Gyeong-ryeong Lee
How do you overcome anxiety when learning a language?
I’m wondering how you usually overcome psychological obstacles such as anxiety when learning or practising a language. As far as I’m aware, it is a very common problem and, for some (me included), it’s so severe that it keeps you from keep on practising.

For example, in my case, I get easily embarrassed by my mistakes made while speaking in English - and more often than not, the memories of the mistakes remain far too vivid and I don’t want to repeat the experience, which keeps me from giving it another go. At other times, it’s simply the fear of misunderstanding the other person.

Would you share your tips on how to overcome or at least lessen the problem? What do you think can help you change your mindset toward practising a language?
Jun 14, 2020 6:28 AM
Comments · 13
Making mistakes is part of the process of learning a new language. A lot of this anxiety has to do with culture and social norms. Whereas in Asian countries, it's condemned upon to make mistakes, in European and Western countries, it's something seen as natural. My biggest tip would be to find friends and teachers who accept your mistakes and don't make a big deal out of it. Learning a new language shouldn't be stressful, it's fun and making mistakes makes it all the more enjoyable. So have fun and be sure to make mistakes, they're a part and parcel of the learning curve.
June 14, 2020
I used to have the same feeling of embarrassment while speaking a foreign language.
It has changed with time and it was easier to speak for me when I realize that all the mistakes are not embarrassing at all... and it's a second language. When I talk with someone who can speak Polish and makes a lot of mistakes in mother language it doesn't bother me - I'm just happy that someone tried to learn that language and uses it as a way of communication.
Just think about a language like a way to connect with other people and use it - every other aspects like correctness will come ;)
June 14, 2020
Keep in mind that the people you speak a foreign language to are just common human beings. Human beings like you. No better, no worse. They have also things they are worried about. That's how human beings are.
 
As concerns specifically English, I have made the observation that native English speakers are very tolerant of mistakes. They appreciate that you are studying their language and they don't mind if you happen to say something that is grammatically incorrect. In that sense, English is easier to practice than some other languages.

June 14, 2020
Thank you again for your replies and I'm sorry I talk too much... (Wish it was the same with real speaking!)
June 14, 2020
Gyeong-ryeong Lee:

I will say most of the comments are sentimental true. I too felt embarrassed speaking my broken Spanish. Eventually, I have learned to understand my mistakes and listen more to my corrections. I have learned patience is key in learning a foreign language.

So keep at it
June 14, 2020
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Gyeong-ryeong Lee
Language Skills
English, Korean, Spanish
Learning Language
English, Spanish