10 Apr How to Learn a Language through Self-Directed Learning

An article on the Neuroscience of Self-Directed Learning by the Chief Learning Officer stated that there are two methods by which the efforts and intelligence of top performing employees can be replicated:

– Emphasize and instill in the top performers the abilities that make them unique

– Mold other employees to think, behave and act like the top performers

While the former can be achieved through ‘self-discovery’, there isn’t any concrete evidence to suggest the success rate of that method. Self-directed learning, on the other hand, can be attained by the ‘rewiring of neurons into new patterns’ and can help develop everybody to become a top performer.

How is that possible?

The neuroscience of learning states that specific images, words or actions evoke a change in the attitude, perception and thought process of an individual. The effect of these objects, if positive, can drive a person to output profitable and successful ideas as well as attitudes.

However, according to Malcom Knowles (1975), the underlying reasoning behind self-directed learning is ‘survival’. In his opinion, the necessity to depend on oneself has become a requirement to live in today’s busy world.


Learning a new language can be an outcome of either contributing to the benefit of others or for the survival of oneself. Either way, both the reasons are capable of driving an individual to improve their language skills. Technology today has given a rise to various platforms, such as LiveOnline learning (Virtual Instructor-Led Training) and Self-Study Online Course, that aid in complementing the language learning journey, whatever may be the motivation.

There are 3 key factors that entail the creation of top performers through self-directed learning:

1. Diving into intrinsic motivation to learn

2. Ample amount of practice to internalize the content learnt

3. High support from social circle(s)

How can you learn a language through self-directed learning?

The methodology of self-directed learning focuses on the following:

– The needs of the learner and how they can perform the task at hand in the best way possible

– The three outlining aspects: Purely intrinsic motivation to learn a language, rigorous practice to internalize the content and practical usage in social settings accelerating the learner’s journey to fluency

The globalized environment today has led individuals and firms to encourage language learning through technology, be it for personal or professional purpose. Using online platforms, apps or LiveOnline (VILT) learning to venture into the world of foreign languages is increasingly common. Moreover, LiveOnline learning offers a wholly customized learning experience, where the learner can decide on the frequency, schedule and topic of interest (related to language or culture). Therefore, he or she can learn anytime and anywhere, as and when they’re motivated.


How does LiveOnline language learning support the concept of Self-Directed learning?

– It meets the requirements of the learner, which in turn enhances the sense of achievement and motivation.

– The bond formed between the instructor and the learner supports the ideology, with enhanced and rapid communication leaving little to no room for mistakes or doubts.

– The curiosity levels of the individual remain consistent and support their need for learning.

Here is the breakdown of the style of self-directed learning that will give you the opportunity to become a top performer, be it when learning languages or acquiring another skill:

1. Seek the reason(s) that motivates you from within (it can be a need, a wish…)

2. Understand your learning style (for example; Visual, Verbal, Physical or Aural)

3. Apply your learning style to the task at hand and entwine it with your motivation

4. Practice until perfect

5. Communicate and socialize for support and practice

Using the simple steps above can help you turn from a novice foreign language speaker to a fluent one, if implemented efficiently.

Firms and businesses can use the self-learning tactic to encourage their employees to learn another language, as this method shall not simply state it as a job requirement but will also support their personal development.

Want to empower your workforce to gain a competitive edge in the market? Engage them in Self-Directed LiveOnline Language Learning today! 

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