We get plenty of students in our classes who want to learn a second language for all kinds of practical reasons: for work, for their partner, to keep their brain young, or because they love Fellini films. So if you’re learning a language, but not planning on jetting off tomorrow to practice it, we have a bunch of great books just for you!
Two in-house favorites on methods for learning additional languages are:
Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner. Wyner himself was a monoglot until he decided to take up opera singing and needed to learn French, Italian, and German fast. This book is a highly-tactical approach to both learning a language and sounding like a native speaker, using methods that save time and really get you thinking in your target language.
Fluent in 3 Months by Benny Lewis. Similar to Fluent Forever but different, Lewis is slightly less tactical and more anecdotal. His methods aren’t entirely different from Wyner, but if you think more in narrative than in action-steps, Lewis’s book will have you pumped about your capacity to learn a trillion languages super fast.
And to increase your immersion at home, we recommend Berlitz’s 1000 Words books. Okay hear us out. These books, with spreads of scenes where every word is called out in the target language, are INCREDIBLY helpful for grown-ups, though they are marketed for kids. You get tons of vocabulary (with gender!) and it could be a great exercise to carry the book around your house while putting up sticky notes, labeling everything around you!
Love Poems by Pablo Neruda and French Love Poems. These tiny little jewels of books are full of beautiful poetry in Spanish and French respectively with facing translations into English on each page. Ahh c’est l’amour…
Penguin Parallel Texts
We have these in stock for more languages than we teach! They’re great collections of short stories with the English translation on the facing page. And the editors do a great job of picking really memorable stories that will stick with you long after you need to refresh the vocabulary you learned!
Grammar(!) The least sexy, but perhaps the most integral way to really understand a language, is to get the grammar well in hand. We carry two series to help with this.
English Grammar for Students of …
This series explains concepts of grammar for native English speakers. So when you’re learning a new concept and you’re all “how does the subjunctive even work in English?” this book explains it clearly and succinctly, with examples both in English and in the student’s target language.
Practice Makes Perfect Series
We use this series for our Spanish textbook, and we keep plenty of volumes in stock for French, German, and Italian as well. They have books that focus on verb tenses, reading comprehension, vocabulary, anything that you could want more practice on! They give you li’l readings and questions afterward to help you grasp the concepts.