No matter how fascinated we are by the beauty of a new language, it seems like there is always a critical period where we encounter many excuses that deter us from even starting the process!
We have all been there; one minute we are excited about the idea of learning a new language, and the next, we make all kinds of excuses and pause from the initial excitement.
Read about three popular language learning myths that we create in order to justify our procrastination when it comes to learning a new language.
- “I am too old for this; I will never learn.”
While there are some studies that support the idea that children have an easier time learning a second language, there is nothing to suggest there’s an age at which learning abilities disappear for good. So, put this myth to rest and start learning that language that you have been meaning to study for years.
Also, here is an extra incentive: Think about the advantages that your age gives you, you have been speaking your native language for quite some time, and your innate knowledge of its grammar and sounds will be helpful when trying to learn a new language from scratch. So what are you waiting for? Go try it now (Actually, hang on, let’s finish this article first!).
- “I’m too busy; I don’t have time to waste.”
Let’s start by making it clear that time spent learning a new language is not time wasted. There are many advantages to learning a new language. That’s an entirely different article in itself. It’s true that, as adults, we have a lot on our plates and often find it difficult to make time for learning. In this case, it helps if we change our perception of learning from being “a waste of time” to being “an investment” that will bring us personal, social and even economic benefits in the future.
Also, it is important to realize that learning is not exclusive to classrooms, nor does it need to be time-consuming. You can try to listen to language podcasts while walking to work, or when you’re working out, or you can also squeeze in a mini-lesson while waiting for an appointment. Remember to make it fun, and not see it as an obligation or as homework. Once you see your own progress, oftentimes that’s all you need to keep pushing forward.
- “Learning a new language is too expensive; I don’t have that kind of money.”
This excuse is probably the one that’s used most often, but it is also the easiest to solve. Just as learning a new language doesn’t have to be a boring burden, it doesn’t have to break the bank as well. Thanks to the Internet, we now have access to many affordable, helpful resources. Make use of these and take advantage of the many sites and applications designed to make learning easier for you.
Look for communities or groups that aim to practice conversational skills or set up free language exchanges with people that are willing to learn your native language. Last, but not least, hire a teacher and design your own learning experience today (italki has a lot of awesome language teachers)!
No matter what your excuse is, you alone have the power to break free from all your hesitations. Learning a foreign language is a very gratifying process, but it all starts with those first-steps! Or, if you’ve started to learn a language but for whatever reason stopped, then continue and try once again!
Written by Sandrah. Hero image by geralt (CC0 1.0).