What do you think is the best way to learn a language?
Daily reading and listening in the target language (here on LingQ for example). Later on followed by writing and speaking practise.
That’s my way.
There are methods that tend to deliver better results over time as compared to others, but the little secret of language learning is that as long as you engage every day for a minimum of 30 min with one structured method or another over an extended period of time, you will learn it. How good and how fast will vary by language, method, and personal factors.
The methods that tend to deliver better results over others in my experience:
- Assimil (when available in your target language)
- LingQ Beginner Content
- Living Language (When Assimil is not available in your target language*)
and if you wanna go hardcore
- Diving into comparative reading of native level content on LingQ, with audio.
Then you have all the Babel, Memrise, Duolingo appie stuff which I don’t think are quite as effective as primary methods, but are good companion apps to the other three.
As niek1337 said, daily reading and listening is key and Assimil and LingQ are both built around allowing you to ramp up from beginner to advanced.
- Living Language has its drawbacks but it can be an effective beginner method for languages not covered by Assiml, and languages with different alphabets than one’s native language because of the way it puts emphasis on writing.
Going to live with a host family who speak only to you in the language whilst doing your own hardcore study after they’ve all gone to bed.
This hands-down will beat anything else.
In terms of what the best way is without going to the target country - i think listening first, to get to grips with the phonology and sound of the language, THEN extensive reading to get a large vocabulary with a tiny bit of intensive reading on the side to help to notice grammar, then once you have a base and stuff is decently comprehensible you start watching and listening to things without transcripts.
Total time maybe 1500 dedicated hours and 10,000 pages at least before Average Joe is going to become B2 fluent if it’s their first language. If it’s not, quicker. If they’re talented, quicker. Etc etc.