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Fear of Language Learning
A few months ago I started working on learning French. I tried several different kinds of online lessons, but I couldn't seem to get off the ground with understanding, let alone speaking, French. I dropped the effort just to recover from the feeling of burnout, but I'd like to get back into learning again.

During this hiatus, I've learned that fear of foreign languages is a thing, and I seem to have it pretty badly. I think this must be from negative experiences and the lack of success that I had back when I was in school. When I tried online learning on my own, I unconsciously set myself up for the same failure loop that I had gone through before.

I heard about this site in my travels, but a lot of the teachers look intimidating and cater to way above my level. I don't want to set myself up for another burnout/failure. Are there any teachers who have experience and hopefully success in dealing with this issue? I looked at many teachers, but I didn't see anything like that.
May 16, 2020 2:52 AM
Comments · 2
Hi Eric,

Every teacher's different. Some will be able to adjust to your needs and some won't. If you feel that your language learning related anxiety is more severe than anything a regular learner experiences (slight fear is normal), you should say this to the teacher before you book a lesson with them. I'd find several teachers who seem approachable to me and write them a message explaining about my anxiety. I'd just be honest. Then I would decide based on their responses. A teacher who "doesn't have time for this kind of stuff" won't be the right person. I wouldn't feel bad about this at all because it is a service and you're about to pay money for it so you might as well be specific about what you need. I'd also tell them (before the lesson) about what helps me and what makes me feel worse. As a teacher, I can tell you it feels awful when a student doesn't tell you that they want to be treated in a specific way and they only inform you later that you failed to make them feel comfortable. Burnout can affect both students and teachers.

By the way, you can type in different phrases when looking up a teacher so you can try words like "fear", "anxiety" etc.
May 16, 2020
Hi Eric!

I've been learning and practicing french for about 8 years now. I am by no means a professional or fluent and don't necessarily have recommendations. However, I have spent time studying in France so also have experience with French professors/ native speakers and understand how scary it can be sometimes! Learning something new can be daunting, but at least you're making the effort. Feel free to reach out if you ever have questions!

Bonne chance !
May 16, 2020
Language Skills
English, French
Learning Language