Are you scared to learn a new language? It doesn’t have to be so bad! Have a try at these tips to calm your nerves and get learning today!
It’s common to feel anxiety when learning a new language. 😰 Language learning is challenging! Many students feel self-conscious and uncomfortable when trying to speak a foreign language, and this causes them to shut down and stop trying. It doesn’t have to be this way though.
Embrace the fear
Are you scared to speak a foreign language? This is normal, but that don’t let it stop you from taking on the challenge. Get out of your comfort zone! 💪
Have a think about why you feel afraid. Maybe it’s because you may make a mistake? Or you feel silly because your accent isn’t quite right? Or you just can’t find the words when you open your mouth?
It’s alright! In language learning, you should focus on process over product, meaning perfection is never the goal. We learn through doing, especially when it comes to languages. You likely don’t remember, but that’s how you learned to speak your first language. As babies and children, we learn by listening and playing with language. The process is full of imperfections, but over time children become fluent.
Language learning is a messy process, but it’s also one of the most natural things you can learn. It’s absolutely fine to make a mistake - it’s actually the best way to learn.
So embrace your inner toddler 👶 and don’t be afraid to make mistakes as you practise your new language!
Practise, practise, practise
How do you get better at something? By doing the thing! Try to use your new language as often as you can. You can use your new language to:
- Order food from a restaurant
- Write a to-do list
- Read the newspaper
- Talk to a friend
- Talk to yourself (we all do it! 😉)
The more you speak and use your new language, the more comfortable you will feel and the more proficient you will become. Make it a habit to use the language in your daily life.
Listen, listen, listen
There is a special part of language development called receptive language, which is your ability to understand what you hear. When babies learn to speak, they do it by listening first. They can understand so much even when they can’t yet speak!
When you learn a foreign language, no matter the age, the same process occurs. You may notice you can understand your teacher, but you feel as though you don’t have the words yourself. This is normal! Try listening to things in your new language as often as you can. The more you listen, the faster you will be able to use the language yourself. You’ll learn new words and get a better understanding of grammar usage.
Have a go! You can listen to any language you want to learn. 👂
Have one-on-one conversations
The best way to get your practise is in a one-on-one conversation with someone who is fluent in your new language. 🗣️ This allows you to have many opportunities to speak, and you can go at your own pace. You’ll also be able to listen to your conversation partner’s vocabulary and accent. They can help you find the right words and provide support when you are feeling nervous.
If you need more help to overcome your fear, a conversation with a language tutor can help. GoStudent’s language lesions are affordable and flexible. Summer is a great time to try something new! Book a session today! 🚀