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8 Mistakes That Haunt Language Learners (And How You Can Avoid Them!)

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8 Mistakes That Haunt Language Learners (And How You Can Avoid Them!)

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Making mistakes is an integral part of learning a language, but only if they are productive mistakes. Mangling a verb tense or using the wrong noun gender provides a learning opportunity. More serious mistakes, like using the wrong materials or burning yourself out, on the other hand, can be detrimental. Find out which mistakes haunt language learners, and how you can avoid them!

Making mistakes is an integral part of learning a language, but only if they are productive mistakes. Mangling a verb tense or using the wrong noun gender provides a learning opportunity. More serious mistakes, like using the wrong materials or burning yourself out, on the other hand, can be detrimental. Find out which mistakes haunt language learners, and how you can avoid them!

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8 Mistakes That Haunt Language Learners (And How You Can Avoid Them!)

  1. 8MISTAKES THAT HAUNT LANGUAGE LEARNERS Image by Halloween Stock on Flickr.com
  2. 1 Learning without a specific goal.
  3. “I want to speak Korean.”
  4. “I want to speak Korean.”
  5. Wanting to learn a language is not enough, you need to have a specific plan for how and when you’re going to learn it. Image by Kyna Borlasa on Flickr.com
  6. Set specific constraints and deadlines on yourself.
  7. Set specific constraints and deadlines on yourself. I want to improve my pronunciation in Greek by hiring a conversation paper once a week. Every day, I want to read one chapter of “Le Petit Prince” in French.
  8. In other words, set SMART goals: Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time-bound
  9. Scheduling specific activities or buying specific resources will not only give you structure, but also give you a sense of accountability for your language-learning.
  10. 2 Starting out too fast.
  11. So, you’re excited to start learning a new language.
  12. So, you’re excited to start learning a new language. (We’re excited for you!)
  13. Just be careful not to burn yourself out! One of the best ways to sabotage your language learning is to do too much too soon. Image by Laszlo-Photo on Flickr.com
  14. Slow and steady wins the language- learning race. The key is to develop a consistent routine that you can maintain. Image by Jason Hollinger on Flickr.com
  15. Slow and steady wins the language- learning race. The key is to develop a consistent routine that you can maintain. Image by Jason Hollinger on Flickr.com
  16. As you progress, gradually add more engagement time—and don’t forget, traditional “studying” isn’t the only way to learn a language. Make time for music, conversations, and beyond!
  17. 3 Using only one kind of resource.
  18. Seek out a variety of language resources across different media. Image by Shutterhacks on Flickr.com Image by Paul Hudson on Flickr.com
  19. Relying on a textbook alone limits your skill development. Multimedia materials provide opportunities for reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
  20. Don’t forget to acquire materials for different occasions, so you can learn at home, during your commute, on lunch break, or while waiting in line at the store. Image by Mo Riza on Flickr.com
  21. Don’t forget to acquire materials for different occasions, so you can learn at home, during your commute, on lunch break, or while waiting in line at the store. Image by Mo Riza on Flickr.com
  22. 4 Using inauthentic materials.
  23. Mixing up your learning materials is a good start. Do yourself another favor and stir in a large portion of authentic resources. Image by gonmi on Flickr.com
  24. Textbooks, audio tapes, YouTube videos, and the like that are designed for language learners are ideal for beginners… to an extent.
  25. These kinds of resources can sometimes be guilty of oversimplifying for beginners.
  26. These kinds of resources can sometimes be guilty of oversimplifying for beginners.
  27. Resources targeted at learners can also have a certain element of awkwardness, contriving nonsensical phrases or dialogues just to point out a grammar concept.
  28. Resources targeted at learners can also have a certain element of awkwardness, contriving nonsensical phrases or dialogues just to point out a grammar concept. (“The dog has a moustache.” Very useful.) Image by ginnerobot on Flickr.com
  29. Jumping in to authentic resources—newspapers, books, music, TV shows, you name it—will expose you to more natural language use, as well as slang, idioms, and expressions you won’t find in your textbook’s glossary.
  30. Don’t trick yourself into believing that you can’t use authentic resources as a beginner. Start out slow with children’s books and movies, comics, short recipes, etc. and build up to the news and sitcoms as you go.
  31. Don’t trick yourself into believing that you can’t use authentic resources as a beginner. Start out slow with children’s books and movies, comics, short recipes, etc. and build up to the news and sitcoms as you go.
  32. 5 Memorizing without understanding.
  33. When it comes to languages, there’s a lot to memorize. Image by drcw on Flickr.com
  34. When it comes to languages, there’s a lot to memorize. Image by drcw on Flickr.com
  35. But it’s not just about memorization, it’s about understanding.
  36. When studying the grammar of a language, look for the connections between words. For example, you could memorize the French phrases “le poisson bleu” and “la maison bleue,” but that doesn’t mean you understand that bleu(e) takes an –e when describing a feminine noun. Image by Francisco Gonzalez on Flickr.com
  37. Once you understand the connection between noun gender and adjective agreement, you can apply that to thousands of other phrases.
  38. Don’t undermine your efforts to learn a language by trying to memorize everything. Exploring grammatical patterns and connections will eliminate that need.
  39. 6Translating directly to your native language.
  40. Speaking of undermining your efforts, don’t fall in to the trap of relating everything back to your native language. Image by Bill Selak on Flickr.com
  41. Some words and phrases just won’t translate, word orders will differ, and you’ll come across concepts you’ve never heard of before—gender, case marking, and tones, oh my!
  42. Keep your mind open and your slate blank. The less you use your native language as a crutch, the more comfortable you’ll become with using your new language. Image by IntangibleArts on Flickr.com
  43. 7Avoiding speaking.
  44. There is such a pervasive fear of speaking in a foreign language that it even has it’s own term: xenoglossophobia.
  45. Giving in to that fear is a major mistake for any language learner. Image by Geoffrey Fairchild on Flickr.com
  46. Speaking in another language gives you the opportunity to practice your pronunciation, wrapping your tongue around new sounds.
  47. But there’s more to speaking than just pronouncing the words correctly.
  48. But there’s more to speaking than just pronouncing the words correctly.
  49. But there’s more to speaking than just pronouncing the words correctly.
  50. Don’t wait until you’re “ready” to start speaking—let go of your fear and start yapping right away for maximum results! Image by ddqhu on Flickr.com
  51. 8Doubting yourself.
  52. While you’re at it, let go of your doubts, too! Image by Karen Ellot on Flickr.com
  53. Scott H. Young gives great advice when it comes to being a better learner:
  54. Scott H. Young gives great advice when it comes to being a better learner: Be a perfectionist in the long-term, not the short-term.
  55. Making mistakes is a big part of learning a language.
  56. Making mistakes is a big part of learning a language. Embrace them.
  57. Making mistakes is a big part of learning a language. Laugh at yourself.
  58. Making mistakes is a big part of learning a language. Learn from them.
  59. It’s not possible to learn a language without saying something silly, using the wrong gender, conjugating in the wrong tense, and so on.
  60. It’s not possible to learn a language without saying something silly, using the wrong gender, conjugating in the wrong tense, and so on.
  61. When it comes to language learning, the cliché is true, you need to step out of your comfort zone.
  62. You can learn a language—it just takes time and practice.
  63. Now that you know what not to do when learning a language, what are you going to do next? f t in FREE TRIAL SUSCRIBE TO THE LANGUAGE NEWS BLOG

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