View context for this page View table of contents for this book View table of contents for LinguaLinksLibrary Go to LinguaLinks home page

The best of both settings



Combine structured and unstructured learning with formal study before you go to the country or area where the language is spoken. Plan to attend language school in a country where the language is spoken.


It is possible to get to High Novice level by using computer-assisted language learning programs, self-study programs, or formal language classes. This may be particularly helpful if the target language is unrelated to other languages you already know. One reason to do this is that it tends to ease the stress of adjusting to a new culture. If you can communicate from the start, it helps you get around in a new country.


Another factor to consider is that it is often cheaper to start language study at home than living and paying tuition in another country. You might be able to find speakers of the language in the community where you live. They may be willing to give you conversation practice or to exchange practice in English for practice in their language.


When you get to your new language community, you may continue part-time formal classes, or spend a lot of time in informal interaction. It will depend on your ultimate goals, the availability and quality of language school programs, and other responsibilities you have.


Even if you develop your own program, you need both structured and unstructured time. You need structured time when you work with a language resource person to explore new areas of the language systematically. You need unstructured time to experience and use the language in communication situations.

Context for this page:

Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 3.5, published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 1999. [Ordering information.]

Page content last modified: 15 September 1998

© 1999 SIL International