Self-discipline is pivotal when learning a foreign language, especially if you aim at reaching proficiency in it. There are many fun aspects about exploring a new language, but let’s be honest: learning conjugations and declinations by heart is not an amusing activity, sometimes not even for linguists. However, when you have an objective in mind, you can go through these tedious moments with a positive attitude.
You will never learn how to speak a foreign language if you don’t speak with people. Does this sentence make sense? Is the wording right? I remember being afraid of sounding stupid and waking up at night thinking “Did I really say that?”. At some point, you have to stop asking yourself these questions and just speak.
Despite the focus on the self of the first two points, the real added value of speaking a foreign language is being able to communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds. Living abroad can sometimes be disorientating as you are away from your comfort zone. However, the more people you will talk to, the more you will learn and the less you will feel alone.
4) Pleasure of discovery
Learning a new language is opening yourself to new possibilities, questioning everything you know and rearranging the information in your brain. To me, it feels like a mix between being a child again and falling in love.
5) Acceptance of failure
The route to language learning is endless, mistakes are always around the corner. If you look at the other half of the glass, for every mistake there are countless things you learn. For every time you fail, there are many more occasions in which you manage to arrange those new words into meaningful sentences and people actually understand you!
What have you learned alongside a foreign language? Share it with me in the comments below.