Why to learn a new language so difficult and how to overcome it

Почему учить новые языки так сложно и как это преодолеть

To move from a dead point will help the solution of three main problems.

You really don’t want to learn the language

Or don’t quite understand why you need it. Thus, you do not have the proper motivation, and this is perhaps one of the most important obstacles to foreign language acquisition. Candidate of psychological Sciences, Professor Robert Gardner, along with colleagues conducted many studies of Attitudes, Motivation and Second LanguageLearning: A Meta-Analysis of Studies. Conducted by Gardner and Associates on this subject. They are not confirmed by Gardner and Lambert (1959): Fifty Years and Counting1R. C. Gardner. Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario that motivated learners achieve higher results than those who have no incentives.

Therefore, no matter how interesting and effective were the methods that you are looking for, they may not work if you don’t feel a real desire to learn and want to be active.

The decision

1. Determine your motives

To seriously take up the study of the language will be easier when you identify the reasons for having this thought. It can be anything:

  • The desire to make your life easier in travel.
  • Hope to find more promising work.
  • Interest in the culture of any country.
  • The intention to watch movies or to read books in the original.
  • The desire to just “mash” the mind or to increase self-esteem.

You can use any pretty strong motivating factor. And best of all stimulates the anticipation of any pleasure Why our brains are lazy . Just understand for themselves how it can improve your life, if you learn a new language.

In addition, to help you determine what material and how deeply you should learn.

You will be able to understand whether you need to focus only on speaking (if speaking about the trip, for example) or you need to learn the language comprehensively. Is it permissible to learn a limited number of words and grammatical constructions or the more the better. And so on.

2. Plan classes

Linguists and teachers suggest to do it in advance to see your next and final goal. For example, Jeremy Harmer, a writer and specialist in the field of English language teaching, offers ask yourself these questions:

What exactly are you planning to achieve? What are you going to do? What tools you prefer to use?

The answers to these questions will help you to perform the following steps:

  • Define goals as clearly as possible. Focus on those aspects of language that are important to your case. For example, if you need to verbally communicate with foreigners for work, the good speaking, listening and professional vocabulary. You can navigate also on the system CEFR Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) , which describes in detail the levels of proficiency. Broad objectives break down into smaller.
  • Select appropriate methods and materials. At your disposal — a variety of textbooks and reference manuals to prepare for international exams, programs and numerous Internet resources. Don’t forget to pay attention to different aspects of the language. Decide how you will combine the methods to each of them.
  • Set a time frame. Determine the timing of specific tasks and decide how much time will you take to class daily. Regardless of your employment, remember that it is better to do a little every day than to “swallow” a lot of material, but once a week.

Pre-planning will help you to turn vague intentions into specific actions. You will be able to clearly assess your progress and not to waste energy, each time trying to understand what and how you want to be today. The plan gives General guidance, and if necessary it can be corrected.

3. Fueled by his motivation

To do this, Harmer advises to use in the classroom materials filled with any emotions: music, beautiful artwork, touching stories, anecdotes — anything that will help you to avoid boredom. This does not mean that we need to use these things all the time, but the novelty very beneficial impact on the results.

You can experiment not only with materials. Wear some bright clothing or change a place of employment — go to the Park or cafe.

The main thing — to let some “fresh air”.

Polyglot benny Lewis, who knows more than seven foreign languages, in order to avoid burnout, also advises periodically to arrange a weekend (but not too often). The very study can be diluted in any activity, which does not seem work, for example to watch the entertaining video, or read something simple, like comic books in the target language.

4. Practice as often as possible

Lewis argues that the deeper you immerse in the language, the stronger it becomes and your zeal. So look for as many ways: videos, music, books, movies, radio, anything. All this increases the chances to realize that you can actually use the knowledge, and nothing feeds better.

You don’t like the language

Or culture of the country where it is spoken. This may seem strange: why bother to learn it? But our life is multifaceted and the reasons may be different:

  • To master the language needed for the job.
  • We have to live in any country for personal reasons, though generally not desirable.
  • Culture may like, but the rules of language seems to be too illogical and so on.

It is really a serious problem, so you react defensively to any information that can be faced during employment.

The decision

If you have nowhere to go, you can try to do the following.

