Language Learning Secrets: It's All in Your Mind

Updated on June 28, 2018
Lil Mertz profile image

Lil has been teaching English as a Foreign Language in Latin America for 6 years. Challenging and encouraging students is her passion.

Our attitude towards language learning is an extremely powerful tool we can use to our advantage.
Our attitude towards language learning is an extremely powerful tool we can use to our advantage. | Source

Learning a different language can open new worlds. Imagine the job opportunities! Imagine the new people you can meet!

Yeah, yeah. We’ve all heard the many wonderful reasons why you should learn a foreign language. However, let’s be real, folks. It’s no joke that learning a foreign language can be tough and exhausting. Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room. It can be horribly embarrassing, too. Sometimes it can be so embarrassing that you reconsider many times if it’s worth continuing to learn. Oh, and the frustration of trying to understand and use bizarre grammar structures and memorize difficult vocabulary. The list goes on and on.

This is where the power of the mind comes into play. Adjusting our attitude towards the learning process can produce surprising results. Here are four secrets that I recommend for your language learning journey.

  1. Accept that you WILL make mistakes. Lots of them. Students know that they will make mistakes when learning languages, but many don’t want to accept it. Take a deep breath. Accepting your mistakes is so important because you can…
  2. Pretend you don’t give a fudge. Fear is powerful. The fear of making mistakes is what hinders so many students from reaching the next level in their language learning development. Yes, accept that you’ll make mistakes but now, go further with that attitude. Jump off the diving board and use the language as if you knew what you were doing. It won’t be easy but wow, will your confidence and ability soar with time! Spit it out, talk, talk, talk! However, never forget that…
  3. Learning from your language mistakes will produce a higher level. Mistakes are a helpful way to see what areas you need to work on. I like to call these “learning gaps”. Perhaps it’s a specific grammar structure or certain vocabulary that is perplexing but noting what you need to work on and actually working on it will advance your language learning by great means. Let’s look at the final tip…
  4. Be consistent. Let me repeat that. Be. Consistent. You become fluent and you know what you need to work on in order to advance your level. Now, constantly do feedback with yourself. Don’t wait for your language teacher to tell you. Check your progress and constantly polish your areas of opportunity. Consistency and patience will help you so much in the long run.

Yep, just four secrets. That’s it. Really! Remember, language learning involves a fine balance between fluency and accuracy. Fluency is when you bravely jump off the diving board. Accuracy is your technique when you jump off the diving board. Both are necessary to achieve your language learning goals. We all hear this phrase but it’s true: don’t give up. Oh, and be kind to yourself. Trust me, you got this!

© 2018 Lydia Mertz

Comments

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  • Lil Mertz profile imageAUTHOR

    Lydia Mertz 

    2 weeks ago from Mexico

    Good for you! It's not about the age, it's all about attitude!!

  • Paul Kuehn profile image

    Paul Richard Kuehn 

    3 weeks ago from Udorn City, Thailand

    Thank you very much for these language learning secrets. I agree one hundred percent. I learned Chinese Mandarin and Taiwanese with your secrets. I started learning Thai when I was almost 60 and found that my fluency in Thai is not as good as it was in Chinese and Taiwanese because I am more hesitant to jump into the deep water at my advanced age and improve my accuracy.

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