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Most Common Mistakes in Language Learning

Some people say they are not inclined to learn languages, others complain that language courses or teachers are too expensive. Other popular excuses include lack of time, motivation, and other reasons to postpone learning.

If language difficulties still arise and you feel like progress isn’t coming, then you are most likely repeating the same mistakes as your unfortunate peers. Some of them are:

You don’t know why you need a foreign language

And why did you start getting the language training? If you can’t answer this question, you probably lack the motivation. If your goal is big, like getting a new job, reading your favourite books in the original, moving abroad, etc. you probably won’t give up. But if you decide to learn French as a second language just because “everyone knows it, and I need it too”, then this will not last for long. The purpose of language learning should be specific and better with a deadline.

You avoid difficulties

It’s too difficult, and I’m unlikely to need it. You can’t even imagine how many times I was suddenly helped by words that, at first glance, are quite underused, but without which I would not be able to express a certain opinion. This is one example. Second, what happens when you constantly avoid problems and difficulties? They will accumulate like an avalanche that knocks you off your feet and pulls you along, and then you will decide that nothing will come of it. 

If you have a difficult or incomprehensible moment, study it, remember it, repeat it, and use it in practice. You do not need to ignore it – you still have to understand it if you want to know the language. You never know when you may need this again. 

You do not use your favourite books, movies and TV series to study

Why would I watch movies and TV series if I don’t understand what the actors are saying? Of course, at first, you will not be able to understand almost anything, but certain words or phrases that are often repeated will still be stored in your memory. If not immediately, you will remember them when you see them in the text or dictionary, and it will be easier for you to imagine the context in which they should be used. You still watch movies or have a favourite TV series, so why not watch them in the language you are learning? This way you will understand at least some part of what they are saying. Plus, you can always turn on the subtitles, which can help you a lot.

You do not repeat the studied material

You may think that if you have learnt some topic then it’s in your brain forever. I wish it could be the truth. When learning any language you should be guided by the rule of “less but better”. If you think that the phrase you learned yesterday, you will be able to remember in a month, most likely, it is a mistake. Only if you do not use it often in conversation. 

The same happens with the information that we rarely use, our brain just throws it out. Set aside a separate day to simply repeat everything you’ve learned in, for example, the previous few sessions or during the last week. This will allow you to consolidate important knowledge in long-term memory and “get” it out if necessary. 

If you are not comfortable with taking your notebook with you, there are a lot of apps and tools to help you memorize the material learned. Nowadays, teachers are switching to apps to use in the classroom such as those for repeating the learned lessons. This way you will have access to the necessary information at any time and any place.

You are afraid to make mistakes

Aren’t you a perfectionist all of a sudden? One of the most important mistakes is that you are afraid to make mistakes. But that’s how we learn. Of course, it’s a shame if, because of the similarity of the words in the pronunciation, you accidentally said something that means an obscene expression, instead of a decent and correct word. But you know that only he who does nothing makes no mistakes.