Language study requires a great deal of time, energy, and self-discipline. Successful language mastery depends critically on you--your attitude and participation, and especially, on your study habits. You MUST study the grammar lesson of the day or week at home on your own before attending the practice session so that you are ready to truly practice speaking. And you MUST actively participate in those practice sessions in order to truly learn.
The Four Ps of Self-Instruction: Performance, Practice, Patience, and Perserverance.
means being able to express yourself, individually or in
a group, in such a way that a native speaker of the langauge would
understand the intention and content of your communication.
More specifically, this entails your pronunciation, your grammatical
accuracy, how you use the vocabulary you've learned, and how fluent and
culturally appropriate your sentences are.
You can achieve Performance only by Practice; by constantly repeating all the elements necessary for performance
until you can do them automatically without thinking. Practice makes
Patience and Perseverance: You will
become frustrated with the pace and difficulty of your performance. You
will want to express yourself in a much more meaningful and
sophisticated way. Be patient and don't give up.
Consider this testimonial from a former student of Korean:
"I have taken two semesters of Korean through the ALSO program. I have been planning for some time to teach English in South Korea for a year or two after graduation, and it was very important to me to be able to speak the language, so I was thrilled when the ALSO program for Korean was created. I have greatly enjoyed the ALSO courses that I have taken, but anyone thinking about signing up for it should know that it requires a lot of self-motivation. Though you are given daily assignments, it is really up to you to get your work done and keep up, particularly with regards to memorizing vocabulary. That being said, I would highly recommend the course. The fact that the courses are taught by students allows for a very comfortable environment in which to begin learning a language, which can be a scary, embarrassing process at times. The classes focus on speaking the language, so you get a lot of practice. I have learned a lot in these two semesters, and am very grateful I had the opportunity to participate in the ALSO program."