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4 Truly TERRIBLE Tips for Language Learners

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When you are starting a new project or setting a new goal, getting advice from other people who have succeeded in the same area is really useful. Unfortunately, plenty of people with no idea what they are talking about will also try to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do!

Here are seven things you often hear people often say when you tell them you are learning a new language… and they are all complete nonsense. Whatever you do, don’t listen to them.

Just Make Lists of New Words and Learn Them Off By Heart

Okay, this is one of those annoying things you probably had to do at school and I bet that you forgot all the words you learned within a few weeks or months! Picking random words you might never use again is a really bad idea.

Unless you have a reason to keep remembering and repeating them, it’s a poor use of your time and you’ll have little motivation to keep practising. Instead of random words, choose vocabulary that is connected to your interests, your job, or the thing you want to achieve with your new language skills. This will make your task much easier AND more fun!

Learn All the Grammar First

Of course it’s really important to understand the grammar of the language you are learning, and once you learn the basic patterns a language uses, you’ll be able to put together the pieces much faster.

That said, unless you have plenty of vocabulary, you won’t be able to use all the grammar you’ve learned! It’s better to get to learn some words first so that you have examples to practise your grammar with, or again, you’ll just forget it all really fast.

Unless You Learn When You’re Really Young, You’ll Never Be Fluent

This one is a total lie. Yes, it’s easier for very young children to pick up a second language quickly, because at that age their brains are absorbing every piece of information they’re exposed to. However, that doesn’t mean adults can’t learn a new language to a very high standard! It takes hard work, lots of practice, and the willingness to make mistakes and be corrected (just like kids do, until they’re fluent), but there’s no reason you can’t master a second, third or fourth language much later in life.

You Should Try to Be Perfect Before You Speak

No one likes to feel silly, especially in front of strangers. For that reason, many language learners fall into the trap of waiting until they’ve reached a reasonably high level before they try to use their new skills to talk to people in real life. While it’s understandable, it’s also a really bad idea.

The best way to learn is to keep trying to use language in context. You will definitely make a lot of mistakes, but that’s fine! It’s the only way to improve your punctuation, to get used to hearing the words spoken out loud by native speakers, and to get comfortable having a conversation.

If you wait too long before you start speaking, there’s a risk that you will only be able to recite exact sentences you’ve memorised, instead of thinking on your feet and using all the vocabulary and grammar you’ve learned so far to find the best way to express your point.

So that’s how NOT to learn a new language… but if you’re looking for a great course to get you started the RIGHT way, check out our course catalogue at www.Eurocentres.com