Language learning has been part of compulsory education for years, but what happens when you want to learn a language in adulthood? There’s no argument that it can seem daunting and difficult, especially considering how many options you have for learning new languages. In this blog post, you will learn about the common mistakes people make while learning a new language, from being scared to make mistakes to not using the proper methods.
Firstly, the language-learning culture has grown significantly. Adults are learning more languages, which stems from wanting to connect with businesses across the globe or to travel the world more efficiently. This is clear from the growth in the number of apps and websites that teach languages. According to BusinessOfApps.com, language learning apps generated $8.21 billion in 2021, an increase from the previous year. Of course, apps aren’t the only way to learn, and BusinessOfApps.com estimates that only 12% of language learning happens online. If only 12% generates that much revenue, then the number of language learners using all methods must be enormous. However, this leads us to the first common mistake:
Mistake #1: Using only apps to learn a language
Apps are a relatively new language-learning method. Still, it is debatable whether they are the most effective when aiming for fluency. The clear benefits of apps are the encouragement and ease of regular study, which lends itself well to learning. However, many argue that these apps can only get you so far. For example, Specialist Language Courses states that these apps work best to help you get what you’ve already learned to “sink in” but may not be the best way of learning a language initially.
Mistake #2: Not conversing in the language you are learning
More specifically, not speaking the language with another person. Talking with another person who speaks the language is vital so you can become more familiar with it and receive personalised feedback on your pronunciation and word choice. Even if you are speaking slowly at first, focusing on how a language sounds is essential. According to MatadorNetwork.com, verbal exercises are the most important factor for developing fluency. Along with this, many people don’t focus enough on listening. You learn so much by surrounding yourself with the language. It can be frustrating to listen to native speakers in conversation as it may often appear somewhat incoherent. Still, according to fluentin3months.com, you should spend time training your ear to associate the real-life sound of a language with the written version you’re learning.
Mistake #3: The fear of making mistakes
You will inevitably make mistakes while learning a language. Think of how often people make mistakes, even in their first language! Don’t be ashamed to try for fear of making mistakes. Learn from them, and it’ll make you a far better language learner.
In conclusion, the value of learning a new language is immense. You will make mistakes throughout the process but remember you are never alone. 1.2 billion people are learning a new language right now, and you should be proud to be one of them.
If you’re learning a language and not quite up to the translation and interpreting level just yet, reach out to us to find out how you can use our fantastic team of world-class linguists at LanguageLine UK to help support your business.