Learning a New Language – Which Method is the Best For You?

Thinking of studying a foreign language? There’s a wealth of options out there for those interested.

When deciding on which type of language course will be a best fit for you, try looking back at all the previous times you’ve learned a new skill in the past. What mediums allowed you to learn things faster? Did you find books more to your liking than actual classroom settings? Have you found interactive software-based courses more helpful compared to listening to an audio CD?

As with other forms of learning, not every medium of instruction will affect you the same way. For instance, learning from a classroom with a teacher is near-impossible for me. I don’t know why – I just pick things up faster when I’m working solo, with a good instruction book in tow. What options do you have for learning a new language?

Traditional Classroom Courses

Most classroom-type language courses consist of regular instruction (daily or weekly), along with accompanying learning materials such as books and handouts. If you learn best with people around, with whom you can practice with, a classroom environment is probably a great format for you.

Language Tutor

If you don’t like crowds but can appreciate the benefits of having an instructor to lead you through the learning process, you might want to consider getting a private language tutor. Private teachers, but you’ll get all the attention your learning is going to need.

Audio Courses

If you find spoken instructions a great way to absorb new knowledge, you might want to consider working through an audio course. You can easily find language CD courses in bookstores or in downloadable forms online.

Software Courses

With a good part of our workdays and everyday lives spent in front of a computer of some sorts, it only makes sense that a large part of language instruction is now facilitated through language learning software. Since the medium allows for interactivity and various types of presentation (audio, text and video), it’s become a popular option for many younger individuals.


While books may provide capable instruction for many areas of knowledge, it’s difficult to absorb the nuances and pronunciations of a new language from written materials. As such, books aren’t highly recommended as a form of language instruction for beginners.