I don’t think that it’s an exaggeration to say that most people would like to learn a new language. I believe that if you asked even the most ardent English-Only supporter in the USA, if not in the mist of a debate, what language they would like to wake up tomorrow and know fluently he/she would say, Oh French! It’s such a classy language; or maybe, Japanese. I have to go there on business trips from time to time and it would be nice to know what they’re saying without an interpreter; or perhaps even, Italian. I’m an opera aficcionado and would love to enjoy La Triata without looking at the subtitles.
Why don’t more people do it then? There are lots of reasons and they’re all disempowering so I won’t bother enumerating them here. My experience is that there is usually a compelling reason not to do something that you know will enrich your life.
A week or so ago I stumbled upon a great, online test that people can take to determine how likely they would be to learn a new language. Click here to take it. Try taking it twice, once for a language you’d love to learn and another that is interesting to you but not compellingly attractive. The test focuses on many of the reasons that a person learns, or fails to learn, a new language and then gives the test taker a score that indicates the likelihood.
What I find particularly effective about this test is that if a person wants to learn a language then what he/she needs to do is look at the questions he/she got a low score on and change that are of his/her life. For example, maybe you’re very motivated to learn Tagalog because that’s what your parents spoke at home. Let’s say that you find yourself motivated, there are Filipino people in your life that you could practice the language with but you can’t find any good materials or classes to take. Well, that’s where you need to focus.
The test simplifies things and lets a person know why he/she is not succeeding. A very natural reaction is to get depressed and not try. Achievement, in any area in life, requires us all to specify problems and then solve them while still maintaining the good points in our lives. Anyone can do it! Language learning is no different.
Filed under: Language Learning