The goal is to learn another language.  You will achieve this goal best when you are working at it in ways that support and reflect your personality and preferred learning style. It is wise to research and explore the many varied methods out there for learning another language, but in the end you have to make the best choice for you. Ready to get serious about learning another language?Enter your email to get resources and updates from The Everyday Language Learner. However, you can’t just buy the ability to speak a language (must as I would like to).
So while building a canoe or kayak why not be resourceful and use whatever methods are available? I like the metaphor of language learning as a practice of slowly, determinedly crafting something with different types of instruction or assistance. It seems that a lot of people have picked up the language simply from self-study and talking to the locals – or live in a town or city that is big enough to have at least conversation classes to attend, if not bigger Japanese language classes. How do people motivate themselves to struggle through the years of frustratingly knowing that you are missing so much of what is being conveyed? As God draws us into a big change in our lives, perhaps also my language learning pursuit will shift and I will find both the determination and motivation to stick with some sort of study regimen. Desperate because mastering the English language will open up new doors of opportunity for them, for their families.

I think we can start a grass roots movement of free information that a new system for language building can be built upon. It may not be a popular idea on all the language blogs that are out there, but those people aren’t you. Sometimes you need structure and guidance and language learning is certainly something I need that for. Especially since a finished canoe could carry you across bodies of water so you could journey to new places and meet new people. And yet for the last three and a half years in Japan I have struggled to find a way to learn the language.
And what you do know is insufficient and clunky and more often than not seems to simply fall flat. How do you adapt your brain to wrap around the foreign concepts and thinking behind how sentences are structured? Structured, methodical classes with other, real people present, sure would make a difference!
However, what they forget is that all resources can be used towards achieving one’s goal of fluency. As I say in my new guide, you can get input anywhere – a textbook, a class, a cartoon.

I have tried to watch TV for years, but even now I only understand maybe 5% of what is being said.
How do you find the balance between listening and speaking if everything you listen to is too complex and trying to speak gives you headaches as you convert everything into some semblance of coherency? I have to say if I wanted a canoe I would go out and buy one, accepting that my skills and patience when it comes to making things. If I had had the opportunity to join a Japanese language class I would have – but living out in the middle of nowhere, there is nothing like that available. Stumbling over words to try and make myself understood by native speakers hasn’t improved my understanding of the garble they say to me. Independence from the system is possible, but  a revolution in language education needs to take place.
It gives me headaches and gets frustrating so quickly when all I seem to do is try and cram vocab into my head, or puzzle over what people are trying to say to me.
Use them to break the chains of a broken system and set language learner's free to learn on their own.

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