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How to decide what to learn?

Every phase of decision making is a challenge. Some people sometimes spend too much time considering the good and bad results of the decision that they will make. Meanwhile, other people can make a decision quite fast.

In language learning, you will be faced with the first question, "Which language to learn?" It is an easy question with so many possible answers, but yet, difficult to answer because choosing a language to learn means that the learners need to commit an amount of time with it.

Which language to learn?

Because of the time reason, choosing which language to learn requires a deep consideration in order to find a language that suits your necessity. For example, if you are going to travel to Latin America, you might want to learn Spanish since the majority of Latin American speak it as the first language. However, keep in mind that Portuguese, Dutch, and other languages are also spoken in the same continent.

I wrote in my previous article, entitled "3 Languages At Once" about the languages I choose to learn for June Italki's Language Challenge. I have strong reasons to improve myself in these three languages, but I sometimes learn a language just for fun.

When do I have time?

One of many frequently asked questions is about the time. The myth is language learning needs to be at least 1 hour per session, which is absolutely wrong. Frequent use of the language is better and easier to do.

You can utilize moments like waiting for the bus, cleaning your house, etc. to learn languages. Don't you believe me? You can read more about what you can do in your language learning under limited time in my article on how to find time to learn languages.

I like to read and listen and I do them as often as possible. I learn many vocabularies through these methods.

Next question...

So you already picked a language to learn and decided your schedule, the next question is what you are going to use, what kind of books or other resources. There are so many learning resources available online, in bookshops, or in libraries. You might be confused by this extensive amount of choices. 

I always search for downloadable phrasebook with the keyword "learn (language) filetype:pdf" in the beginning. Then, this downloaded phrasebook will be my learning material for a few weeks. I keep on reading the phrasebook repeatedly until I am familiar with the written phrases. They are usually basic phrases, which are useful for conversation.

Even if I take language courses, my focus will still be in the conversation. Therefore, any books about the conversation are fine for me. What about you? How do you choose your learning material? Share with us in the comment box.

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