Language is present in everything we do. Whether we are traveling, standing at a store, watching TV, listening to the radio, or merely reading a newspaper, we are surrounded by languages all the time. Sometimes, even foreign languages.
There are around 60,000 languages in the world, with some being more important than others. And still, if you only speak your mother tongue and English, then you are just a Nori in the sea and not the Shark. However, It takes time, dedication, and a lot of studying to learn how to speak a language that isn’t our native tongue. With all of these obstacles to overcome, the last thing we need is anything that will discourage us from achieving our language learning objectives. When you begin with that unpleasant truth, all of the other language learning myths start to fade.
Clearing the myths around learning a new language is crucial before starting to learn it. So, here are debunking 14 common myths that people have regarding learning a foreign language.
- Children are better at learning new languages – This is true only in terms of pronunciation and not of vocabulary or grammar. There are no major differences in absorption among children and adults when given equal instruction. There is also proof that some adults can acquire native proficiency.
- You need exceptional talent to learn a foreign language – We’ve heard “heavenly gifted”, “exceptionally talented” and even “possess a different DNA” for people who learned a new language. Every human being on the planet has the ability to learn a language, and this is just one of many facets of our human nature. Nobody is wired differently to learn languages than others; whether you succeed or fail today is a result of the approach and practise you put in.
- To learn a language, formal classroom instruction is required – This is the heart of the issue. Classrooms can be inexpensive to run and a great place to meet new people. They carry the weight of history and tradition. Unfortunately, a classroom is an inefficient environment in which to learn a language. The more students there are in the class, the less efficient it is. Languages cannot be taught; instead, they must be learned. Theoretical grammatical explanations are difficult to understand, remember, and apply. Drills and exercises irritate the majority of people. The vast majority of schoolchildren graduate unable to communicate in languages they have studied for ten or more years.
- You cannot learn while working – There is nothing more fulfilling than learning something new. And when you are a professional and want to keep on improving yourself, learning a new language will be beneficial for your professional and personal growth too. These days when one can easily attend classes and lectures on a device, learning a new language does not require much effort.
- Language learning is unnecessary with modern translation technologies – Consider the last time you misconstrued sarcasm or were unable to relate to a cultural reference. Communication is more difficult in other parts of the world. Translation tools fall far short of mimicking a human’s perception or knowledge of a language and its cultural cues, which are required for effective communication. As a result, computer translations frequently produce varying and unreliable results, ranging from the ridiculous to the awkward or mismatched tone.
- One can learn Online or through self-study – As easy as it may look, learning a new language online or by self-study will reap no good due to the absence of discipline, proper guidance, interaction, and motivation. The best way is to learn the language with someone who could answer the plethora of questions that came up every day.
- You should have superb memory – Memorizing is, rather, the unhealthiest way of learning a language. You cannot learn grammar by reciting it after all. The best approach to learning a new language is by speaking and listening to it.
- Foreign Languages guarantees to move abroad – Foreign language learning opens up more significant opportunities for you, but it does not guarantee a job abroad. Along with the ability to speak a foreign language, you also need other skills to land a job abroad. Please don’t forget that you are not the only candidate who can speak the language of your target country.
- You have to live where the target language is spoken – Before you can get to express yourself, you do not have to live where your target language is spoken. Surprisingly, many Africans who’ve never crossed France speak flawless French, even better than those who live in french-speaking countries. It all comes down to the interest of an individual.
- Learning a language is always expensive – Not really. Unless you are opting for some really fancy institute, language learning is not as expensive as people think of it. Don’t believe us? Check out the language fluent courses and you’ll know.
- You only need books and apps to learn a language- Now that we have so many apps and YouTube videos that teach language, one might feel that these are sufficient to learn a foreign language. However, the truth is, books, apps or videos alone cannot help you with that. Of course, they may be useful in assisting you to troubleshoot concepts and language understanding. However, the primary goal of learning a new language is to engage in real-world conversations.
- It is a must that you study grammar – You don’t begin learning a language by holding and memorising conjugation charts in your head in order to speak perfect grammar. To master fluency in any language, you do not need to remember all of the grammar rules, including their official names. If you want to be fluent in the language you’re learning, you must learn grammar organically, which means mimicking what you hear. In the early stages of language learning, attempting to study grammar theoretically can actually slow you down. Instead of focusing on correction, concentrate on the connection (vocal sound) (theoretical studying).
- You must learn how to write and speak at the same time – Most of the language learners learn to read and write at the same time. They also learn to understand and speak; however, learning both is not required. It is always preferable to do things sequentially rather than concurrently. It is preferable to first learn to speak and understand so that once you have mastered or progressed in that, you can consider learning to read and write. The truth is that one can be fluent in a language without necessarily understanding it.
- Everybody already speaks English – The most common and widely spread rumour is that English is a universal language and everyone everywhere understands it. It may surprise you to learn that only about one-quarter of the world’s population speaks English fluently. So what happens to the remaining population? You figure it out yourself.