When most people think about studying a language, they think about boring classes. We tend not to perform well when an an activity is boring, hence the reason a lot of people say they don’t have ’talent’ for language or that language isn’t their ‘thing’. But we all use language every day. We all need to communicate. Language is everyone’s ‘thing’.
So why do so many people fail to succeed at learning a foreign language?
The mistake most learners make is only focusing on one piece of the puzzle: studying. That’s because ‘studying’ is the traditional way of learning language in classrooms. But if that approach hasn’t worked for so many people, then it’s time to try something new, don’t you think?
I’m an average learner. I don’t have talent for language. It take me ages to remember a new word and even more time to master grammatical structures. And I don’t have the same passion for language described by some of the extreme language learners I know.
However, I do have something that helps me a lot: passion for exploring, learning and growing. Language to me is a means to and end. A tool. A vehicle that allows me to explore what the world has to offer. This works out great because my life is all about exploring and learning. Not language. Language is a means to an end.
So for me to make progress with language I have to have fun. I don’t know how to learn without having fun. Whenever I slip into a routine of more study and less fun I find myself getting bored and my motivation starts to diminish. I need people. I need culture. I need excitement.
Learning a language doesn’t have to be associated with really hard work and boring classes. If you’re like me and don’t have the sort of passion for language that allows you to study for hours, I encourage you to find something else you’re passionate about, combine it with language and watch your ability to learn language skyrocket.
It’s been said many times that passion is necessary for Mastery. However, few mention that it’s possible to use your passion in one field to drive you forward in another. I’m passionate about learning, exploring and communicating with people. How do I use my passions to drive me forward with Spanish?
- I watch cooking videos in Spanish
- I moved to Spain
- I’m looking for opportunities to work as a volunteer with homeless people and elderly people here in Spain.
These are just some of the things I do to improve my Spanish. I spend very little time studying because a lot of the time I find study boring. I like language, but it’s not my passion. So I play to my strengths and let my passions drive me forward. Studying language is only one piece of the puzzle. Language is a means to an end.
I’m just a guy passionate about learning and life. I’m not a language learning expert at all, but I do often have conversations about language learning with some language learning experts. You may want to check out some of the conversations I’ve had recently:
- How to Learn a Language in a Foreign Country ( Interview with Robert Bigler)
- How to Guarantee success in a Foreign Language (Interview with Luca Lampariello)
- The Art of Motivation in Language learning ( interview with Moses Mckormick)
- My Language Learning Philosophy (An interview I did with Aaron of www.everydaylanguagelearner.com)