We’ve shared our top language learning tips with you. And then we looked at some of the myths about learning language that are out there. This week, we take you through the top 5 mistakes that people make when learning a new language.
Avoid making these mistakes and improve your chances of learning a new language faster and with a lot more fun along the way!
#1 Worrying about making mistakes
Its normal, natural and even a good idea to make mistakes… by making mistakes you learn. It gives you the opportunity to find out more information, new words and how to express new ideas. No-one can just pick up a language in a few days or weeks. You’ll be making mistakes for a while. So instead of being so self-conscious about it, make those mistakes. Let people correct you and learn more while you do.
#2 Thinking You’ll never get the pronunciation going
So much of good pronunciation is muscle memory. For different languages, your mouth, lips and tongue have to make different shapes. It’s like starting a new sport. At firs your legs and arms don’t obey you so well. But with practice they do. Become conscious of what new movements you have to make to improve your pronunciation and practice them, just like any muscle.
#3 Only worrying about grammar and not fluency
Grammar is good. But when you’re starting out, what you probably need is to be able to communicate. If you stay too focussed on grammar and leave out fluency, you can end up knowing all the conjugation rules for every tense but still not speak a sentence. Remember to get talking and try out your new words and language at every opportunity.
#4 Learning vocabulary out of a book
Learn the words you’re going to need. Learning Spanish for work? Learn business related words, not the kitchen and the cupboard! Always be very aware of what your actual goals are and target the vocabulary you will need to use your new language in that area.
#5 I won’t get better because I don’t live there
Living abroad is just one way of achieving immersion in a language. Right here at home you can: find yourself a language buddy, watch films and TV in t your target language, use online tools and apps only in the language you are learning. You might need to be creative, but it’s not impossible.
TalenInstituut Free Tip:
Technology is your friend. There is a huge variety of FREE language learning apps and websites available. Do a thorough search online or in your app store and you will find convenient and affordable ways to help you to develop your language skills.
At TalenInstituut Nederland (The Dutch Language Institute) we understand the needs that companies face as well as the fears individual learners feel. This is why we offer flexible, fully customised business language courses to businesses and individuals. Through a process of interviews and meetings we establish the unique needs and competence of our clients and design each and every course around those. To find out more about our Business English and other language courses, visit our website and ask us for a quote: www.taleninstituut.nl.
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Fotograaf: Jeroen Docter