Why it’s So Difficult to Choose a Language Learning Program
You’re trying to do something right now that is very difficult, and believe me, I sympathize.
You’re trying to figure out which language learning product is worth your money, and more importantly, which one is worth your time.
Think about other things that are expensive that you have to buy on occasion. Take a car, for example. You visit the dealer, look under the hood, kick the tires, and go for a drive. Then you make a decision. But there is no doubt that what you are considering buying is actually a car.
There may be problems with its mechanical soundness, or safety, or fuel economy, but there’s NO doubt that it is indeed a car that will get you from point A to point B.
Why Buying Language Learning Software is Very Difficult
So let’s say that you want to learn Spanish and you are looking for products that will help you. You will find a vast range of different systems and programs on the internet that promise to help you learn a language, but a large percentage of these products do NOT work at all.
One of my favorite quotes goes like this: “Every problem has a solution that is clear, simple, obvious, and wrong.”
Here’s an example from the world of language learning. If you want to learn a new language, you know that it has a large vocabulary, and so you might think “I should memorize a lot of words in my new language.”
There’s just one problem with this method, memorizing words by themselves (without their context) doesn’t work. I met a man once who knew thousands of words in English but couldn’t speak the language at all. We were talking in Russian, and while I had a small Russian vocabulary, I knew how to use it. But every time I didn’t know the Russian word for something, I’d tell him in English and he’d give me the Russian translation and on we went.
The man knew thousands of English words, but he couldn’t speak English!
An Example You Will Understand
Imagine for a minute that you are a foreigner who wants to learn English. If you learn these two phrases, “What’s your name?” and “My name is Michael,” and if you know when to use them, well then you speak a little bit of English.
But say you learn these six words (and what they mean) but you don’t know how to put them together and when to use them, well then you don’t really know any English do you?
I mean, what’s the value of the word “your” by itself? By itself “your” is just sort of a strange sound that is useless to you. Learning words out of context seems like a great idea, but it just doesn’t work.
Have you tried the Rosetta Stone demo? That’s exactly what their demo teaches — words without any context. At the end of every study session, you will know absolutely none of your new language, even if you learn all the words perfectly.
Other Ideas That Don’t Work
Ever run across websites that say you can learn a language while you sleep? What utter nonsense. Yes, sleep is very important to language learning (your memories are converted from short-term memory to long-term memory during REM sleep), and yes, it’s true that your hearing still functions (to some degree) while you sleep, but you will never learn a new language in your sleep. Your brain is off doing other things while you sleep, it’s not listening for new learning inputs. But there are popular websites with lots of users that will promise you can learn a new language in your sleep.
Learning Spanish Words With an English Context
Other sites will tell you that can learn a new language while plugging foreign words into English sentences.
This also sounds like a great idea. And in fact, my brother tried it with his daughters. My brother is a smart guy and he speaks Spanish well. So he tried to teach his daughters Spanish by plugging Spanish words into English sentences. The result is that his daughters know a few Spanish words, but they don’t even know how to say “What’s your name?” in Spanish.
Once a Week Tutoring Doesn’t Work
Have you ever thought about getting a tutor in Spanish once a week? It’s a complete waste of your time and money.
Now daily tutoring can certainly work, if you do it right, but that’s another story.
How About Passively Listening to Spanish Movies?
This is another idea that seems great at first. You get to enjoy the movie with English subtitles and hopefully learn your new language without having to work at it. I would love this idea. . . if it worked.
Is there a way to use movies to learn a new language? Maybe, but you need to memorize the entire movie, looking up every new word you don’t know and writing it down in context.
If you do it right it will help, but it’s a lot of work and you are very likely to make a mistake for example and pick the wrong movie.
The Range of Proposed Language Learning Solutions
There is a continuum of hundreds, if not thousands, of language learning “solutions.”
At one end are “solutions” that can never work, no matter how diligently you apply them. In the middle you’ll find solutions that can work, given enough time, motivation and effort. At the other end you have solutions that will work quickly and well.
Do You Know The Right Questions to Ask?
Let’s go back to the car buying example. When you want to buy a car, you probably DO know the right questions to ask. You might ask about how many miles you can drive for every gallon of gas that your burn. You’d also probably ask how much insurance costs and what repairs are likely to cost.
In my ten years in the language-learning business, no one ever has come to me and asked all the right questions. Yes, everyone asks, “how much money?” and occasionally people ask, “how much time will it take?” There is nothing wrong with those questions, but they aren’t the most important ones.
But no one ever comes to me and asks “How fast will I forget what I have learned with your program?” — And everyone should ask that!
High Quality Learning and Low Quality Learning Both Exist
So remember the continuum of proposed language learning methods I talked about earlier? Let’s ignore the methods that can never possibly work, and let’s talk about the ones that can potentially work as well as the ones that are very efficient and effective.
If you have 100 people study Spanish with with slow and inefficient learning methods (think of a typical Spanish class). And you have 100 different people use effective efficient methods, and have all 200 of them take a competency tests on the same day.
Their scores will be similar on the day that they take the test. But their experiences both before and after their tests will differ dramatically.
Before the test, the students in a traditional classroom spent a lot of time communicating and studying with inefficient methods. Before the test, the students with a program like Language101.com spent a small amount of time in very efficient study.
