Languages are a great way to expand your skillset and help you stand out against other candidates in job interviews and applications. Although learning a new language is a big commitment and can take time to perfect, it demonstrates your ability to utilise the transferable skills needed to learn, like self-discipline and resilience. Many people struggle with learning a language, but it’s important to remember that a positive mindset can be your ticket to success.
What matters most is attitude before accuracy.
Learn at your own pace
The most important thing to remember is that everybody learns at different speeds. Some people need more time to crack the basics, and others seem to pick things up incredibly quickly. Moving at your own speed is the key to progression and not comparing yourself to others is key.
Remember why you started learning
It’s important to set yourself goals and have a clear ambition in your mind. Is your goal to communicate with a native speaker, or do you just want to pass your exams? Maybe your goal is to complete some work experience abroad Whatever your end goal is, this is likely to be your only motivation to learning a language. Unless you know exactly what you want from your language skills, you’re not going to have the motivation to put the time in. Commitment is the biggest part of any learning process, so make sure you have a good reason why.
The British Council recognises the commitment needed to learning a language, and here’s why it’s vitally important now and for your future.
Embrace your mistakes
Mistakes are a part of every learning journey and the sooner you understand and accept that the people around you only want to help, the sooner you’ll grow as a linguist. When you’re starting out on your language learning journey, you’re bound to make a fair few errors, but the more mistakes you make, the more it shows you’re trying.
The best way to learn anything is to ask when you’re stuck, worried or just curious. A curious mind is one of the best things to have when learning a language as it shows you’re actually invested in what you’re learning. Absorb every piece of information and when you’re unsure about something, ask! It’ll save you making a mistake further down the line.
Maintain a positive mindset
Your approach to learning is directly linked to your chances of success. If you have a positive outlook on your learning journey, and you commit the time to studying, you’re more likely to embrace your triumphs. Instead of focusing on how far you have to go, take a moment to realise how far you’ve already come. Look at where you started and where you are now. This is likely to give you enough motivation to carry on learning.
Great Performers’ Academy: How to develop a long lasting positive mindset.
Check out our classroom resources for a “Why Study Languages” poster and more.