1. Look at the language as a tool

Psychologists Robert Gardner and Wallace Lambert in their research Attitudes, Motivation and Second LanguageLearning: A Meta-Analysis of Studies. Conducted by Gardner and Associates argue that there are two main kinds of motivation to learn languages:

  • Instrumental — for the sake of some external benefits. For example, the possibility to apply for an attractive job in another country or get a promotion.
  • Integrative — from a sincere inner desire to become closer to some other culture.

Second, of course, is much more effective, but this does not mean that the dream just to make life easier and more enjoyable, not work. You must agree: it is much better, for example, to work in the profession than be forced to choose jobs just because “to take without knowing the language”. And in any case, communicate with foreigners, so if necessary, much easier and faster in a language that you know, and they.

2. Treat the language as a way to expand consciousness

Look at the situation more detached and just enjoy the fact that you discover something new.

Psychologists and educators attributed the Formation of motivation of learning a foreign language the students of non-linguistic specialties of the motivation theories is Abraham Maslow. Among basic human needs, he mentions “the desire to know and understand.” According to Maslow, people often motivates curiosity and they get the satisfaction of answering a variety of questions about the world and ourselves.

And other people’s language and culture is just another unexplored facet of reality.

Of course, to rebuild the perception is thus not too easy, but it is very valuable. Mastering another language — the perfect way to make the mind more flexible and learn to look at things from several different points of view.

3. Develop integrative motivation artificially

Try to find music, movies, books, inventions, aspects of life, some other things that are connected with language or the country and give you sympathy, it is likely that it will help to reconsider the relationship.

For example, some people are beginning to study the Japanese language because Japanese became interested in computer games, music or anime. Others decide to learn English, because desperately want to go to England. And someone is sure that reading books in translation, it misses many interesting details. It is possible that you will be able to find something for yourself.

Are you afraid that nothing will come of it

Cause for such fears there are many.

School program or some of your personal failures could lead you to believe that tongues is actually not yours. Indeed, at many institutions violated the basic principles of training:

  • You have to cram stuff, instead of consciously to learn.
  • Students give too many words and grammar that they do not have time to repeat and remember.
  • It is not always possible to train aspects of the language in context, and then it is not clear how to apply them in practice.
  • Classes are built very boring, while the interest is one of the most important engines of progress.

But sometimes you create problems for yourself suffering from excessive perfectionism, or comparing yourself to others. And here you are in a situation when we don’t even want to start.

The decision

1. Get rid of the idea that “language is not yours”

After all, your mother tongue you learn managed. It took time, a lot of practice and real-life examples. And in fact, the same need for learning a foreign language.

2. Understand that time you’re more than you think

It is important to learn not to waste it. And many things that you do every day can be adapted for training. For example, to read and to watch on the Internet only foreign language content. And on the way home from work or school to listen to podcasts or audiobooks. Watching movies and TV series without translation will also be a great practice, and at night you can read works in the original. The main thing — interest and real desire.

3. Do not do that which causes boredom

Mastering the language itself, not necessarily all to do in school or courses — you can find many interesting methods by which to learn is much more fun. There are different ways to practice sufficient quantity and memorize the material without cramming.

You can read your favorite books in the original, to use the interval repetition (after certain periods of time), come up with funny associations to remember words. On the Internet there are many resources that help you learn from movies and songs. There are some interesting audiokursy and much more.

4. Don’t be afraid that you do not have enough finances

In order to successfully learn the language, not necessarily to spend money on expensive lessons, materials, and travel abroad to practice in real life. On the Internet there are many free or inexpensive resources, and to communicate with native speakers possible and in any messenger.

5. Forget the claim that a language can be mastered only child

There are many examples that refute such an opinion. This is confirmed by benny Lewis, which we have already mentioned. It is guided by my experiences with other language learners, and says that adults even have some advantages. For example, they can understand many of the details just from the context of their life experience. In addition, they have better developed analytical thinking and to undertake the studies they are capable of more conscious than children.

6. Do not compare yourself with others

Everyone is different — everyone has their own ability and pace. Even if you learn the material more slowly than someone else, it means nothing. You do not know what makes the other person and what difficulties he has to encounter. People tend to show only their successes, leaving many things behind the scenes.

It all comes down to one thing: you just need to start, and if your motivation is strong, then just gets easier.

See also

  • 5 errors, which people spend years trying to learn English, and how to avoid them
  • How easily and effectively memorize foreign words
  • Tips experienced linguaggio how to learn a foreign language
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