A lot of people associate learning a language with their experience in high school or college, which normally or very often wasn’t that great and that’s… that’s an issue because learning a language can be exciting it can be fun it doesn’t have to be boring like a lot of courses out there so you know a lot of people that tell me: “oh, you know what? I am just not good at learning languages because I failed high school French or high school Spanish or I did so poorly that I just decided to drop it the following year, I’m just not good at learning languages!” This should not reflect on how good a language learner you are if you didn’t succeed in these courses! That would be more of a measure of, essentially, how efficient and how exciting the material is, which normally, you know, it’s often not that exciting in high school and in university they can be using boring material.
And now, of course, there are going to be exceptions, there are gonna be teachers who are really gonna be out there trying to inspire the students and they’re going to try to come up with exciting material and if thats your teacher, that’s a different story, but often the problem is that even these great teachers, it’s hard for them to undo the damage done by previous teachers who just use really dull, boring material with their students when teaching them the language so I think that’s an issue, so… But I think that if you don’t succeed in high school or college French or Spanish or whatever language you took, that is not a reflection on how good a language learner you are and it’s really important to tell as well that there’s a big difference between just sitting there in studying the language academically and actually learning how to speak it, because if you’re trying to learn how to speak it you actually have to go and try to learn how to express yourself and often when you’re studying you’re covering topics like: “okay! Let’s learn, you know, the names of items in the kitchen!”
You know, when is a spoon going to come into conversation? Not that often, right? So I would argue, and that’s… That’s the issue! Often in high school or in college French they’re gonna have boring stuff that is gonna be basically irrelevant for conversations and then, you know, the student will be falling asleep there and the teacher will be like: “hey, wake up student, don’t you fall asleep in my class! But guess what? The content is not that exciting! So what’s the solution to this? I think that language learning should be fun it should be exciting you should actually be trying to use materials, you should be trying to use content that’s exciting to you, and nowadays there’s actually so much great stuff out there there’s language programs, apps, exciting stuff and you should be trying to look for things that work for you not only in terms of content but in terms of the method, whatever appeals to you will be the best way to go.
So that’s it! I think that, you know, if you had a bad experience learning, trying to learn a language in high school or in college and felt unsuccessful with it, that really means nothing. I hope that you put that behind you, that you try new things and try new programs, new apps, new ways to learn the language.