked in multiple countries, I have found that learning the language of the people where I am (or even TRYING to learn the language has opened doors into their hearts & has helped me to understand them, learn from them & therefore grow. Thanks for giving simple, easy to apply tips that help open windows & doors into other cultures!” – Liz, Bosnia
“The tips aren’t just lessons for learning a language: they’re tips for living life well. This little book provides a framework for learning a language, without pinning you down to a particular method.” – Russ, The Netherlands
Like Russ said, this book is not about advocating a particular method — there are hundreds of them out there, and most of them work well, depending on your goals and your learning style. THIS book is to PREPARE you for whatever language you undertake by adjusting your MINDSET — where every learning process begins.