It often seems like a good idea to go for language lessons: professional advancement, personal development, the fulfilment of dreams. However, as adults, we face some different challenges from the language classes you might remember as a child.
When we are young, we are all told, it’s much easier to acquire new language. Whether that is because our heads are less filled with other confirmation or because it’s physiologically easier to acquire language in your formative years remains a debate that has not been resolved.
But what is true is that it is challenging for adults for a lot of reasons. You need to change your habits: learn new ones and unlearn old ones. You need to find the time to practice. You have demands far beyond the school yard that you expect this language to fulfil. These are all pretty well know. But there are 3 more things that might trip you up on the way to successful language learning.
They are: Diversity, Schedule, Motivation.
This covers a range of situations and challenges. If you are attending in-company group training, the diversity of the group is a huge factor. Difference in age, cultural background and prior learning all have an impact on language learning and can affect how you learn. If you are going for one-on-one sessions, the diversity of your needs is also a factor to bear in mind. You need to get focussed and select what you learn according to your most pressing needs.
You’re not at school anymore and the demands of family, career and travel will all impact your learning cycle. It is important to be aware of these factors and to plan for them when starting a new course in any language. It is important for you to be able to focus and concentrate, so try to avoid arriving fatigued because you are suffering from schedule overload.
No matter how motivated you are in the beginning, learning a language can be frustrating. You will go for a few lesson and appear to learn nothing, then progress overnight in giant leaps. It’s unpredictable, highly personal and complex. Be prepared for the fact that it is not just colour by numbers and that sometimes it is hard to measure or quantify your progress. None the less, it is always wise to set specific goals and point you want to reach before you start. Keeping these in mind will keep you motivated as you near them.
Taleninstituut Language Learning Tip:
Get the most out of any language course by setting clear goals and establishing milestones you want to hit. Also work out very clearly your time and travel commitments so that you can manage your own expectations of how much time is needed. Lastly, get focus: prioritise your needs and go for the big ones first.
Here 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 Language courses, visit our website and ask us for a quote: www.taleninstituut.nl
© Taleninstituut Nederland
By: David Chislett
Trainer Business English