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Ellie
Afraid of Making Mistakes?

This is just me having a kind of "stream of consciousness" vent, haha. This subject has been on my mind a lot lately, and I struggle with it daily. I just thought it was an important psychological obstacle to overcome especially in regards to language learning.

 

Why am I so afraid of making mistakes? Perhaps it has a great deal to do with the way I was raised in an academic environment. You are judged and graded by the number of mistakes you make. The number of mistakes translates to your class average. Your class average translates to your academic worth, or so they say. I know it is problematic to judge my academic worth by a percentage or a GPA, but this value still carries a lot of weight, both socially and psychologically, and this kind of ideology has been embedded in me throughout my life growing up as a student. It is a sad thing indeed, and surely almost everybody knows what I'm talking about. This idea is damaging especially in the field of language acquisition. Learning languages in school has its merits, but trying to teach students a language whilst grading them based on how many mistakes they make can condition them to view mistakes as failures. Mistakes should not hinder you from learning. In fact, they help a great deal with language learning. I know this for a fact, and yet I still struggle with my urge to be a perfectionist and make virtually no mistake when I speak or write in the targeted language. We’ve been conditioned to strive to be infallible with pristine grades from a young age, and that can negatively affect our psychological well-being regarding our attitudes towards learning. Of course we are not perfect beings. We must strive to ameliorate our pathological relationships with mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable and undoubtedly required for growth. I strongly believe students should make as many mistakes as possible. Explore the limits of your language ability and do not let the fear of sounding awkward keep you from reaching that seemingly elusive fluency goal. Mistakes are a reflection of bravery, a kind of fearlessness enabling you to embrace the reality that you cannot be right 100% of the time. And I think that’s remarkable.

Dec 11, 2014 4:18 AM
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Comments · 3

A nice piece of written thoughts. I actually laughed when I read this: I strongly believe students should make as many mistakes as possible. I agree that examination results are important to give people a good impression. And I myself am a perfectionist too.

I do manage to achieve zero mistake, to my best knowledge, in writing by repeatedly carefully proofreading my work - an obsessive compulsive habit cultivated in childhood to obtain perfect score in examinations.

However, I am slow in action and reaction, just can't avoid making mistakes in spontaneous speaking. As I do not have a strategy for me to achieve perfection in real-time responses, I have already accepted my inability and imperfection, to make peace with myself so to avoid feeling over-frustated.

Learn to relax in learning ^﹏^

December 13, 2014

Ich werde versuchen, auf Deutsch zu schreiben. Entschuldige mich bitte, wenn ich Fehler mache (wie ironisch, oder?). Jedenfalls bin ich der gleichen Meinung, und ich verstehe genau, was du meinst. Das ist auch bestimmt bei mir ein Problem, aber was ich schlimmer finde, ist, dass ich meistens zu viel Zeit brauche oder benutze, um einfache Sachen zu erledigen oder tun, wie Lebensmittel-einpacken und Antwort-ausarbeiten in Gespräche. Ich denke nicht schnell genug und habe deshalb Angst, dass ich nie wieder einen Job kriegen werde. Wenn ich wieder einen Job kriege, würde ich ihn aber nicht lang genug behalten. Ich studiere trotzdem aber weiter. Vielleicht werde ich besser werden...

December 13, 2014

Making mistakes r one hundred percent better than being afraid of something special ! But before going through that ,it's better to get familiar to the strategies that help u have better handle for that special situation.

December 13, 2014
Ellie
Language Skills
English, German, Japanese, Spanish
Learning Language
Japanese