A few months ago, I started writing an article with the stated purpose of inspiring more native English speakers to open their eyes to the potential in language study. The cause is an everlasting one, often considered peripheral by Brits and Americans, and continually overlooked. I drew the picture of monolingualism as a prison, and almost hesitated to publish the words because this is such a strong image. Prisoners are trapped because of choices they have made, or situations they have found themselves in. They are stigmatised, struggling for hope and expected to mend their ways.
A lot of prominent language learners on the internet are expats of some kind. Some have been on the road for years like Mau Buchler, others like David Mansaray are posting about their experiences of living in a different country. It’s completely reasonable to assume that language and this sort of mega-immersion of living abroad are inextricably linked, but as a learner could this mindset be putting a bit of pressure on you? Instead of busting a myth as I usually do, my aim today is to make you consider a different angle of language motivation.
Recently, I’ve been active on answer base Quora – a website where any question you ask can be answered, sometimes by impressive experts in the field. One interesting topic to follow is “Learning Languages“, where I often come across the following question:
What’s the best way to learn a language?
Ah, the best way, they ask. It’s like looking for the Holy Grail or the Ring in Lord of the Rings. Futile, no?
Hassled teachers, giggling back rows, noisy common rooms… many would-be learners will have memories of school that are not encouraging future learning. If you are above the age of 13 and you attended school, you are very likely to have come into contact with language learning. The common scenario is that your tuition was in a larger group of your peers, involved homework and regular tests, and was structured around a curriculum set by people who don’t know you. And for some learners, it wasn’t right. The amount of people who mention this scenario to me when they talk about language learning is staggering!
After a disastrous result in a EU test on language acquisition, British politicians answer is language learning misconception number 1: it’s about the age! Continue reading Language Learning Misconception #1 Strikes Again!
In today’s post Kerstin makes a case for language and local skill becoming your new secret career weapon as translations often lack cultural context. Continue reading Could language be your secret career weapon?
The latest post on misconceptions about language learning talks about the myth that language learning is easy and effortless with the right product. Continue reading Misconceptions about Language Learning #5: It is so natural and effortless (if you click here to buy)
The latest post on misconceptions about language learning talks about the myth that when you aren’t speaking a language, you’re not benefiting from it. Continue reading Misconceptions about Language Learning #4: If I’m not speaking it, I’m not using it
The third part in our series misconceptions about language learning deals with the myth that the purpose of a learning language is tied to travelling. Continue reading Misconceptions about Language Learning #3: Languages are for Holidays