I have been a tutor since 2010 and it is my firm belief that anyone can learn a language. Like anything new, learning a language can initially feel a little challenging. However, with the right approach to learning a language I truly believe anyone can learn.
Over the eight years or so since I started tutoring, I have helped a large number of people to improve their language skills. Often people start learning with me as complete beginners, but sometimes people have been learning for some time before they start lessons with me. Regardless of this, I feel everyone can learn.
Admittedly I sometimes come across people who need more time than others at learning a language, but it is very unusual for anyone to struggle. I believe that if you are taught in a logical way and understand why people say things in a certain way, you can succeed.
The biggest challenge people often face when learning a foreign language is learning to accept that you cannot say certain things we say in English in other languages or at least you need to say it in a different way. In Spanish, for example, you cannot say that you ‘like’ something. Instead you have to say that something ‘pleases’ you. Most people adjust to the minor differences between languages fairly quickly without real difficulty. Achieving a more advanced level however requires a good appreciation of many differences, repeated practice and a bit of patience.
As regards foreign language grammar Spanish, Italian and French grammar tends to be fairly straightforward. German grammar tends to be a little more complex and requires more explanation because of the difference between languages. The German case system can at first seem confusing. Most concepts however are logical if you understand the reasoning behind the rules. It is rare for there to be a rule without a logical reason for the rule.
Another initial difficulty for many people is understanding sentence structure. Whilst we all use nouns, verbs and adjectives in English all the time in the sentences we create, we do not necessarily consciously think about it. In a foreign language understanding the roles of the different types of words is important, particularly for more advanced learners. The concept of what nouns, adjectives and verbs is not a difficult thing to learn, but is valuable especially when choosing which word to use from a foreign language dictionary or when speaking.
You can learn regardless of your age
One common misconception is only the young pick up languages easily. The truth is age should not be a barrier to learning. I find that adult learners and older learners want to know ‘why’ things are how they are. If they understand ‘why’, they learn things quickly.
Unlike younger people, older learners also generally are not easily intimidated by learning a new language. They know that as long as they put some effort in, they will progress. They are also realistic in what they can achieve in the short and longer term.
Repeated practice is essential to learning a language
One key thing about language learning is practice makes perfect. Practice, practice and more practice helps people to succeed. You can learn to speak a foreign language with confidence when you regular practise your speaking skills.
Whatever your existing knowledge, you can succeed at learning your foreign language skills.
Doing foreign language lessons / tuition with me
To discuss booking foreign language lessons with me, feel free to contact me. I offer Spanish, French, Italian and German at a variety of levels. I also offer beginner’s (basic) Dutch (e.g. for holidays).