The demand for learning foreign languages has got really high over the last decade. This tendency mostly reflects the situation on the labor market. Many open positions in global companies require the knowledge of at least one foreign language. Fluent English gives an opportunity to receive a scholarship and get a diploma from any college worldwide. Countries like Germany and France offer free spots in college for German and French speakers. That’s a great motivation to start speaking an additional language, however, only 2 out 5 people, who start learning a language, reach an advanced level. Let’s figure out why people drop the learning and what stops them on their way to career success.
We are starting to learn English at school, taking additional hours with the tutor, attending language schools, but in the end, get lost when meeting the foreigner. Even though people put so much effort and invest a lot of time and money, only a few of them end up with visible results. And here is why:
The goal is not defined. People start learning English just because it is trendy. They don’t really think about what kind of value it can bring and as a result, their learning process is not intense and they don’t know how to apply the language in real-life situations.
No deadline. It may sound very obvious, but if the deadline is not defined, you will never see the results. Exam, trip, meeting, relocation can be implied by the target date. As with any other goal, this one should be also specified in time.
Lack of self-confidence. It may apply to perfectionists, who plan to start talking only after they reach the level of a native speaker. The bad news, it’s impossible to reach it unless making mistakes and getting the feeling of a live language.
The wrong type of learning method. Every human being has a different perception. Classical classes with homework can be a perfect way of studying for one person, but another one can remember something only through communication. It is crucial to find an option, which works the best and brings fast results.
Taking it too seriously. Learning a language should be a fun process that brings pleasure after all. Don’t be afraid to sound funny, the main point here is to keep trying. Even in our native language we are using a lot of inappropriate words or use them differently as in the literary language, but our speech still sounds natural.
Having reached the slightest progress, when other people start understanding what a person is trying to say, a learner gets relaxed and disregards grammar. It may be not that noticeable in spoken language, but writing reflects all the shortcomings. Written language shows how well you are holding up with the words order and punctuation, tenses. The only way to improve your written language is to train as much as possible. But it happens quite a lot that person makes all the same errors and there is no one to make a correction or to point them out. If this is your case, try to use a time you need a proofread. It will check your spelling and grammar, underline the mistakes, and offer suggestions for improvement.
Theoretical knowledge is nothing without practice. It doesn’t matter how many words you have learned if you don’t know how to use them. Use every opportunity to practice the language. It’s clear that foreigners don’t appear in our sidewalk every day, but if to look around carefully, there are thousand options to apply English in daily life:
Talking to people online
Buying on international websites
Watching movies or reading books in their original language
Reading the information on labels as we buy imported products regularly
Participating in international conferences or workshops
Subscribing to foreign bloggers
Traveling to new places and countries
Searching for the information online
Completing online study courses
Most of these options are available for free even without leaving the house. All is needed just a little bit of effort and curiosity.
Thank God, the industry of teaching foreign languages has gone way above and beyond, and today students can learn English in many different ways, not just by attending boring classes. Many language schools offer learning processes through theater, singing, or games. Some of them are built on communication concepts without homework. Some methodologies suggest studying English simply by watching shows and series on Netflix. The main idea behind all these offers is to keep the learning fun. However, it makes sense to remember about the structure, learning plan, and progress check.
It is possible to keep the language on a high level only by living in an English speaking environment, otherwise, it has a specific to be forgotten. It is like a muscle that should be trained all the time. To recall all the topics which are not in use, try to read articles or watch the videos dedicated to it. Another good idea is to use flashcards for learning and repeating the words. A lot of apps are available for this purpose.
Having a clear goal with a deadline, dedication, and a fun approach are the key ingredients to speaking English fluently.