How to Conquer Fear of Learning a New Language
Some language students are afraid to learn a new language because they are accustomed to communicating fluently in their own language. There is a fear of making mistakes and being embarrassed or not looking intelligent and articulate when speaking in a foreign language.
What is the source of the fear of language learning?
Some students reveal that they have difficulty learning a new language because they fear:
- Not being good enough
- Not appearing smart
This fear prompts people to react and behave in different ways:
- Apathetic – they act like they don’t care
- Angry – they display frustration and annoyance at others
- Disruptive – they may disrupt the class
- Despair – they may lose hope in learning
- Avoidance – make excuses so they don’t have to learn new things
- There is a name for fear of learning a new language. It is “xenoglossophobia”. People who have this condition are anxious and fearful of speaking in any language other than their native tongue.
How can a person manage the fear of learning a new language?
- Recognize that this fear exists and resolve to get over it– Know that this anxiety leads to stress, and stress affects your performance. It diminishes your ability to listen, hear, understand, speak and remember.
- Learn techniques that question your beliefs and fears about learning. like asking yourself “Why do I stress about learning this language? How does it make me feel? Is my perception accurate? If so, what exactly is the danger in learning this language? Where is the evidence of this danger?”
- Understand that you are not alone and that everyone learning a new language is uneasy about looking foolish to others.
- Try to have fun with learning. Like it is a challenging game that you can win. There are some people who share their embarrassing language mistakes with the whole world. Here are some examples from Quora. These are people who made funny language mistakes and decided to share the humor.
- Try not to be a perfectionist for everything 100% of the time. Practice will improve your language skills. Even native speakers can improve their language skills.
- Face your fear. Immerse yourself in a country that speaks the language and talk to as many people as you can. Go on outings. Go to parties. Get as many experiences as possible.
- Listen to podcasts while walking, cooking, gardening and watch foreign language movies.
- Try to view errors as challenges to get over. Look at mistakes as a good thing that will get you one step closer to your goal.
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Almost everyone agrees that learning a 2nd or 3rd language is good for a person’s professional and personal life. Fear inhibits people from moving ahead in life. The best way to deal with fear of learning languages, or any fear, is to acknowledge that the fear exists and face it. Do what you fear and watch the fear disappear. As famous American Baseball Player, Babe Ruth once said, “Don’t let fear of striking out get in your way”. Stay in the game and keep swinging!
At the Inspire Academy, we want our students to enjoy their language learning experience. Students can engage in French and Spanish Language Immersion training and to go home with a lifetime of great experiences!
For more information see: https://inspireacademyonline.com/language-immersion/
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