A listener reached out on Instagram and asked if I would do an episode on textbook learning vs. real life. Having lived in Italy for 4 years and Germany for a 1 1/2 years to-date, I have experience learning both Italian and German while living in those countries, and I’ve also used language textbooks, as well as taken textbook-based classes in each language. I decided to present this topic in a way that highlights things I like about both learning methods.
I know there's often a bias or perceived advantage to learning in-country, and even though there so many benefits to learning a language in a country where it's spoken, there are also so many frustrations. Of course, the same can be said for textbook learning. What's really important is to remember that whichever way we learn, given our time, desires, or life situation is valid and useful, one of the best things we can do is find value in and extract everything we can from the resources to which we have access.
I'd love to hear from you, too! Do you have experience learning a language by living in the country? What did you like about it? What was most frustrating? Are you a textbook learner? What benefits can you find in this method? What do you feel is still missing?