As mentor Roy cooked up some fantastic food for a small yet international dinner party we chatted about many things. Of course when you gather a diverse group of people together, the topic of language always comes up.
Roy’s friend Chris spoke about how he may move to Frankfurt (after solving a math problem on cocktail napkin) and wanted to start learning German now. We all told him different ways he could learn and to start with the basics. Chris said he’s studied languages before, but he wasn’t good with languages….
In my opinion, telling yourself you ‘aren’t good with languages’ is the biggest mistake people make when learing. I’m a big believer in the power of the human mind.
I have much experience with criticizing my language learning and being embarrassed to speak and make mistakes. When I moved to Spain I was the only one of my friends who hadn’t studied Spanish, so being around native speakers and University language students was frustrating and took a toll on my self esteem. I started to tell myself that I was ‘bad at learning.’ Looking back on my experience in Spain, I learned fast after finally taking courses there and that if I had more confidence I would have improved much quicker. But my experience has giving me insight to what it takes to learn a language. To be honest, I’m still working on being totally confident with speaking, but I’m much better than I used to be. I can’t stress enough how important confidence is when learning a language.
So Janelle’s language affirmation of the day: “I am good with languages. I learn language quickly and easily.”
Say that to yourself as many times as you can, especially if learning a language is critical and replace with the particular language you are learning.
Everyone is capable to learn a language! Good luck!!