Common Challenges Experienced when Learning a New Language

So your goal is to learn a Spanish with tutor in 2017. That’s great! Being bilingual is a skill that will continue to benefit you in many ways throughout your life. But anytime you set an ambitious goal there is always the risk of getting burnt out and giving up before you see any real progress. Here is are some common challenges experienced when learning a new language and how you can avoid them:

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Challenge #1: Fear of looking silly

Here is the reality: you are going to looking silly. The only way babies learn how to walk is by falling down over and over again until they eventually learn enough to begin walking on their own. Intellectually we may know this but many people still use the fear of embarrassment as an excuse to avoid trying new things or as a cop-out for not really putting in the necessary effort. Don’t let fear of embarrassment hold you back from improving.

Challenge 2: Failure to immerse yourself in your new language

If your goal is to learn enough to fulfill a credit requirement, then you may be able to get away with only thinking about the language you are learning for an hour a day and then forgetting about it. But if being able to speak the language fluently is your goal then you will have to find a way to incorporate your new language into your daily routine. So if you are trying to learn Spanish, begin listening to Spanish radio, TV, and movies. And better yet, find friends who are native speakers who can help you.

learn Spanish
learn Spanish

Challenge #3: Failing to set clear goals with deadlines

“Learn German” is a desire, not a goal. How do you know when you have actually accomplished this? There should be no ambiguity involved in goal setting; a goal is a specific, measurable statement that includes clear action steps. You will know whether or not you have met your goal or not. So a goal could be “Learn how to order ___ in German by ___.”

Challenge #4: Unrealistic expectations

This is why many people quit before they begin seeing real progress. Would you expect to be able to run a marathon in three weeks? Of course not. Then why would you expect to see overnight success with learning a new language? It took you years and years to master your first language! Give yourself a break and learn to be happy with slow, incremental progress over time.

learn Spanish
learn Spanish

Challenge 5: Quitting too soon

This does tie in to the challenge listed above but this is something that is important to touch on. Only you can know what your goals and motivations really are, but if you feel tempted to give up too soon remind yourself why you got started in the first place. Few people ever look back and wish they hadn’t taken the time and effort to improve their life by learning a new language but you may regret giving up too soon.

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