Book learningLearning from a book has a similar advantage to the podcast, in that it’s very portable. Unlike the podcast though, it’s more suitable for those wishing to improve their writing and reading skills, as there is generally no spoken element apart from practicing aloud to yourself.

Although learning from a book is a flexible method – you can learn when and where you like – there is no one to ask questions of if you are struggling. Also, the book cannot correct you if you are making mistakes! Books are generally well-structured, and you can move at your own pace. If you feel you’ve mastered a section, you can quickly move on to the next.

In addition, the initial price of the book is the only cost you’re likely to bear. It’s worth doing some research before buying though, to make sure the book is the correct one for your level and what kind of skills you want to get out of it. Online book store sites often have user reviews, and this site has some reviews for a handful of languages.

Cheryl from Manchester has been learning Russian:

I’ve found my book really useful for learning the Cyrillic alphabet and can now read Russian to quite a good level. I put aside time each week to go through the next chapter, although it’s hard to stick to it sometimes as I have to say no to dinner or going out with my friends. It hasn’t really helped me with speaking skills though, so I’m trying to find someone who speaks Russian to converse with, like a language exchange.