We asked some of our language students and teachers what the biggest challenges to learning a new language are. Some of their points were obvious while some of them were a little more obscure.
FINDING THE TIME
Finding the time to do anything can be difficult as there are so many issues and people who are calling for our time. In our survey, this challenge came up frequently.
We have found that people who have to go somewhere to study are less inclined to do so than if the tutor comes to them, so try and find a private teacher if you can. It seems that the act of getting on public transport and having to be somewhere does discourage people. After all, time is so important and you can never get wasted time back.
FINDING THE MOTIVATION
Staying motivated and committing to anything takes a lot of willpower, which is why self-study is so hard. Surround yourself with positive people who understand what you are going through and don't get downhearted by negative people who say you cannot do something.
Some ways to stay motivated include setting small goals for yourself and rewarding yourself for achieving them. Do not compare yourself to other people, but rather compare yourself to how you were at the beginning of your language learning journey.
SPENDING TIME WITH A NATIVE SPEAKER
Finding native speakers of a language is a tough ask, but if you can immerse yourself in the language with somebody who has the time and ability to correct your errors then that is one of the best things that you can do. The problem with spending time with a non-native speaker is that they cannot know all the nuances of the language, and their pronunciation is unlikely to be akin to someone whose mother tongue is the language that you are learning.
FINDING THE RESOURCES
About 80% of the internet is in English, so you will have no trouble finding English to read and listen to. Get a good grammar book as well as a good coursebook to give your learning a degree of structure. Another way of picking up a few English expressions is to read a decent newspaper or a book. In the UK, some newspapers will have more natural expressions while some will have more formal expressions. All of them will be of help to you.
Unique Languages offers language training in English as a Foreign Language along with a range of modern foreign languages. For further information about how we can help you or your organisation, e-mail us or fill in the form on this page. You can also telephone us on 020 3566 0145.