Going back to school as an adult is not as easy as it looks. We saw the world differently since we graduated and has adapted a new lifestyle being a professional adult. However, with the right motivation and purpose, we can always go back to school anytime we want. Plus, the familiarity makes it more exciting, especially if you’re learning new skills – languages.
Our Spanish instructor, Oihana C. shares essential tips to overcome the jitters when learning a new language.
I have been teaching first-time language students for quite a while now so I have had the chance to encounter “the fear” a couple times. Being surrounded by people you don’t know and having to interact in a new language is a bit overwhelming. At the very least, you can’t help but to feel insecure and nervous. This is normal in the learning process. But, it’s just temporary. Once the first session is over, students will start feeling confident and even wanting more.
Interaction is the key to develop language skills. Moreover, it is the classroom that provides a comfortable and safe environment for interaction. As you know, practice makes perfect! You cannot expect to master a language if you don’t use it. Here are some key points to keep in mind when getting started on a new language:
- All the students in the class start at the same level, so no need to fret.
- Nobody is judging you (stop being so tough on yourself!).
- The teacher is a friend, not an enemy. He or she is there to help you.
- Do not keep any doubts unresolved. Ask all questions – no matter how silly they might sound.
- We cannot speak a language if we don’t use it, so practice it from the start.
- Don’t be shy, in fact, be fun and silly. You might help somebody else feel comfortable if you do this.
- Don’t give up, always try, try and try.
- Set a goal by making deadlines and targets. Take note of your achievements, too!
- Know your purpose – whether it’s business, travelling or communicating with your native friends.
- Expose yourself to the target language in as many ways as possible: movies, books, food (my favorite!).
- Make friends in your class. Create a WhatsApp group where you can all talk and interact. You can even schedule a group practice.
- Don’t always sit in the same place, interact with different people and you’ll quickly see the benefit.
- Have fun! The chances are, you are doing this after work, so do not make this another hard job task!
All of these tips make small and big difference in your language learning. If you haven’t started yet, these will push you to get going.