I have a good friend who is criticizing the way I learn languages, and this friend has learned a few languages all through speaking with tutors. My friend is very much a perfectionist, but wanted to help me learn some Russian. Every book, video, and thought I present is shot down within seconds as not being a correct way to learn, or horrible material. I’m learning from using this site, along with listening to Russian audio. One book I’ve been using is The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners.
My friend believes I should spend a year or longer and learn each letter until I can say the sounds perfectly. My friend also says I should memorize each rule for the different sounds of each letter depending on usage… I’ve tried a few tutoring lessons with my friend and it would appear when I say some words my stress is off, and I say the word too fast… Or I didn’t do this or that right, ect… Then my friend gets angry with my mistakes. When I read some Russian I can remember words by seeing them, but writing is another story. I can recognize some words when listening as well.
Should I really be learning to listen, speak, then read and write first? After today my motivation to learn languages dropped from being very happy with my slow progress in reading, and listing, to not wanting to learn all together. Apparently if I “learn” the wrong way to say a word, and/or letter, my friend believes it will be very hard to break the habit… I disagree, when children learn to speak they can spend a very long time (years), saying a word wrong until they can fully sound out letters.