As human beings, we just love comfort. We speak English, we have been speaking it for years. This makes us great at it. After all, what else do you practice as much as your mother tongue? Being so good in our first language makes us very comfortable. Well, comfort can also be a bit boring, don’t you think? Not just for languages, but for things in general. Your couch is pretty comfy, but pretty boring. Skydiving is pretty darn scary, but you will feel incredibly alive once you land safely. If you’re afraid of something you truly would like to do, ask yourself if the danger is real, if it is not, do it no matter how afraid you are. Leaving your comfort zone for language-learning is certainly no piece of cake, but it’s essential. In this post, we will talk about the three enemies of language-learning and how they can be overcome.
One of the biggest obstacles of people wanting to learn a new language, or anything in life in fact, is making excuses. Most of them are simply convenient little lies we tell ourselves to make us feel better. This may sound harsh, but sometimes it helps to get a good ol’ kick in the butt, don’t you agree? No matter what your excuse is to not learn a new language, the excuse itself is the only thing getting in your way. Once you stop making excuses and take some actions instead, you will be well on your way.
Anyone can learn a foreign language. If you were able to learn your first language, what is keeping you from learning your second or third language? Just do it! It is just a matter of keeping at it and finding a method that works for you. You must refuse to believe any excuses that may enter your mind. No, you are not too old, you don’t need special skills, you will find the time. You might want to tell yourself, “Yes, I will learn this new language! I can do it!” Sounds much better doesn’t it? You bet!
Once excuses are out of the way and a decision is made, nothing can stop you. Yes, some people will learn a little faster than you, but many people will also learn slower than you. Children have some advantages over adults, but it has been proven that adults have a lot of advantages over children too. Write down a list of all your excuses. Okay? Now take that list, rip it up and throw it out. Now you can’t compare yourself with anyone, it is just you and your future language. Congrats!
Unfortunately, a lot of people fail at language-learning because they are simply too nervous to speak it. They may know how to say something, but they’re afraid it will not be the correct way to say it or that they will make a mistake. The thing is though that when learning a new language, you will feel uncomfortable, vulnerable and nervous at times. There’s no way around it. This will be worse in the beginning, but once you get used to not being the Albert Einstein of language-learning, this stress will decrease.
You need to embrace the feeling of not knowing, which is no easy task since it’s so unnatural for us. When you are having trouble putting your point out there, it is also when you are making the most progress. When you don’t know how to say something, find a way to say it anyway, perhaps with hand gestures, mimes and the vocabulary you do know. Who doesn’t love playing charades? The person you’re talking to will likely tell you how to say it once they understand. That is something your brain will not forget.
What you have to remember is that a language is a communication tool. That’s all it is really! If you can get your point across, it’s all that matters for now. Remember to take it one step at a time. Don’t worry about the opinion of others. You’ll feel a lot more awkward than the person you are speaking to. When a foreign person makes an effort to talk to you in English, do you judge them? They may make a few mistakes, but it doesn’t matter, especially if they have a good sense of humor about it.
Once, there was a vendor on the beach selling hats. This man was absolutely incredible, he had no language anxiety whatsoever. There were people from all over the world on that beach. It did not matter what language they were speaking, he would communicate with them, joke around with them, and end up selling them a hat. He had fun with it. He understood something most of us don’t understand, you can communicate with anyone in the world, regardless of what language they speak. This inspiring man was deaf. He couldn’t hear anyone, yet he was able to communicate and have fun with anyone on that beach. If we all had his courage, language learning would be a lot easier.
Lack of time.
Everyone seems to be in a rush these days. What a crazy performance-driven world, isn’t it? We are all very busy and that is perfectly understandable. But we seem to always make time for things that matter, things that add value to our lives (or not). Remember this; learning a language will add more value to your life than most of the activities you make time for! Plus, the good news is that a lot of daily activities can also become learning activities. Learning and doing what you love at the same time! Boom! You’ve just created multiple hours of learning for yourself!
Of course if learning a language means stuffing your head in a grammar book and trying to understand all the complicated rules and exceptions. Very few people would be happy to find time for that. A language is so much more than that and it can be incorporated in many parts of your day. There are more ways to learn a language than to learn virtually any other skill. Taking advantage of this will be incredibly helpful to you. In upcoming posts, we will talk about all the things you can change in your daily life to learn your new language on-the-go.
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it with your friends by using one the social links below. If you are interested in learning a language, or are still looking for a great method to give you a solid foundation in your new language, checkout our website at Ouino.com. Thanks a lot! Until next time!
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