DO NOT Go to Language School

DO NOT Go to Language School

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CC subtitles available in: English, Swedish, German, Vietnamese, and Italian.

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Oscar (Swedish)

Uyên (Vietnamese)

Christopher (German)

Andrea (Italian)

Most people learn languages at school. How important are they to learning a language? It depends on the individual. I wouldn’t go to one but recognize that for many people they are necessary.

0:00 – How beneficial language school is depends on the personality of the learner.
2:02 – Why language schools have never been a good fit for me.
3:28 – We should be in control of the content we learn a language from, not a teacher.
4:56 – Language schools do provide some benefits.
7:11 – Immersing yourself in the language versus being in a classroom in a country where your target language is spoken.

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DO NOT Go to Language School


  1. Language schools can be a source of motivation, information about the language, or learning content. But most of this is available elsewhere.

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  2. Personally, I love language courses at least to get a start, even though I always try to browse the web for content before going to the lessons. I have a pretty good ear both for music and languages, but at the same time i am not a really talkative person, so actually I need time to get fluent and feel confident to talk to people. But managing to learn some Polish in a year basically mostly listening to people while living in Poland was a big boost to my self-confidence in this realm. It also depends on the motivation: I like slavic languages and I have always wanted to learn at least one of them, whereas I have not been super motivated towards latin languages, despite being italian. this might change with time 🙂

  3. I think you need to go to a good language school if you are going to start in elementary level.

  4. -Do not go to language school
    -Well I didn't have money for that anyway :'/

  5. I'm very glad that school could teach me HOW to learn a language when I learned my first foreign language (English) and I am very lucky that a friend of mine was equally motivated to become good at English so we together chose to make English our communication language so whether we hung out in school, after school or on the phone we used English to the best of our ability and helped eachother when we forgot a word. That being said I wouldn't feel the need to learn how to learn a foreign language twice so I prefer self study too.

  6. Era of language school may come to diminish and the rise of private teaching will certainly be more practical for most people.

  7. You make some very interesting points that I would have not considered before. For me personally, I find the advantages of a language school out way the disadvantages. I am just not as disciplined to study on my own. Usually, I travel alone for my language studies and so I do like the social aspect of a school. However, I avoid speaking English which can be a major handicap. One point that you didn't mention about a language school is that you spend a lot of time seated inside and actually, after 2 hours, I become restless. However, early February 2020, I did a fantastic Portuguese class in Lisbon and the teacher was marvelous and so were the other students. Everyone was keen to speak only in Portuguese. What do you think of the idea of doing a language study where you stay in your teacher's home. So all day, you speak the language. I did this in France and it was a terrific experience. She was a yoga teacher on the side and so am I. We actually focused on learning terms in yoga in French and I ended up teaching a few yoga classes in French. I am a proponent in taking a class that really interests you in the language. Be it a sport, a cooking class or anything else you are passionate about. Thank you again for this video.

  8. As with any schools,there are good & bad.If you find a good one & really show interest,& get things to do out of the classroom,read & read,do lots of listening etc etc you'll make progress. Of course to make quick progress nothing can beat getting to the country whose language you are learning,staying there for as long as possible.There has to be dedication & self motivation.

  9. Schools and courses won't becomes you fluent!
    You have to study hard
    Aplly the knowledges and skills

  10. That's what i did with my target languages i would rather learning languages by my own way and i enjoyed it than i go to language school.

  11. I can’t agree with you more, sir. Steve, you look good.

  12. Even public schools, classes for Spanish, french or Italian, it's a waste, they expect you to cram and learn all the stuff about the language in 1-2 months. Plus they don't have time to help you. Most of it is your responsibility, of listening to the language, reading, and writing and alternating. But ya it's your responsibility. Also don't tell people what language you want to learn, I made that mistake, all I got where rude looks and discouraging comments, asking me why I wanted to learn the language. I finally drop it, and kept it to myself. I'm now learning Spanish, moved to Mexico. Within a month of being in Mexico, my ears adjusted to hearing the language. So now it feels almost semi normal. It makes it way easier to learn the words.

  13. IF i immerse in japan for example andi learnt english will i forget english ?

  14. I agree with your analysis regarding learning in a classroom vs immersion. However, a major flaw with our educational system is that you have to have those hours in the classroom along with good test scores in order to earn a degree in the target language, should you want to teach. I am in accord with your view of having to sit through other students' pronunciation of the target language. That to me is the worst! Especially if you're learning a target language that shares many words with English. French words look the same but for God's sake will you PLEASE just try to pronounce it correctly?!? Thanks for yet again another wonderful video!

