Become an Independent Learner Part 1: Children’s Books for Adults

Foreign language learning has long been held captive within the four walls of classrooms across the globe. All the same, becoming fluent in Chinese cannot be achieved by limiting yourself to two or three hours of classroom time a week. I will show you how Spiderman, Youtube, Disney princesses and second hand children’s books can give you the tools you need to become productive, independent, and cut the time you need to learn a language in half.

Caution! Please remember that whatever language you have chosen to learn, you will always need a good dictionary and a well written grammar book with exercises. They will serve you as the core of every learning activity you choose to undertake.

Now, let the fun begin:

  • Children’s books should always be a beginner’s first choice. They are fun, colourful, simple to grasp, and filled with catchy phrases and vocabulary. Thanks to the internet, they are affordable, and easy to find. Personally, as a learner of German, I taught myself tons by working with books such as: ‘’Das schönste Ei der Welt’’, ‘’Der Regenbogen Fisch’’ and ‘’Zilly die Zauberin’’. All three come in over 15 languages.

GR childrens1 intextIf I were to pick up a children’s book now, I’d order a cheap second hand version online. Then, I’d sit down with my new book, a pen, a notepad and a dictionary. I would read the book and take notes of words and phrases I don’t understand. Once finished, I would take a good look at my list of unknown words, and place it next to my bed. I would reread the list carefully before going to bed and after waking up. Then, after 24 hours, I would try to read the story again without any help. I would take down all the words and phrases I couldn’t remember from the previous day and repeat.

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