Walkabout Language Learning
Strategies That Work
The Walkabout method uses three basic language learning strategies. These strategies will help you whether
you already know some basics, or you have a good foundation, or if you know nothing more than Hello.
No matter your level, with Walkabout Language Learning, you build according to your needs. To do this, follow
- Set language learning goals
- Recruit mentors -- native speakers to help you learn what you need to know
- Practice your skills in the community.
Language Learning Strategy 1: Set Goals
To get started, you need a clear idea of what you want to learn. Do you want to be able to chat informally
with friends? Do you have to manage a team of native speakers at work? Or do you just need basic survival skills?
Write down your goals, hopes, and wishes.
Click here to rate your current language ability
and get ideas for what to learn next. Some competencies shown there should show up in your long range goals.
Now prioritize: next to each item indicate whether it is a must learn, would really like to learn,
would be nice to know skill. This will help you decide what to work on first. An important way to help
set goals is to track your progress.
Click here to see my journal.
The next step is to find mentors, people who will facilitate Walkabout Language Learning.
Language Learning Strategy 2: Recruit Mentors
What kind of person makes a good mentor? you ask. In a nutshell, one who is patient, understanding,
supportive, creative, knowledgeable, firm but fair, bright all the qualities one would want in any ordinary
superhero. Terry Marshall, The Whole World Guide to Language Learning: How to Live and Learn a Foreign
You may find someone who lives up to all these qualities. More likely, youll find several
people with many, but not all. Over time, youll probably find that working with more than one mentor can help
you reach language goals in different areas. One person may be good at providing candid feedback and
correcting your grammar and pronunciation while another might be helpful with professional or technical
language and protocols.
Click here for tips on finding a good mentor.
Language Learning Strategy 3: Practice Your Skills
Once you select mentors, work regularly with them to develop dialogs (short conversations) that you can use right
away in the community. In the beginning, these dialogs may center on basic needs: going to the post office, buying
groceries, or using public transport.
As your language skills progress, develop dialogs to meet other needs
your favorite pastimes
Give directions to subordinates at work
Describe a project that you are working on. And so on.
Ready to start? Click here to learn the five-step Daily Learning Cycle.
As you practice your language skills, you will find many opportunities that teach you about the way people live in this
new culture. Sometimes you may be at a loss in knowing how to do things.
Click here to read my embarrassing moment.
You can put these strategies to work for yourself using the Walkabout Language Learning Action Guide. Click here to download this ebook and start achieving your language learning dreams.
Continued: Learn Language Through Culture
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After you've read implemented the suggestions here, check out Owen Lee's Ultimate Language Secrets; packed with ideas, it is a
great supplement to Walkabout Language Learning.
Learn more about tandem language learning.
Return from Language Learning Strategies to Walkabout Language Learning
Return to Your Language Guide home
There is no better and more effective way to learn a language than to be immersed in a culture
that speaks the language you are learning. You're surrounded by the language on a daily basis and are seeing
and hearing it in the proper cultural context. Language learning happens most quickly under these
Language learning "is like an old-time rail journeydelays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders
and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed."
--Jenkins Lloyd Jones quoted by Gordon B. Hinckley, Liahona, Nov 1997
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