Most people approach language learning like they approach math. It's a skilled to be "learned" and therefore requires a methodical approach where you learn the rules and structure of the language before progressing to more advanced topics. However, instead of language "learning" I believe people should approach it as "language training."

The single most important thing to becoming fluent in a language is becoming a good listener. The reason is that listening is the only activity you don't have control over. You can read, write, and speak as slowly and as carefully as you want, but you usually can't slow down people when they speak. In this post I'm going to detail how exactly I actively listen to maximize my time and learning. Keep in mind I'm not doing what is easiest -- I'm doing what's most effective.

About one year ago I decided to learn Portuguese. I wanted to prove to myself and other people that you could become fluent quickly without being "immersed." This wasn't just some language challenge, however, where I studied 12+ hours a day. This is more of an example of a realistic path towards fluency. I averaged about 1 hour per day studying If I had to guess. Below are my thoughts on what worked, didn't work and my philosophy on efficient language learning.