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10 Misconceptions of Language Learning


Many people want to learn a foreign language but think that they will never be able to due to 10 misconceptions.

  1. People generally believe that only children can learn second languages quickly and easily. Current research indicates that children have no biological advantage in learning languages, most second language theory suggest we all have the Language Acquisition Portal in our Brains. Additionally, research says that adults understand vocabulary and learning techniques that can assist them in learning a second language.
  1. Generally, people believe the younger the child, the more skilled he or she will be in acquiring a second language. Research has found that older children are better language learners in a school setting, but younger child may have an advantage in learning correct pronunciation.
  1. Many people think that we all learn a second language in the same way. Different learning styles and cultural communication methods have an impact on language learning, just as they do on other types of learning.
  1. We only need to speak English, everyone does. There are over 6,000 languages in the world. Some are more important than others, not better or more advanced, just more important. Why? Because they are spoken by more people, in more countries.
  1. You took a language in High School - You don't need to learn a language. According to one Canadian survey, after 12 years of daily French classes, only one high school graduate out of 147 (0.68%) achieved “intermediate” proficiency. Another survey of immigrants learning English in the US showed that “classroom instructional hours” had little impact on progress.
  1. Language learning is difficult. It is only difficult to learn a language if you don’t want to. Learning a language takes time, but is not difficult. It is the way languages are usually taught that makes language learning hard to like.
  1. You have to have a gift for learning languages. No you don’t. Anyone who wants to, can learn. In Sweden and Holland most people speak more than one language. They can’t just all be gifted at languages. Language learning it is attitude, not aptitude, that determines success.
  1. You have to live where the language is spoken. Some immigrants to North America never learn to speak more than halting English. Yet we meet people in other countries who speak flawless English. With the Internet, language content is available to anyone with a computer, where you live is not an obstacle.
  1. To learn a language you need formal classroom instruction. Theoretical grammatical explanations are hard to understand, hard to remember, and even harder to use. Drills and exercises can be annoying to most people, especially adult learnersa. Learning at your own pace and with a focus on your learning style in mind can help you learn a language easier.
  1. You would love to learn but don’t have the time. Once you get started, even 10 or 15 minutes a day will soon grow to 30 minutes a day, or one hour. If you believe you will achieve significant results, and if you enjoy doing it, you will find the time.

What is holding you back from learning a foreign language?

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