by Olivia Ryan
Learning a new language is not an easy challenge. Sure; you may learn a few words or even sentences in a foreign language within a day. If you want to become fluent in a language, however, we’re talking about a whole other level of effort.
Unfortunately, many people start with great enthusiasm only to give up after a short period of time. They will use an app on their phone for a week, they will learn few phrases in French, and then they will start ignoring the notifications. At one point or another, they will delete the app because they need more space in their phone.
Why does this happen? It’s mostly because we’re making mistakes in the learning process. Sometimes the entire approach to language learning is wrong. There are 4 particular types of learners with a faulty approach. Let’s discuss those issues, so you’ll know how to fix them if you recognize them in your own practice.
Too many people fall into this trap. If, for example, you intend to move to France, you assume you’ll simply learn the language when you get immersed. You’ll be listening to people talking French all the time. You’ll have no other choice but to learn the conversational language, so why bother with grammar?
If you recognized yourself in that scenario, you’re making a mistake.
You’re not going to become fluent in a language just by spending few months in a foreign country. Grammar is an inseparable aspect of language learning. If you don’t know your grammar, you won’t go beyond the phase of forming silly sentences.
Yes; immersion is important and useful. However, it has to be part of a methodical approach to language learning, which involves grammar, writing, listening, and speaking.
Many language learners are afraid to practice. They lack self-confidence and they avoid situations that require them to speak the foreign language. They just keep learning and learning, but they don’t engage in online communities and they have a hard time speaking up. Some people even feel their heart rate racing if they have to speak up.
This is a huge mistake.
If you recognized yourself in this type of learner, you have to work on that self-confidence. We know it’s hard. But hey; no one is asking you to engage in public speaking or negotiate business deals in a foreign language. Just start talking to people!
Search for Facebook groups of people engaged in learning this language and share your knowledge. Make some contacts on social media and speak up! Book a trip to the country of your choice and get immersed!
There’s only one way to overcome the fear of speaking up: push through it.
Let’s say you need to learn Italian because you’re about to start making business connections in Italy. When you have such a specific intention, you’re likely to make a serious mistake: having a narrow approach to language learning. You’ll be solely interested to learn how to communicate with a precise goal to mind. You’ll be missing out on the culture.
This is wrong because the language is not a one-dimensional thing. It’s not only consisted of words. It has its own culture.
When you start trying and recognizing traditional foods, attending local celebrations, and understanding the subtle body language signs, then you can say you’re learning the language in its real meaning.
This is the most common type of a language learner. They may be talented. They may start well. However, they will start procrastinating somewhere along the process of learning. Instead of taking the scheduled lesson, they will just assume they can double their efforts tomorrow. Tomorrow, they will do the same thing, and they will keep procrastinating for all tomorrows to come.
Maybe you really don’t have time, so that’s your excuse. But be serious: you can still find some time to practice the language, even if it’s just for 20 minutes per day. You can do it before you go to bed.
There is only one way to fix this mistake: recognize it and stop making excuses. Just learn and practice. Every day. When you turn language learning into a habit, you’ll no longer see it as a burden. How can you turn it into a habit? Just repeat the activity every day for an extended period of time.
What type of language learner are you? If you’re one of those who have a flawed approach to the process, it’s time to change something about your style. Everyone can learn a foreign language!
About author: Olivia’s biggest passion is writing. That is why she is a journalist by profession and explorer by her convictions. She does different types of writing for assignment service as well as different independent journalistic researches. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.