5 Mistakes People Make When Learning A Foreign Language

Learning a foreign language can help you communicate better as you work and travel. For success, avoid five common mistakes people make when learning a foreign language. 

Mistake Number One: Forget to Listen

People may use an educational textbook, online course, or app to learn a language. The study material will include various practice tools like memorization. 

While you can learn a lot through memorization, remember to listen, too. Listening helps you identify patterns, structures,  intonation, vocabulary, and pronunciation. 

In your free time, listen to music, movies, podcasts, and news broadcasts. When possible, select options that feature native speakers. This way, you hear the language spoken in real life.  

Mistake Number Two: Learn Rules but Not Context

Learning vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and other rules is helpful. But a language requires more than vocabulary and grammar. 

Embrace a study approach that starts with context. Hear complete sentences, paragraphs and conversations. Also, learn words you frequently use in your daily life. Later, you can perfect your grammar, pronunciation and other details. This practical approach improves your motivation and boosts your learning speed and accuracy.

Mistake Number Three: Use Boring Learning Material

People may choose language learning tools because they are convenient or familiar. But using dull materials can limit learning and lead to low interest and motivation. 

That’s why you want to use diverse and engaging study materials. Watch cartoons with or without subtitles. Read literature and write poetry. Attend a community gathering of native speakers. Be willing to challenge yourself and expand your learning. 

Mistake Number Four: Study Irregularly

New language learners may spend hours each day practicing vocabulary or listening to the radio. Long study sessions can wear people out, though. And slow progress or daily distractions could dampen enthusiasm. 

Boost your success with a sustainable and consistent learning schedule. Practice for 20-30 minutes a day rather than two hours once a week. Your brain is more likely to retain information when you study in short bursts. Also, commit to studying for a year or more. Give yourself enough time to master the language and gain confidence using it.

Mistake Number Five: Be Afraid of Mistakes

Learning and speaking a foreign language can be scary. To avoid feeling silly or embarrassed, people may avoid speaking the language with a partner or native speaker. They may also refuse to ask for correction or help. 

For success, embrace mistakes as part of the learning process. Also, ask your teacher or language partner to correct you. Then track your errors in order to learn from your mistakes. Note any improvements you need to make and the progress you have made. As you become more fluent over time, you will mess up less often. But continue to permit yourself to make mistakes.  

Have fun learning a foreign language and improve your success when you avoid these five mistakes.