Learning another language is one of the best investments you can make for yourself. The world has gone global, and with the aid of technology, people in opposite parts of the world are keeping in touch, conducting business and forming profitable relationships.
There are tons of opportunities that are tied to learning a new language. That is why you must make an effort to look for the best resources and the time to learn a new language. If you were born in a multilingual home, you should consider yourself to be one of the privileged few who grew up to speak multiple languages.
Learning a New Language Is a Lifetime Investment
Unfortunately, many people born in multilingual homes are often restricted to the languages spoken in their homes or country. Most school curricula only teach the basics of foreign languages, and unless learning a new language is an educational requirement, most people never even consider it.
If you think about it, you’ll realize that you probably fancy learning a new language, but you are perhaps afraid to fully commit to the challenges of learning a new language. Learning a new language takes time, but it is a lifetime investment. You will continue to draw profits from the new language and its opportunities as the knowledge stays with you for life.
Fears Associated With Learning a New Language
If you have ever attempted to learn a new language and lost interest abruptly, you most likely felt anxious and fearful about the experience.
Learning a new language has great benefits, no doubt. Still, people often experience different fears that restrict their chances of learning. These fears make learning boring and often cause you to focus on immediate results, which can be discouraging.
Foreign language anxiety or Xenoglossophobia is the general term used to describe nervousness and fear when learning a new language. This anxiety is mostly psychological and can stem from fear of embarrassment, fear of miscommunication, general lack of confidence, etc.
The good news is that these fears are not enough to limit you if you desire to learn a new language. Several helpful tips can be advantageous to you while learning a new language.
How To Overcome Common New Language Fears
There is no universal solution to solving the problem of new language fears. Having these fears is normal, so you don’t need to be hard on yourself. You can use your fears as stepping stones to accelerate your learning process.
The key to eradicating the fears you experience when learning a new language is first identifying the trigger point of these fears. Second, find a perfect solution that helps you address each trigger.
Here are some of the common trigger points and the appropriate response to tackling them:
I Won’t Know Enough Words To Hold a Conversation
This is a valid fear for most new language learners, but you can kill this fear by learning from context. Any word in any language derives its true meaning from context. The best sources for you to learn by context are entertainment resources such as movies, songs, news, commentaries, etc. Ensure that these resources come with subtitles.
Fear of Embarrassing Yourself
Learning a new language can be embarrassing, especially if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. You should not allow the fear of embarrassing yourself to restrict you.
Think of the situation as a baby who’s just learning to walk. The baby will inevitably trip themselves. Each trip the baby suffers will further strengthen their walk until they can run.
I Won’t Understand What Others Say
If you are learning a new language, you will discover that most native speakers of the language will quickly warm up to you when they notice that you can say some words in their language.
Most times, these native speakers are happy to applaud your efforts, but a newbie can be discouraged when they realize they still have a long way to go. This is the point where you need to intentionally propel a mind shift. Rather than see a problem, you can use the native speaker’s ability as a goal that you must work to reach.
Tips for Learning Any New Language
Learning a new language can be easy if you are observant.
Here are some helpful tips:
- You can easily pick up cues from nonverbal communication (body language).
- Translators and dictionaries are also helpful tools that you should invest in.
- Create different opportunities for role play and test different scenarios.
- Learn to pass compliments, apologize, and admit that you made a mistake.
- Observe repetitions. The everyday vocabulary of most languages pretty much revolves around the same words. Pay attention to these words and their different intonation.
The power to learn a new language lies within you. Be positive and always draw important lessons from every negative feeling or experience. Do not feel inadequate at any point. Make finding resources your hobby. The internet has tons of resources for you to use.
Also, you should include reading and writing practices in your learning routine. Ensure that there is a balance. If you are learning a new language as a course, you shouldn’t only think about passing your exams. Ensure to be committed to learning the language as well.
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