Maybe you found a resource, a book, an online course, which looked very promising and you decided to take the bull by the horns and learn Polish. Yes, I can do that! You made your favourite drink, sat down in your armchair, open your laptop or book and started going through the pages.
Have you ever tried learning a language without a teacher?
Dzień dobry, dziękuję, proszę … initially you are excited and motivated, but as you progress through and discover that the content is getting too hard, too quickly your initial motivation fades away. You decide to restart tomorrow, then next week definitely from Monday. Your self-study is under question… eventually, you don’t open the book ever again.
When you made the decision to learn Polish, you probably didn’t think it would be so hard. Surely, it was fun when you started and learned your first Polish words. It felt pretty good, didn’t it?
USING SELF-STUDY COURSES
The first language that I started learning on my own was Spanish. After coming back from my first holiday in Spain, I decided to take up the language that I fell in love with while eating tapas and sipping mojitos. While in Spain, I was surprised how much I was able to understand and get along by already speaking French and Italian. It obviously helped me, but mainly encouraged me to learn it properly instead of guessing and transforming Italian words in a Spanish way (it did help many times though!).
I was learning Spanish on my own without any teacher for a couple of years. But eventually, I reached a moment when I plateaued and I decided to have a proper tutor and enrolled on a Spanish course. I needed more reassurance, more guidance and explanations and I wanted more interactions than repeating sentences after Carlos or Maria from self-study online language courses.
Textbooks and online resources couldn’t answer all my questions and although native speakers are great to practise your conversational skills, when it comes to explain rules, unless they study the language, they are unable to make them clear.
Since I started having my weekly classes with a tutor who corrects you, explains any doubts you have, my Spanish reached a different level.
SO CAN WE LEARN A LANGUAGE WITHOUT A TEACHER?
Technically yes. You can study textbooks, listen to podcasts, apps, follow programmes- the internet is overloaded with resources. But if you want to progress, you have to find other people to interact with.
Firstly, you need native speakers to practise and immerse yourself into the real language. Plus, they can correct your mistakes, which is a big plus, but unless they are teachers they won’t fully explain why you were wrong.
That’s why, secondly, if your goal is to really boost your language experience, a good teacher who takes you through the meanders of the language is really beneficial and it can really speed up your learning.
In my opinion, self-study courses are a good base for building foundations that you want to reinforce by interacting later with people. The problem is that they don’t work if you are not disciplined and organised. You must have your learning regime.
I think you can learn a language without a teacher, but it requires discipline, dedication, organisation and it takes longer to figure out things. However, the teacher will guide you and help you to clear out all confusion and misunderstandings that you will definitely encounter on your learning route.
POLISH SELF-STUDY COURSE WITH SUPPORT FROM A NATIVE TEACHER?
If you are a Polish learner, have you tried any self-study methods? Most of my students bought some self-study materials, but were discouraged by the fact they were getting too difficult, too quickly and often, because there was no one to guide, correct and reassure them in their learning.
When you buy a self-study course, once you click on the purchase button, you are left on your own. Initial excitement may disappear when you hit a problem and cannot find an answer to it. You can search the internet, ask native friends, go to language speaking groups, but it would be much easier if you have support from a native, wouldn’t it?
Why is Digestible Polish different?
It’s a self-study course, so you are meant to read, watch tutorials and organise your weekly learning. You need to prepare your speaking assignments in order to be able to go to the following learning week. We communicate on WhatsApp, you send your recordings and I come back to you with my corrections, answers and feedback.
If you want to learn Polish in your own time following a self-study programme, but having a deadline and with that additional bit that is usually missing while you buy a self-study course – a native to correct you, Digestible Polish is the right learning option for you.