Are you ready to fulfill your dream of learning the target language you’ve been putting on hold for so long? If yes, read ‘til the end because there are 8 things you should know before learning a new language.
This post is dedicated to newbie language learners as well as others who might be interested in doing this. ¡Vámonos!
The way you approach language learning will have a big impact on your journey. If you start with the mindset that you’ll be fluent in X months expect yourself to work harder to reach the goal. You probably see ads out there that promise you can speak a language without much effort. That’s all marketing tactics. Don’t fall for it.
Everything takes effort just as you learn other subjects like mathematics, science, etc. What makes you think language is any different?
Also, be open to criticism or feedback. If you can’t accept it either you walk away or deal with it. There’s no other way around. It’s the only way you can grow and be a better learner
No Expiration Date
Learning a new language is a never-ending process. Even if you’re on an advanced level you still need to constantly review and use the language. Otherwise, you’re going to forget and back to square one. So, think thoroughly.
See Both Sides
If you want to be fully prepared and alert of what’s coming you need to see the not-so-bright side of it too. Fellow learners love to share their progress online. Go to YouTube, Reddit, forums, etc, look for it, take note and decide if you still want to proceed.
I’d rather you see the whole picture before you even begin so you know what you’re getting yourself into. You definitely don’t want to have the ‘I wish’ series of regrets down the road because you come unprepared.
Embrace The Feelings
Throughout this journey, you’re going to experience a rollercoaster of emotions. In the beginning, you feel happy, excited and all the good feelings. After a while, it’s possible you may feel overwhelmed, frustrated by your process, or a certain grammar topic that makes you lose your mind and even burn out.
You just have to embrace them all. It’s this process that will differentiate you from other learners because many of them will give up and start doubting themselves.
People always want to find shortcuts for everything. There are in fact some shortcuts in language learning but sadly, even that requires effort. Let’s say you only want to reach the conversational level. One of the effective ways is to talk with native speakers.
In order to do that, you need to have a decent amount of vocabulary among other things. The shortcut? Learn the common words you use in daily life. Ignore everything else. The downside? There are probably more words you overlook because you think you don’t need them but when the time comes it proves you wrong.
Acknowledge Your Limit
As much as we love to learn quickly and make the process shorter our brain isn’t a sponge. Give it time to adjust to the new routine. Many people find grammar to be difficult including me. Some of the rules are easier than others.
It may take a few weeks to get the concept or as slow as a few years. Sometimes the solution is right in front of your eyes but you fail to recognize it. Don’t be discouraged when you hear people say they have been learning X language for years but still not fluent.
People learn differently. Everyone’s progress is distinct. That’s a fact!
Think of a thing that will put you back on track in times of uncertainty. It could be recording a video for your future self. In the video, you could talk about something that your future self can’t deny. If there’s someone who knows you well it’s you. Talk yourself out of quitting.
Enjoy The Process
Whether you’re learning casually or seriously you need to enjoy the process. Make it memorable where one day you can look back and say ‘this was the hardest part but I’m glad I pushed through’. If you still make mistakes that’s ok. Learning a new language is never a straight line anyway.
Be happy with it because later on when you reach your goal you have a story worth telling. You’re literally the proof of ‘when there’s a will, there’s a way’.
So, what are the things you wish you knew before you dive in? Share with us below.