In my opinion, the first thing that you should do when you’re sitting down to learn a language for the first time is equip yourself. You don’t have to break the bank but I would suggest getting yourself some basic supplies to take notes with. These could be in the physical form of stationary, or you may prefer to take digital notes using your laptop or tablet.
My stationary recommendations would definitely include a good notepad and pretty coloured pens such as stabilo pens or staedtler pens. These 4 subject notebooks from Paperchase are a good example of jotters that are perfect for language learning. I would split the different sections up into Grammar, Vocabulary, Idioms & Phrases and Exercises, but you should do what will help you the most.
However you may prefer some note-taking software for your computer or tablet such as Microsoft OneNote or Evernote. These apps work in the same way as a physical notebook, you can create sections etc. They also sync across multiple devices, which is why I find them perfect for taking notes at university then editing them at home.
Regardless of how you choose to organise your notes, I think it is important that they are organised, and maybe even colour-coded if you’re a creative kind of person. In my opinion, the more organised that you are, the easier it is to look at your notes and revise from them.
Now that you have your set-up, whether it’s in notebook or iPad form, it’s time to get yourself set up with resources. Of course, if you are learning a language it is almost essential that you have a good foreign language dictionary. Again, you may choose to opt for a physical book or one of the online translators that are out there. A word of warning though, Google Translate is a fantastic resource if you are looking up just one word, but please do not fall into the trap of asking Google to translate full sentences as unfortunately it won’t always give you what you’re looking for!
There’s a lot of language learning software out there for you to try your hand at, most notably (and expensively!) would be Rosetta Stone. My advice is to keep your wallet firmly closed for now and sign yourself up for two of the best (and free) language learning websites: duolingo.com and memrise.com These sites, particularly duolingo, will help you with your first foray into language learning at 100% less the cost of software like Rosetta Stone, and these are the resources that I will be referring to on this blog.
…and that’s it!
Many thanks for reading all about what resources I would recommend for getting started with language learning for the first time, and stay tuned for more of my hints, tips and recommendations.