  15. Congrats Steve! This is officially your 1,500th video!

  16. I think is important to go to school languages if people are willing to get a specific kind of preparation for geting a kind of certificate

  17. I highly disagree with this; you CAN'T learn everything just by Googling it and just because you can Google it doesn't mean you can comprehend and apply it correctly in everyday practice. Language schools, online courses podcast etc provide a degree of efficiency(on average) as the information is organized and instructors/tutors are hands on depending unlike trying to learn everything off of YouTube/Google where information is sporadic and at many times unreliable.

  18. god I always hated school. Dropped out in first year, I now speak 7 languages. Nobody needs school.

  19. Although I love learning online for all the reasons you stated, I have to go to school to learn Navajo because it's rare to find resources for it online. Even schools in Native American areas are trying to encourage it because it's dying (ironic since back then when they forced native kids into Christian Boarding schools, they use to beat them for speaking it, even my own mother and my aunt were beaten for it)
    I hope that when I learn enough, I can help in trying to establish more resources/classes online for it though

  20. I decided not to go to a language school because there's so much chinese learning materials for free online. Also, instead of attending a class every day, I save so much time as I am just in the comfort of my room.


  22. I agree with you. I have been self studying French for a few years now. After awhile of learning the language and getting the grammer down I thought it would of been a good idea to start doing some French classes. I joined a begineer class that ran once a week for and hour and a half. Most of the time was spent with a teacher explaining grammer. When I did get to speak I felt pressured to only use the vocabulary and grammer covered by the course and not anything I have learned outside of class. Some of the students only studied the language within class time (1hr 30 a week) which meant over the weeks the course moved extremely slow through the material. I learned 0 French in the class room, creating real expriences with the things that you find interesting while using the language is 100 percent the way to go!

  23. I learned two languages without classroom courses, and learned them well enough for at least a simple conversation or to understand a guided tour. For both, I borrowed grammar books and audio recordings from the library. On YouTube, I found a number of courses for learning languages. I read Wikipedia articles and watch YouTube videos on topics of special interest to me, from which I have made my own special interest dictionaries to overcome my short memory. I listen to song videos in the target language, especially those with sub-titles in the target language. I took classroom courses for some languages, but these were not conveniently available for others.

  24. Hi Steve. Thank you for your content, it has reinvigorated a part me which was far too dormant. Stay safe.

  25. Hi Me. Kaufmann! I have this fear of writing in kanji because I feel like I write TOO BIG on paper…… what should I do about this fear? Japanese is a really beautiful language ☺️❤️

  26. Language schools can indeed be a source of motivation but when self-learning we can nowadays find online so many resources.

  27. 100% agreed.
    When I started learning spanish I tried all different methods. I found evening courses the least helpful for the following reasons:
    .) You listen to a lot of poorly pronounced output from other students
    .) Majority of students is afraid to actually speak
    .) Little is the time you get to speak yourself compared to the money you have to pay
    .) Topics probably come up that are not interesting or fitting for you

    Instead I sticked to my Assimil book, listened to phrases (10 hour videos on youtube) again and again, talking to myself, putting notes all over my place so you see them frequently, listen to music and translate some lyrics, conctact a few native speakers on language forums for mailing/chatting/talking.

  28. My children learn Spanish at school, they don't know anything. They don't know basic pronouns or verb conjugations.

  29. Go to Language Academy or University – or the BEST – Stay with Steve!

  30. Back in school, there were special English classes that you can take by doubling the tuition fee (I'm Asian). My parents paid for that without any question, but I never bothered with them and learn by myself watching Youtube videos everyday. Towards to end of high school, everyone was calling me the English God. I wasn't even THAT good, but I was significantly better than everyone else. The stuff they teach you in school is absolute crap.

    By the way, seems like I've got myself another great Japanese learning resource here. Will check it out today.

  31. 博主曾经写过一本中文书的,我读过。

  32. Excellent points! I think at first, especially if it's a language very different from your own, learning on your own can feel difficult, but I find the repetition of reviewing and doing your best to put it to practice helps a lot. Although I do feel classes can def be of assistance! I know taking two levels of French in college and a semester of Italian really helped me gain an idea of how I can start learning a language or continue learning on my own, but a lot of the work is definitely self-studying. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  33. best way to learn a language is to get a girlfriend who can speak it

    then first learn the dirty words the rest is easy

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