2 Challenges Faced by Language Learners
Learning a new language is a fascinating journey, one that can take you to places never before imagined, teach you to see the world with new eyes and turn you into a more empathetic person. However, as with most things in life, the challenges of learning a new language are not for the faint of heart!
Whether they’re beginners or advanced learners, even the most committed and enthusiastic language students may find themselves stuck in a rut due to various challenges they face along the way.
From lack of motivation to fear of making mistakes, here are 2 common roadblocks commonly faced by language learners and what you can do to get back on track:
1. Lack of Motivation
Learning a language is no easy feat, and it can take months or even years to master. In the meantime, it is not uncommon to feel frustrated or unmotivated, especially if you’ve reached a point where you feel that you’re not progressing.
Lack of motivation can occur for several reasons, from fear of making mistakes to an intrinsic loss of interest in the language. It may be the case, for example, that a language student is studying a language they don’t need to use in their daily life and therefore have no practical reason to continue. Or maybe, you feel that your performance is not as good as you expected and this affects your self-esteem.
To fight a lack of motivation, therefore, the first thing you need to do is to identify the cause. Once you find out why you’ve hit a wall, you can start making some small changes in your learning routine that might help.
How to stay motivated while learning a language
Lack of motivation is one of the main challenges of learning a new language. If you are experiencing frustration along your language-learning journey, try one of the following strategies.
- Make sure you have a clear goal in mind: Whether it’s to speak fluently in the language or just to be able to understand some simple conversations, having a clear objective (whether it’s applying for your dream job or relocating to a new country) will help you stay motivated.
- Find an accountability partner: One of the best ways to stay motivated is to find someone who can keep you accountable and provide support. That way, you won’t feel like you have to go through it alone and you’ll have someone to celebrate your victories with.
- Set milestones: Breaking down the language into smaller, achievable goals and celebrating your successes can work wonders for boosting motivation. It could be as simple as asking a new friend/acquaintance for their phone number in your target language.
- Practice with native speakers: Talking with native speakers and making conversation can be a great way to stay motivated, as well as to practice what you’ve learned and get expert feedback on your grasp of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.
2. A tricky language skill
There are learners who excel at writing yet struggle with speaking; there are others who love doing grammar and vocabulary exercises but find it very difficult to solve listening tasks. Human beings are complex, and no two people have the same learning style.
Finding your weakest area in language learning is often unpleasant, but it’s also the first step towards improvement. If you are having trouble with a specific language skill, you can give yourself up to frustration, or take it as an opportunity to challenge yourself and work harder to improve your listening skills.
This is how you can do the latter.
How to overcome the challenges of learning a new language skill
The challenges of learning a new language can feel too heavy sometimes. But we are here to help. If you are having difficulty with a particular language skill, there are several things you can do to move forward.
Tips to develop your grammar and vocabulary
- Read as much as you can: Reading is one of the best ways to learn new words, so make sure to read in the language you are learning as often as possible. Just make sure you read things you really find interesting, whether it’s YA novels or cookery books!
- Do online exercises: Do you find grammar books boring? Invest your time in online exercises, which usually imply a more interactive, dynamic and colorful approach to grammar.
- Use flashcards. Flashcards are an excellent tool to help you remember new words and expressions. You can find free printable flashcards online or create your own according to your learning needs. Just ensure you stick them around your house and look at them as much as possible.
Tips to improve listening, speaking and pronunciation
- Listen to podcasts: Podcasts are a great way to improve your listening skills, as they usually involve conversations between native speakers, which means you get to hear the target language as spoken by real speakers using up-to-date expressions.
- Speak as much as you can: Learning a language is like learning to play the guitar: the more you practice, the better you sound! If you want to become fluent in the target language, speak it with native speakers or other learners of your level. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes!
- Record yourself: Recording yourself speaking in the language can be an effective way to catch mistakes and improve your pronunciation. Also, it’s a nice way to keep track of your progress and see how you improve over time, which in turn leads to motivation.
In conclusion, the challenges of learning a new language can be hard, but if you develop the right strategies, the result can be very rewarding. As long as you keep trying and don’t give up, you can overcome any language-learning hardship. With commitment, discipline and determination, nothing is impossible!
At LovLan, we work with experienced and committed language tutors who tailor their lessons to help you reach your language goals. All you have to do is choose your target language, explore the profiles of our tutors and book a lesson or pack of lessons! So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started on your journey today and tackle together the challenges of learning a new language,