Language learning is an interesting, a bit complex way of exchanging culture and thinking process. Most people are very alien to the idea of learning a new language.
It is so convenient for us to speak in the native language that even the idea of learning a new language gives us chills down the spine. The very idea of it makes us uncomfortable. This discomfort has led to a lot of myths.
The most common myth that everyone has heard is that it is much easier for children to learn languages than for adults.
Language learning is difficult for adults? Are you too old to learn a new language or you just don’t want to come outside your comfort zone?
We will take a look at some myths surrounding us and prove them wrong.
MYTH #1: CHILDREN ARE BETTER LANGUAGE LEARNERS THAN ADULTS:
- There are many studies proving that children learn a language faster than adults, but the idea that children are better at learning languages than adults is a misconception. Both the parties approach it differently.
- Usually, adults approach language learning with a mature problem-solving process, while children don’t let the rules hinder their learning. They absorb everything.
- Children are not afraid of speaking and making mistakes, which is crucial for improving their skills.
The thinking process of a child is very flexible, whereas an adult has a very rigid thinking process.
MYTH #2: I AM TOO OLD TO LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE:
- Let’s start by agreeing to the fact that our bodies, our brains at age 70 and at age 20 are different.
- Earlier, scientists believed that our brains are more sensitive when we are young and the sensitivity decreases as we age. New research, however, has shown that learning can occur at any age.
- A 2000 study, proves that adult brains actually get better with time.
- Later, a study proved that our brains grow at every stage, so we can learn at any age. Learning a language when we are old is not difficult, it’s just different.
- One should keep some points while learning a new language:
- BE PATIENT-Learning as an adult is a slower process because our bodies, our brain is more stressed. Just hang in there, you can and you will reach there with time.
- ONE STEP AT A TIME-Work upon your knowledge and fluency. Remember your 9th-grade teacher told you that revision is the key? Always go back and revise the topics that you are not comfortable with.
- YOU ALREADY KNOW THE BASICS-Language learning in adulthood is bliss because you have gained experience and you can memorize faster and support your language learning. Most importantly, you have learned how to learn.
MYTH #3: LEARNING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE REQUIRES A SPECIAL TALENT:
- Bilingual or multilingual people are seen as very brilliant and people often presume that they have a natural gift.
- Some people also believe that there is something unique about the DNA of a multilingual. So, if you are struggling to learn French, that must mean that you don’t belong to the SPECIAL-GENE-COMMODITY.
THIS MAKES NO SENSE.
- We all have the language learning gene, it’s part of what makes us human.
So, why do some succeed at learning a foreign language and some don’t?
Simple- Practice and Approach.
If you are failing to learn a new language, it’s either because you are not practicing enough or because of your approach.
MYTH #4: YOU MUST HAVE A SUPER MEMORY:
- We are surrounded by people from all walks of life, different people, different professions. Have you seen people pursuing the MBBS dream? You have seen their books? In this COVID-19 season, I can do a nice home workout with them. They are huge, so many pages, so many books.
Lawyers? They legit date their books, they are with them all the time.
If they can read and remember so much stuff. You cannot learn a new language?
You don’t need a super computer-like brain to learn a new language.
In the corporate world, professionals who can exchange thoughts between borders are more in demand.
If you learn an extra language or two, it will boost your profile from the ground floor to the top floor of Burj Khalifa.
Language is the bridge that is filling the void between different cultures and different parts of the world.
DON’T CATCH THE HYPE, LANGUAGE LEARNING IS NOT FOR THE SPECIALLY TALENTED, IT IS FOR ME, IT IS FOR YOU, IT IS FOR EVERYONE.
LANGUAGE IS ABOUT CONNECTING WITH PEOPLE!