Have you ever wondered if you could become a good language learner or how you could improve your language learning skills? We are going to look at what it takes to not only speed up learning a second language but also for it to end in success, as well as be fun along the way. My strong suggestion is that you read this whole article carefully and don’t just look for the main points ☺ as the value in what is here for you comes from understanding what is involved. The deeper the understanding, the more likely you are to change your ways…if that’s what you will want to do…so you can be successful!

The 4 issues which I will be addressing over 4 articles might not appear to you as anything earth shattering, however I assure you that understanding the power of each and bringing its application into your life will positively affect your language learning in ways that you would not have believed possible.

Many learners blame themselves for the fact they aren’t learning well/easily/quickly etc. You may well be one of these people. If you are, do not blame yourself as you are only doing what you were told to do. Either in your schooling or later on you were told, by way of instruction and example, how to learn languages so you have been following what you were told. What can be wrong with that? The problem is that if what you were told has serious problems with it then of course you are going to wear the repercussions also. It is important to understand that just because up to now your learning hasn’t been going the way you wanted does not mean you are stuck with that for all time! And the fact that you are reading this of course suggests that you do realize that.

If you agree with me – great! If you don’t, before you bring up all the reasons why what I am saying is not right, why not for a few minutes entertain the idea “what if he is right … what if it is possible to change my ability to learn languages?” By simply opening up yourself to another mindset, you have opened a door to an area that up until now may have been closed for you

It’s completely understandable that many people have such a strong belief about their language learning capacity. If all your experiences keep reaffirming a belief that you are not good at learning languages, then that belief becomes more and more solid. Unfortunately the language teaching that many people have experienced has produced the kind of results that lead people to think these thoughts. If you want to blame something, my suggestion is to blame the language learning experiences you have had. Our experiences are what build our belief. A lot of us end up looking for experiences that confirm that belief so after a while our beliefs can become unshakeable no matter what our experiences tell us...no matter what someone might tell us.

It is possible of course to change our beliefs if we are open and ready to recognize that our beliefs have not produced the results we were seeking. One way of impacting our beliefs is through broadening and deepening our understanding. By doing this, a seed for a revised or new belief may well be planted in our mind. Then our experiences are looked at in a whole different light, which in turn is instrumental in our redefining our beliefs. In these few pages I will look at all this and more.

There are many people who learn a second language relatively easily so we may label them as having aptitude, thus confirming for us that we don’t. But the reality is that they have learnt to do something we yet have not, in the same way as some people can ride bikes and others can’t or some people can draw well and others can’t. The difference between the two groups is what one group have learnt, the others haven’t. And I am not talking here about the actual skill of speaking another language or drawing. I am talking about the skill which enables us to learn something…call it an aptitude.

Some people say it is in the genes. Well it may be. But I have seen too many people with seemingly bad aptitude for learning something become standout successes in what they had initially no “aptitude” for. These people learn something which is not usually taught in classes. They learn “aptitude”. Can this be learnt you may well be asking - well I can assure you that it can. Why do I say that? Simple, because I have seen it many times both with people I have taught and others that I have watched learning not only languages, but also learning in a whole array of areas. Just have a look at a selection of successful people from any area of endeavour, and you will find those who at first seemingly didn’t have “it” but later developed it. Of course there are the ones who seem to have had it from a very young age. That’s a whole other story, which for now, we will not pursue.

For the purposes of this article, I am going to talk about four elements which people who develop talent and become successful at what they are doing, appear to have. To develop native like fluency in a second language after childhood involves becoming a “standout success”. There are so many parallels between people who become successful in any area. That is precisely what we are going to start exploring here. Without any further ado, let’s start.


Author's Bio: 

Andrew has been teaching languages for over 30 years. In that time he has done extensive research into what it takes to be a successful language learner. He has taught highly qualified professionals as well as people illiterate in their own language in different languages. He has trained teachers, tutored, coached and provided assistance to organisations with language training needs.