After the test, assuming that neither group got as much practice as they would like (which is typical) the students in the traditional class forgot what they had learned quickly, as they didn’t have a time-efficient method for reviewing it. After the test, the students who had studied with Language101.com forgot slowly – much more slowly in fact, and when they did forget they had a very time-efficient method for reviewing what they had learned.
All learning is NOT created equal. High-quality learning produces both faster learning and slower forgetting than low quality learning. Sorry it’s not politically correct, but biology doesn’t care.
Choosing The Right Approach Gets Even Harder
Say you are a diligent prospective student and you decide that people who can speak many languages must be the ones that know how to learn them well. Sometimes (but not always) this is true, so you search the web and you find out that many polyglots recommend something called “spaced repetition.”
Hmmm, Language101.com uses spaced repetition.
Spaced repetition can be a very effective way to learn a new language, but there are lots of ways that this won’t work at all.
For example, how much of a new language (that you don’t yet know) can you hear and repeat correctly a few seconds later? The answer is about seven to ten syllables. How many syllables you can hear — and reproduce quickly — depends on how similar the new language is to ones you already know. If you are a native speaker of English, you will be able to hear and reproduce more German syllables than you will Japanese syllables.
Your brain’s circuits for processing the new sounds are more easily able to reproduce German sounds than Japanese sounds.
So for any language, if you try to learn phrases that are longer than your short-term memory buffer in your brain, you will 100% fail even with an excellent method that can work well like “spaced repetition.”
So Will This Method Work for Me?
People should ask this question but they don’t. “Do you have something to help me come back and study every day like I know I need to? Or will this be like another gym membership that I buy but don’t use?”
For us, the answer is yes, we have an option called Use It Or Lose It, that lets you stake money and lose it everyday that you don’t study. Read the details here.
How Should You Make a Decision Without Adequate Information?
What we usually do is we buy the brand with the most advertising, the prettiest website, or we buy what our friends are using. If we think back to prehistoric hunter-gatherer days, doing what our friends were doing was always the right choice.
If you were buying a product that is relatively easy to evaluate, like a car, that would be the right choice.
But doing what your friends are doing, unless you are a friend of Les Jamison in Texas, is probably not going to work well.
So Why Are We Expensive and Worth It?
We offer you a very good, well-crafted, and well-developed spaced repetition language learning system, layered on top of a motivation system called Use It Or Lose It, that will keep you coming back for your length of commitment and actually using it.
Our system is right for everyone who tries our free demo and those who find there is a lot of it they don’t know. In other words, if you try our free demo and you know everything in it, then this is not the right program for you.
We are expensive because we have a system that works efficient and quickly. It will produce high-quality memories that fade slowly and can quickly be refreshed by short periods of review.
No other language-learning program, that we know of, works like that. If you know of one that does, then let us know.
I Propose Two Tests You Can Easily Do
Your time is very valuable and you don’t want to spend the weeks, months, or years necessary to evaluate every product on the market, and possibly waste months to years on a method that cannot possibly work.
The Cheaper Test
This is an okay method, and if you do this right it will only take an hour and one week later you will 100% know what program is right for you.
First bookmark our site, then turn off your mobile phone, log out of facebook and instagram and study with our free demo minutes without interruptions. Then go study with any other programs free demo for 30 minutes, then mark your calendar for one week and go back and buy the program where you can remember more.
Some of our best customers have done that and they have been very happy with it.
The Better Test
The problem with that is that statistically you are likely to forget. Honestly, can you even remember all 20 websites you have been on so far today? And since my company doesn’t have a multi-million dollar advertising budget to drill our name into your head, you might end up with a program that doesn’t work either as well or at all.
So the better test would be to have you put skin in the game, and that’s what I suggest that you do right now. First buy any of our products that is right for you, sign up for Use it or Lose it and study for one week. But also purchase any other product that you have been considering and study with that one for a week. Most companies have at least 30 day money back guarantees.
At the end of the week you will know which product helped you learn and remember more. This will work much better than the test where you only try the free demos. You will remember what you bought, and it’s much more likely to work.
Use it or Lose it may even help you study more consistent with our competitor’s product. I’m okay with that. Remember that when you sign up for Use It Or Lose It (and I recommend that you do) any stakes (money) that you forfeit is not refundable.
Then come back after a week and ask for a refund from the program that just didn’t work. Our program price is always refundable for 30 days, no questions asked.
This is Your Moment of Strength
Everyone has moments of strength and moments of weakness. This is your moment of strength and I know it. You don’t get very many like this in your whole life. It’s this moment when you are trying to find the right method to bring out the better, stronger, smarter part of you who can speak Spanish.
Use this moment to buy our product now and sign up for Use It Or Lose it, with stakes that are big enough so you will not miss a day.
We want to help you succeed, and we can do it.
Click Here to select the program that’s right for you.
Look At Your Shoes and Your Car?
Are you wearing the cheapest possible shoes money can buy? Are you driving the cheapest car on the market? Probably not. This is because we know deep down that we get what we pay for. We wouldn’t want to be stranded on the side of the road because we bought a lemon. Nor would we want our shoe soles wearing through in the first week. Instead, we weigh our options and make the wise choice that’s right for our individual needs.
In the same way, choosing the right language-learning program is an investment in your future. And you deserve to invest in yourself. Try Language101.com today, and finally start learning your new language.