Friday, April 19, 2013

Learning a language is not a nightmare

When we want to learn a new language and we are not children, I mean we are more than 10 years old, we have a lot of expectations, doubts and fears.  All of these things could make us to feel a little frustrated or incompetent for reaching it. But as students we need to remember that the person who can help us, a teacher, did a process very similar to ours in any moment of his or her life.  Maybe, this person had the same sensations in the past and as us, he or she had to get over them.  It implies that he or she can understand us and we have to be opened to talk to our guide in an open way.  This is going to help us to obtain more self-confidence.

We can be very demanding with ourselves.  It’s not strange but we have to remember that the success when we are learning a language could be measured in the way which we are understanding by others and the first person who can notice that is our teacher or if we want to learn it without a guide, only using the net or the books, our foreign friends could help us.  We can try to talk to them about any topic in the language we are learning and ask them if our message was transmitted in an effective way.  We can ask to them about the mistakes we are making and the way to eliminate them.  If we don`t have foreign friends, talking to strangers could be a good option, according to some students I have talked this is an excellent experience and one of the places you can do it is New York’s subway.

Grammar is very important; it’s a true that we cannot hide.  Some rules could be a little difficult, that’s right, but we have to be conscious that the person who is trying to learn our native language is facing the same situation we are.  That means we can help somebody who could feel frustration, too.  We are not the unique who have these feelings. It’s very common when it happens, we look for some excuses, for example, “I am very old”; “I don`t have enough time”; “I want to give up”, etc.  Remember we can do everything we wish, it depends on us without taking into account our age or other circumstances. The key is to look for books or websites where we can obtain more useful information as vocabulary or activities which can show us our mistakes and the way to get rid of them.  We can ask for them to our teacher, too.  But, don’t forget,  a language is not only grammar.

Don`t try to compare our learning speed with children one. It`s not a lie that they learn more quickly than the adults.  It happens because they don’t have our responsibilities and our pace of life.  We cannot pretend to absorb the knowledge as they do.  It’s not possible.  Their minds work in a different way and all of us are individual beings. Even comparing with our partners is a mistake. What other mistakes do you think we make when we are learning a language?  Please give us your comments.  Thanks.

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