lashley, I completely agree with you. As I said, living and working with native speakers was by far my most successful attempt to learn a new language. I really like your suggestion about watching shows in the target language (whether its childrens shows for beginners or Netflix for intermediate to advanced). That was something I hadn't considered before but makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the suggestions.
Do you have a background in foreign languages?
Thanks for the reply! I'm glad you like the watching TV shows in the target language suggestion. It's something that really helped me when trying to improve my Spanish.
I am a native English speaker, but am fluent in Spanish. It's been quite a process for me trying to learn the best ways to become truly fluent in Spanish (i.e. not just having basic conversations with spanish speakers, but actually becoming really proficient in the language on a professional and academic level).
It hasn't been easy gaining fluency, but along the way I've learned so much about language learning and what truly works best for the go-getters who want to actually become fluent. I've found that the best ways to gain true proficiency in a language is to ditch any language learning apps and programs (that are mostly geared towards translation) and turn to things like reading books, magazines, news articles, going to conversation tables, talking with native speakers, and of course traveling to countries that speak the language for extended periods of time to better my Spanish.
I know most people probably don't want to hear my not-so-positive opinions on most language learning apps and programs, but I'm just speaking the truth from my personal experiences in gaining proficiency in a foreign language. Unfortunately, I think its common for many people to proclaim, "oh i want to become fluent in ____" and expect that a program/app will do the trick. But, that's honestly far from what gaining fluency takes. It takes an incredible amount of dedication and passion that lasts over time to gain fluency. I think its common for people to do Duolingo for some weeks or maybe a couple months and then give up. Gaining fluency takes tons of practice speaking it to native speakers and listening to them speak and reading in the language etc.
As you can probably tell, I'm really passionate about helping those who want to gain fluency in a language by providing them with my most helpful tips. However, I've found that many people say they want to become fluent in a language, but don't actually want to put in the work that it takes to reach that level. They get frustrated after several Duolingo sessions and expect programs like Rossetta Stone to make them fluent. In reality, it takes so much more than that and I don't think most people quite understand the dedication it takes to become proficient on an advanced level.
Hope my opinions help!