mistakes when learning a language

Avoid making these mistakes when learning a language

Erin O'Connor

Erin O'Connor

Hi! My name is Erin, and I'm both Irish and English. I'm currently studying French literature at King's College London, soon to graduate! Being able to speak two languages has opened so many doors for me, be that through socialising, travel, and work. I'm currently taking on the challenge of learning a third language, Spanish!
Erin O'Connor

There are many ways to learn a language. That’s the beauty of it! You can tailor it to your lifestyle and learning preferences. Whether you’re someone who likes to spend hours reading or someone who prefers a more on-the-go learning method, languages can suit anyone! However, there are some common mistakes that many people make when trying to learn a new languagel  mistakes that might actually be preventing you from progressing and reaching your goals. I am going to show you 5 mistakes you might be making while learning a language, and ways to prevent these from happening!

1. Inconsistency

No matter if you have a jam-packed work schedule or all the time in the world, consistency is so important when it comes to learning a new language. More often than not people starting up a new language forget this, and their learning becomes sporadic and inconsistent. If you aren’t designating sessions regularly throughout your weekly routine, nothing will stick! It doesn’t mean you have to spend hours every day practicing grammar and memorising vocabulary, nobody really has time for that! Instead, consider spending two hours a week dedicated to improving your language skills.

2. One-sided approach

If you are learning a new language, and expecting to become fluent just by reading in that language, think again! Learning a new language means attacking it from all angles. You need to be reading, writing, listening AND speaking. Pick up a good book, practice writing out some simple phrases. Listen to some foreign radio and sign up for a language session with JabbaJabba! The combination of all of these is a sure-fire way to achieving your linguistic goals.

3. Languages = work?

A common misconception people have about languages is that the process of learning is endless and tedious. But it doesn’t have to be! If you aren’t enjoying the method(s) you are using to learn a language, you are more likely to give up than continue! Find new and fun ways to incorporate language learning into your schedule, be that through hosting foreign movie nights with your friends, or even listening to foreign music on the way to work!

4. Going solo

One mistake you may be making is trying to tackle a language on your own. It is very easy to do your own studying now with the copious amounts of language resources available online, but sometimes it is better to work with others. Sharing the language learning experience with others has been proven to be a very effective learning technique, as you can bounce ideas off each other and correct each other’s grammar etc. Grab a friend and get learning!

5. Stuck in a rut

Something that often happens when learning a new language is that you get stuck on a certain level and can’t seem to progress. This happens to all of us, and it just means that you need to set yourself challenges to ensure that you are progressing in the language. One thing I like to do is every month attempt to read a more challenging novel in a new language. Don’t set yourself goals which you will never be able to achieve, but instead set small, regular language challenges that will push you further in your learning!

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Erin O'Connor

Hi! My name is Erin, and I'm both Irish and English. I'm currently studying French literature at King's College London, soon to graduate! Being able to speak two languages has opened so many doors for me, be that through socialising, travel, and work. I'm currently taking on the challenge of learning a third language, Spanish!