5 myths when learning a new language

There are some widely held myths when it comes to start learning a new language that discourage most learners from making the first step towards this goal. After thinking about it again and again, discussing it with our friends, we have finally decided to fearlessly embark on this new adventure. We have found a teacher, we have bought our first books and we are all set and ready to go! Let’s see which these myths are and how we can easily disperse them…

Myth n.1

“In order to learn a new language you must have an aptitude for languages”

…otherwise you are doomed to strive for years, carrying around the one book after the other, from one failed attempt to the other. Let’s be honest, all of us have, at least once, met a person who has a flair for languages. However, these people constitute only a minority and in no way can they justify the overwhelming number of people speaking more than one language.

The element which undoubtedly separates all these people from the rest of us is simply their commitment to their goal. Their determination, persistence and patience don’t let them stop whenever they make a mistake. The opposite happens! They recognize that their failed attempts are only steps towards learning.

Therefore, let’s just accept that throughout this process, we will feel, more often than not, that there more failures than achievements, but in the end we will successfully reach our goal, like all others do!

Myth n.2

In order to learn a foreign language well, you must live in the country where that language is spoken.”

When we travel or spend some time in another country, we need to communicate in a foreign language. If we fail to do that, we will probably not be able to cover our basic everyday needs, such as finding accommodation or work, or even asking for help in case of emergency. Our survival instinct, however, just pushes us to speak in that language, to listen and to read in order to understand, the best way we can. As it is natural, this direct need to communicate with other people, accelerates the process of learning that language.

So, what can we do? We can -in a way- pretend that this need already exists, at the place we live. For example, no matter how difficult it might seem in the beginning, we can start watching the news and reading the newspaper in the language that we are trying to learn. Let’s not forget that we have what could probably be considered the greatest gift of communication mankind has ever seen, the Internet. Let’s use it towards our goal!

Keep in mind that there are a lot of applications, as well as various foreign language forums which offer us the chance to practise speaking with a native speaker.

Myth n.3

Only children can learn a new language, not adults”

Probably, the most popular myth! It keeps on spreading! Only by hearing it, people are instantly convinced that this is the truth. Well, my friends, let’s all laugh at it together!

In fact, an adult learner holds a significant advantage in contrast to a younger student. Adults have personally made the decision to learn something new. They do not do their h/w for their mum or dad, instead adults study in order to build a strong confidence, travel all around the world, form relationships with people from other cultures or to expand their professional horizons. So, the moment they choose to do this, they are committed to it. Last but not least, overall life experience so far will definitely help an adult combine, compare and memorize information throughout the process of learning.

Myth n.4

I don’t have time to learn a foreign language”

My favorite of all myths! This phrase comes with other similar ones, ex. “it takes too much time to study”, “it takes years to learn a new language” and of course, right after that we have further elaborating,  such as “Unless you learn ALL the grammar (!!!) you can’t speak the language”, “if you don’t know at least a thousand words, you cannot express yourself in the language”. I don’t know about you, but I am tired already!

Each and every one of us share the exact same 24 hours in a day, during which we organize all of our activities. As it is natural, igniting our mind by learning something new will take more time compared to surfing online, changing T.V. channels or reading a magazine.

However, millions of people all around the world prove us wrong every day. By following an organized lifestyle, not only do they achieve learning a new language but they also not miss out on anything important to them. They successfully balance work, family, kids and other hobbies. Nobody said it is easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. Right?

Myth n.5

«I already have a job, I dont need to learn a new language.”

I could possibly sympathize with this kind of thinking thirty years ago…Nowadays, this is funny just to mention it. Regardless of the line of work a person is, high or low rank, the global rat race that keeps increasing, renders any kind of work position unstable. Globalization significantly raises the number of other candidates against which we compete for a limited number of vacancies. Therefore, by mastering another language, we establish a stronger business profile.

As a final note on this article, I would like to say that any kind of knowledge only gets poorer if, while trying to attain it, we desperately seek the way that it will eventually be implemented. Trust me, knowledge, especially the one of a foreign language, will offer us a lot more skills than we can probably think of in the beginning, not to mention broadening our spiritual horizons. The difference before and after will be amazing! All we have to do is try it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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