There are several kinds of beliefs that may be holding students back as a language learner. They do not often reflect upon them unless some vent has caused them to step back, because that is not what they have been educated to do.
I am not a talented language learner
There are numerous people who showed no interest or talent in a field but later developed prodigious talent in it later in life.
I have always been bad at learning languages
Their past is only a determiner of their future if they allow it to be.
I don’t have enough time
Alternatively, you may even be able to take out some “marbles” that have less importance to you than learning a language, then you will have even more space to fill!
I do not have the opportunity to practice with “locals”
Opportunities are always there, but many people don’t look for them or see them or maybe are not prepared to do what is necessary to make the most of it.
There are no opportunities to use the language I am learning in the country I live in
It is amazing who one can find in one’s own town if one looks. And nowadays with the advent of the internet, talking to people can be as easy as turning on your computer!
I am too old
If you believe that is the case, then of course that is the case. However there are many cases of even elderly people learning a new language.
I have no ear for languages
That may well be your belief and even experience. But that does not need to be the case for the rest of your life. You can re-educate your ear in just the way we can educate any other sense. Remember though that you did learn your first language so that capacity resides within you.
My pronunciation is so bad
You may need to find a specialist to give you some pointers and guidance as to what you can do to change your habits, or you may even be able to do it by yourself.
I am too shy to talk to people
There is no reason however why you have to stay shy. It all depends upon what you really want and are prepared to do to break this habit.
The language I am learning is only a tool so I don’t need to perfect it
This attitude will of course put a ceiling on your development
My vocabulary will improve if I memorise the words I want to learn
Memorisation is a great skill to develop but it has limited value for most people learning a language. It is a good skill to cultivate to remember phone numbers, etc, but language learning requires more than that.
Studying grammar will improve my speaking
Many people study and study grammar believing that once they know the grammar, they will be able to speak. These are two separate skills. There are many skills that need to be learn, that in fact are separate to the intellectual exercise of knowing the skill needs to be exercised.
Sometimes letting go of beliefs that are not serving us is like discarding a ball and chain that has been attached to our leg. This list has just scratched the surface. Reflect a little on your experiences and attitudes.
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What do you consider to be the blocks which may prevent language learning? Our beliefs are one of the most powerful determiners of our outcomes in life. However they are results of our experiences, but as our experiences are quite narrow when you consider all that is possible, we need to be careful about being too wedded to them. Our beliefs can stop us even considering possibilities, that may well be the answer to our prayers. Just consider the man who sold his farm because he believed that he could find his fortune in far off lands, lands where there was rich and plenty. So he travelled, far and wide seeking his fortune, but after many years of travel, unsuccessfully seeking his fortune, he returned to his homeland by chance. On his return he found that the new owner had discovered a large oil deposit on his land.
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