colorado plateau

 

If you have been learning a foreign language for a certain length of time, the day will come when you won’t be able to find any learning materials which aren’t below your level. However, at the same time, you won’t be perfectly fluent yet. I was at this stage in German for a long time. Although I could use the language well, I still believed that my knowledge of and fluency in German could be better.

 

Sentence mining is not only useful for a beginner in a language, it can also be very helpful in getting intermediate and advanced learners further ahead. The best way to do it is to read materials which are aimed at native speakers of the language. The materials can be about any subject that interests you. While you’re reading, collect any useful sentences and make a course out of them in a similar way as described in my article ”How to Learn a Foreign Language for Free Using Word Frequency Lists.”  The criteria that you use to determine which sentences can bring you closer to fluency are up to you. Personally, I collect sentences which either contain a new word, a new way of phrasing a sentence, or which contain a fact that I want to remember.

 

The best thing about this method is that it’s entirely based on your interests, so you’re more than likely to stick with it. You can do a web search using the foreign terms and find a wealth of places to sentence mine. Wikipedia is one of my favorite places to sentence mine, as are the free online books at Lernhelfer.de. This also helps you to pick up specialized words and terms in the target language.

  1. I haven’t ever really been good at learning other languages.  However, my girlfriend is Spanish and it would be fun to learn the language and surprise her.  Probably won’t ever be fluent in Spanish.  But, I was seeing if you had any idea of where I might learn the basics?

    I prefer to learn out of the comfort of my own home.  Not really interested in taking class at a college or anything.

  2. Oh how I envy anyone that is able to learn a new language.  I have tried but never seem to grasp it, I’m not sure why.  My mother moved from Europe to the America’s and was able to master our language with no schooling.  I guess when you have to learn you do.  I will certainly check out the links your have provided as I’m still trying to learn a bit of Spanish.

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