Is it possible to learn English and japanese to english, or any other foreign language, on your own? It seems to me that it is possible. However, only under certain conditions.
1. Previous successful, not necessarily independent, experience in learning another foreign language.
If you know how to learn a language correctly, what techniques and methods work well in your case, then the task of learning a new language will become much easier. In addition, if you have already studied a similar language – for example, you learn Italian, knowing French well – then the new language will be more “transparent” for you, that is, much of it will be clear without explanation and translation.
2. Very strong motivation, as well as the ability to work independently and plan your time competently.
Many begin to learn the language on their own, but the enthusiasm lasts at best for a few weeks, after which the motivation begins to slowly but steadily decline, and after a maximum of two months, most students give up classes. There are many excuses: workload, the need to devote time to family, fatigue … But these are all excuses, not reasons. There is only one reason for this – there is no incentive. When you have it, for example, if you have to pass an international exam in two months, which is necessary for studying or working abroad, then, as if by magic, you immediately find time and energy!
3. The regularity of classes.
Daily lessons for an hour will be much more effective than a 4-hour lesson once a week. Accordingly, even before the start of classes, it will be necessary to make adjustments to your day and find a free hour in the schedule. It is better if you study at the same time, for example, before going to bed, then after 3-4 weeks the lessons will become a habit.
4. Availability of educational and authentic (not originally intended for educational purposes) materials.
For successful self-study, you will need not only to choose a suitable textbook, but also listen to audio, watch videos, read newspapers and magazines, as well as chat in chats and forums in the language you are learning. English learners have nothing to complain about here. But those who need a rather rare language, for example, Norwegian or Hungarian, may encounter certain difficulties.
5. Opportunity to practice with native speakers.
You will be able to listen to how a real, live language sounds, assess your current level, and get rid of the language barrier. Many large cities have conversation clubs where you can go to have a little chat, or at least listen to others speak. If you do not have such an opportunity, then you can always find someone for language practice on the Web.
6. Availability of a consultant.
Even if you have dozens of reference books and textbooks at your disposal, sooner or later you will feel that you need a face-to-face consultation. Moreover, I would recommend to anyone who learns the language on their own, periodically, once every couple of weeks, to study with a teacher who would explain difficult points, correct mistakes, and give recommendations.
To be honest, I know of only a few examples of independent successful learning of a foreign language. Moreover, these were people for whom the language being studied was not even a second, but a third or fourth. And I heard about many unsuccessful attempts, when all undertakings gradually came to naught.
If you still want to try – good luck in this difficult but exciting business!