Problems when learning a language
Problems when learning a language
Like almost every facet of this world, language learning also has its ups and downs. That’s right, sometimes you progress very fast and when you least expect it you get the feeling that you are not progressing , that you are stuck. But don’t worry, this is completely normal and no different from any other facet of life. In all of them you also have phases in which you do not progress.
Experience has surely taught you that there are many problems most language learners encounter at some point. In this article you will learn some of the most common problems when learning languages and we will provide you with possible solutions to them.
Although I understand quite a bit, however, I have trouble speaking.
This setback is very normal for language students who have been studying in school or in a language course for several years. Although it can also happen because you have a lot of contact with the language but you don’t speak it much.
The reason for this is that there are many students in the school and in the courses. Therefore, the individual hardly has a voice. The texts and the teacher will train your listening comprehension for years, but only your language skills. The good news is that this is the phase where you can quickly learn to speak fluently .
The solution is: talk as much as possible. Search and find native speakers with whom to perform language tandems. 2-3 tandem discussions per week are ideal
I can speak, but I hardly understand anything when native speakers speak.
If you have this problem, you did the right thing by learning a foreign language. You spoke the language a lot. This problem is a natural development, because it is easier to formulate a thought in a foreign language than to understand a native speaker.
It is much more difficult to understand all the possible combinations of words and phrases that native speakers use. Also, they speak fast and swallow one tone or another.
The solution: you are doing everything right up to here. Keep it up and talk a lot with native speakers. What you should also do is improve your listening comprehension.
Listen as much as you can in the foreign language. You can do it with podcasts, audiobooks, movies, series, music, etc. Every time you don’t know a word, you write it down and learn.
What also works well is watching programs with subtitles in the foreign language. This way you can see how something is said and understand it at the same time.
Another option is a textbook with an audio version . Play the audio version and read at the same time. Everything also works with a book in the foreign language and the appropriate audiobook.
I forget vocabulary all the time.
The more vocabulary you learn, the more difficult it will be to maintain all of them . You will have this problem, especially if you don’t use the vocabulary often enough or at least don’t repeat it regularly.
The solution: speak the language and use many different words, especially the newly learned ones. Write the words that are important to you, but often forget. Try to incorporate them naturally into conversations. Use the words in many different contexts and you will never forget the vocabulary again.
Don’t you have anyone to tell you right now? Tell yourself a story using as much vocabulary as possible.
Another option is to write the vocabulary on index cards and repeat it in a specific way. The best way to memorize vocabulary is with tests.
I have difficulty understanding the vocabulary used by a native speaker.
Have you learned a lot of new vocabulary but don’t understand it if you speak in the foreign language? If you then ask what a word means, do you notice that it is a word that you have known for a long time? Did you just not recognize the word when it was said?
This is very normal when you are learning new vocabulary . Native speakers often deal with only one tone of words in a sentence. That makes it difficult to identify them. Therefore, you must first listen to the vocabulary of a native speaker several times.
The solution: listen carefully when talking to native speakers. If you don’t understand a word, ask questions and ask your language partner to name the word with several examples. After hearing it from a native speaker multiple times in different contexts, you will probably recognize it next time.
My accent is too strong.
Do you feel that your accent is too strong or that other people do not understand you? This may be because a language was only learned later in life. This means that less emphasis was placed on language learning in childhood and adolescence.
This also happens with tones that do not exist in German. This includes, for example, the “th” in English (as in “the” and “that”), the rolled “R” in Spanish (as in “perro”), or the nasal tones in French.
The solution: talk to native speakers and correct your pronunciation. Watch carefully when native speakers speak and try to imitate mouth and tongue movements. Listen to the language as much as possible, and only from native speakers. Preferably with a video where you can see exactly what mouth movements the speaker is making.
I am not making progress in learning.
Do you learn and learn and still have the feeling that you are not progressing? So don’t worry, because that’s just a trick your subconscious is playing on you.
If you keep learning, you also improve. You just don’t notice this progress as much as you keep learning. This is due to the fact that you make a lot of progress in the beginning and this progressively decreases as you go.
Of course, what can also be a possibility is that you are not learning enough. The more advanced you are, the more you will have to learn to keep progressing.
But don’t worry, a few hours of conversation in a few weeks is enough to at least maintain your level. But if you take a longer break, you will need some time to come back. So avoid long breaks.
The solution: keep learning and don’t worry, because you will improve. The main thing is that you speak the language a lot. Write a text message every month. If you then compare the texts of different months, you will see what difference there is and that you have really improved. Even if it doesn’t seem that way to you at first.
I am afraid of making mistakes.
In some cultures, mistakes are unfortunately still often viewed as embarrasment. The problem is that if you don’t make mistakes, it won’t develop further . It is only possible not to make mistakes if nothing new is tried.
But you have to use the language and keep trying new grammar constructions and sentences to improve your language skills.
The solution: realize that if you don’t make mistakes, you can’t improve either. Also, mistakes seem to be much worse than what the person you are talking to perceives. Someone who knows they are learning the language will not blame you.
Language tandems are also very useful. In tandem you practice the foreign language and your partner practices Spanish. Your partner will also make a lot of mistakes (so it is better to look for a partner who has a level of Spanish similar to yours in the foreign language).
Start speaking Spanish and you will feel much more relaxed when you switch languages. Because you have seen that your partner also makes mistakes and has difficulties.
Suddenly I speak worse than before.
This can happen if you don’t use the language for a long time. But sometimes it can happen after a break of a few weeks. One possible reason is an initially steep learning curve . So if you use the language a lot for a while and keep improving, just taking a few weeks off can have a big impact.
The solution: keep talking, you will notice that you will return quickly. 2-3 conversations spread over several days will help you regain your previous fluidity. Of course, that also depends on the length of the break.
Another thing you must try is immersion, immersion in the language. Try to surround yourself with the language as much as possible. Listen, read everywhere. Then you will regain your old language skills in no time.
Everyone has trouble learning languages at some point, but there is a solution for each of them.
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