How to Learn a Language without Taking Lessons: 11 Strategies That Work

Let me start this by reminding you of the obvious: lessons are obviously the best way to consistently improve at a language.

But if you don’t have the time (or the money) to spend on lessons, here are new and proven methods that will help you get better at that language you’ve been trying to master.

New apps like Toucan

Toucan is a Chrome extension that gamifies the learning process, making it easier than ever to learn a language on your own. You activate the extension and when you visit different websites it will highlight words you should know.

Toucan works by giving you points for every word or phrase that you’ve translated correctly. Then, it uses those points to unlock an entirely new set of words that are harder than the previous ones. Over time, Toucan gets more and more challenging—and you also will be getting better.

A Tandem partner / friend

Another strategy is to find a tandem partner – someone who speaks the language you’re learning and wants to improve their English (or whatever your native language is). This can be done through websites like Tandem or Language Exchange.

All you need to do is find someone who speaks the language, and ask if they’re interested in a language exchange.

Music and movies

Listen to music and/or watch movies in the language you’re learning. This is a great way to start picking up the nuances of pronunciation and get used to the sounds of the new language.

Use a language app

Start using Duolingo or any other Language-learning app on your phone.

Set a daily goal for yourself with regards to language-learning. Use Language-learning apps to track your progress and give you rewards for hitting your goal.


Immerse yourself in the culture of the country whose language you’re learning by travelling there.

Books and magazines

Read Language-learning books and Language-learning magazines in the language you’re learning.


Take up a hobby or join a club that is run in your new Language, like playing tennis at the local Language Club or taking ballroom dancing classes with other Language learners.

Writing and speaking

Speaking has been proven to be one of the most scientifically efficient ways to learn a language. Have no one to talk to? Write in the language you’re learning as much as possible. This could be writing a diary, writing articles or short stories, or even just sending texts and emails in the new Language.

Make mistakes

One of the best ways to learn is to make mistakes – so don’t be afraid to speak the language you’re learning even if you’re not


Watch Language-learning YouTube videos or podcasts to get extra practice and exposure to the language.


Attend Language-learning meetups in your area so that you can speak with other people who are also trying to learn the language.

And there you have it! The ten best ways to learn a language without taking lessons. Language-learning is fun and Language-learning apps make it easy for you to learn a language at your own pace.

So get started today by downloading Language-learning apps on your phone or signing up for Language Meetups in your area! You’ll be speaking like a native speaker before you know it!