We’re constantly advised not to be afraid of making mistakes when it comes to language learning – there’s truth to that. Speaking, writing and grammar mistakes are all completely normal while learning English and should even be celebrated as they are an opportunity to improve. However, there are mistakes you can make during the language learning process and they mainly pertain to your methods!
Mistake No.1 is then ironically being afraid of making mistakes. Be easy on yourself – being afraid of imperfections will only halt your progress. Breaking the language barrier is no small task and takes bravery to do. Don’t fear judgment – we all had to learn some time.
Mistake No.2 is focusing heavily on grammar. Just because you spent hours doing this in school doesn’t mean it’s effective. Grammar is a gradual process that will become evident as you continue to learn. The point is that you can never get enough grammar practice.
Mistake No.3 is not laying a foundation of basic vocabulary and sentence structure. Without this, you have nothing to build off and will constantly find yourself struggling to understand basic sentences. Look up the most-used words in English and how they fit and bond together to make meaning. Vocabulary without structure us useless.
Mistake No.4 is setting your goals too high. Language English is a fun and rewarding process that takes time – Don’t completely overwhelm yourself by expecting to be fluent within three months! Enjoy your language learning journey and accept the bumps along the way.
A sentence you don’t understand is not the end of the world; it’s only a challenge that you can conquer!
Mistake No.5 is not being aware of how you best learn. From reading to listening to hands-on – you must discover what works for you. Using the wrong learning method is like trying to walk through water; you can do it but it’s slow and labored. You’ll quickly become discouraged if you feel like you’re not learning enough. So, switch it up, get to know yourself and even surprise yourself when you begin to learn at a much faster pace! Don’t forget to switch it up though! You’ll need to use all methods at times in order to improve different aspects of learning English such as speaking or writing. You’ll also bore yourself by repeating the same process over and over again.
Mistake No.6 is not focusing on accent. Practicing and acquiring a comprehensible accent is essential if you wish to communicate easily with natives and learners alike. Pick an accent you would like to have from an anglophone country such as American, Australian or English accent and focus on it. Consume media mainly from this country and attempt to effect or mimic the accent. It will soon come naturally to you and you’ll sound like a native!
Mistake No.7 is not following a routine of learning. In order to ensure success, you must stick to a plan and hold yourself accountable. This is easier to do in a classroom environment where students and teachers can track each other’s progress.
Mistake No.8 is forgetting why you are learning English. It’s easy to lose steam and fall out of practice if you see no point in learning English. It is essential that you remind yourself regularly why English is beneficial to you. Think about how proud you will be once you achieve fluency in English whereupon you will be able to comprehend the language completely. Slang and all!
So, there you have it. Learning English is a complicated and intricate experience but if you try your best to avoid these mistakes it can also be hugely rewarding and enjoyable. I hope these tips help you on your journey to fluency.