Language On Your Own: Self-Study Tips – Part 10

This is Part 10 of a 12-part series.

Seven Helpers, I

As we have said before, Self-Study means you make all the decisions to practice or not to practice; to learn or not to learn. When you are tired, or angry about something else in your life, blowing off the language review session might seem like it doesn’t matter.  That’s when you need to stop – just stop – and ask your passion what it thinks about the idea.

Never forget you have Seven Helpers to support you in your drive to learn to speak a Native American language: and they are traditional Native virtues and values.


 Since when does learning a language take courage?


Learning something on your own takes courage. Everything is up to you. You make the decision and take the action to:

  • start learning today;
  • learn new words every day;
  • learn correct pronunciation;
  • learn consistent spelling;
  • learn your language’s sentence structure;
  • be an example for others who want to become active learners;
  • continue learning even if others think you’re wasting your time.



Self-study means you are doing something that few or no other people around you are doing.


  • Be compassionate with others who think you’re wasting your time.
  • Be compassionate with other learners.  Help them learn from their errors. You may recognize their errors as ones you have made yourself!
  • Most important, be compassionate with yourself. Mistakes are a symptom of learning something new.



As you study Lakota on your own, you are building a rich understanding that may make others curious.


  • Be generous and share with others whatever you have learned.
  • Share by speaking your language, not just speaking about the language.



No one knows everything. No one knows everything about a language.  No one knows everything about learning. Just understanding that, and going ahead anyway, is a pathway into wisdom.


  • Those who love learning are wise.
  • We all have something to learn from each other.
  • Use your wisdom to examine your language-learning tools: the books, CDs and dictionaries. Are they helping you build the results you want? Wisdom will tell you what needs to be changed for better results.


Four More Helpers in Part 11.

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