First stop, the Local Library

So, we’re improving our English or learning a foreign language, are we? Then our first stop is the library. You’ll need to track down a decent grammar book in the target language and a variety of relatively short-length reading material in the target language too. Both of these resources may be readily on hand at the local library, and at little or no cost, as well. Using these, you’re going to ramp up your English or foreign language skills to a substantial degree. The grammar book will be a useful guide through those rough spots you’ll hit when the target language grammar differs substantially from English or your native tongue. But make no mistake, it’s not “the bible” and you shouldn’t overburden yourself with grammar rules and regulations. Your grammar book is a handy guide for occasional reference. Use it accordingly.

A Structured Type

“I’m an very structured type of person so I definitely needed to have a grammar book to help me with the structure of Dutch and then German which are very strict in their application grammar rules”, adds American ex-pat Kayleigh Garman now living and teaching English in Istanbul, Turkey. “That also let me go on to learn Danish using many of the same methods I’d picked up from studying and using my other foreign languages.” Kayleigh speaks seven languages now. He must be doing something right.

Cochimi or Kukapa, Anyone?

A copious variety of entertaining magazines exists in most major languages and unless you’re learning Cochimi or Kukapa, you should eventually be able to find something. Short, newsflash type articles are best at first. A newspaper, general interest magazine, the Bible, brochures, flyers, and even – oh yeah, comics can help you along the path to fluency in your new tongue.

Though you might be able to wade through one or more of these publications in a matter of a few minutes, your personal satisfaction at having done that will be priceless. Copies of foreign language magazines are available from newsstands, libraries, airline offices, consulates and embassies, bookstores, universities, language institutes, ethnic stores, shops, travel agencies and restaurants, by subscription and online.

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