The Missing Ingredient in Your Language Learning

student with documents and laptop happy about getting into university

P*** makes perfect

Want to learn how to speak a second language? Try actually using it.

As boring as it sounds, often what’s necessary for people seemingly stuck in their language learning journey is simply practice.

Practice, practice, practice.

People often ask me how I picked up Japanese.

Guess what I tell them.

Of course there are different ways to go about this. I was blessed with an immersive environment that challenged me at every turn. I also had a lot of support, and was able to get assistance by simply asking for it.

But at times I still felt embarrassed, I still felt like an imposter, and I still felt like a poser.

Get over it.

Seriously. The only way you can have any form of success in speaking a second language.

Often the people who learn the fastest, ie the most efficiently, are those able to ignore what everyone else thinks about them. People who are able to filter out the emotions and simply focus on the task at hand.

Which is, you guessed it,

Practice. Actually using the language. Not shadowing, not practicing the words, not drilling grammar patterns. Trying to have a conversation with another person in that language.

Do this enough, and you’ll see that you weren’t actually stuck, you were fooling yourself into thinking you had done enough.

ENJOYED THIS? HAVE MORE.

MOUNTAINS OF WISDOM

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

tim@timbunting.com

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