Have you ever shied away from learning a new language? Exploring the unknown? What are the possible reasons?
1. Like everything else in life you need to have a PURPOSE. Your purpose could be anything: To impress your girlfriend, to experience a new culture or to even challenge your own limits. Simply because without purpose I am afraid you are not going to get far.
So, what do you need to do? :Remind yourself of what your purpose is. In my case: I was going to meet my friends in Spain and I had 3 months to learn. I reminded myself of that everyday.
2. Most people get too confused and stressed with the continuous mugging up of words and phrases. After all, how much will you memorize?! After a week or 2 you will finally give up.
What do you need to do: Don’t mug up! You will not get very far. When you learnt Mathematics did you learn the result of each and every multiplication or did you learn how the multiplication was done. Similarly you need to understand the root of each word and how to use the words to make sentences on your own.
3. “I can’t see any progress or any benefits.” This is also something you hear often. Just sitting in class or going through lessons is definitely not enough.
What you need to do?Speak and listen! Listen to music, listen to conversations, speak to people, if you are too shy or don’t feel quite confident – speak to yourself.Then converse with people! If you don’t go out and converse then even if you have progressed how will you know?
4. The final reason and possibly the biggest one in my opinion – people get stressed, they don’t enjoy! Learning a new language is by far the most pleasurable thing in life! The only thing more pleasurable is the ability to use it to converse with people you could not even say hello to before.
What you need to do? Enjoy the process!! Don’t get stressed if you make a mistake, laugh at them and then learn from them. Feel you have done well by making another mistake; you may have another funny story to tell your new buddies about.
PS: When I was still in the early stages of learning Spanish. I was very excited to meet other learners. I wanted to say to my friend “I am very excited to meet you”. Instead I said: “Estoy muy excitado”. Which means I am very “sexually” excited! What made matters worse was that the friend was a girl. We had a good laugh about it and I learnt my lesson.
Every time I narrate this story to new and old friends it results in a room full of laughter and more new friends. So much so, I now enjoy telling people the story. So what are you waiting for? Go out –
make some mistakes, some new friends and explore a side of yourself you never knew existed.