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October 2019

Personality Habits that the Best Language Learners Possess

Improve your mindset to improve your learning

Learning a new language is a very mental activity, and so it should come as no surprise that the best language learners possess certain personality habits that help them learn more effectively. These habits help not only with learning, but also in everyday life. But we often forget to exercise these mental traits, inevitably coming across self-imposed roadblocks in our language learning journey. Let’s take a moment to remind ourselves of the best personality habits we ought to have to improve our study.

Be brave

Perhaps one of the greatest language learning tips is to be unafraid of making mistakes. Errors will always occur, and we should embrace each one as a learning opportunity to correct ourselves. The more embarrassing a mistake is, the more likely we’ll remember not to commit them. Go easy on yourself, let go of the ego, and don’t take yourself too seriously as you converse in your target language. Ask questions when you’re unsure of something and take chances to push your boundaries. The more you practice complicated grammatical structures, the more comfortable you will be with them.

Be patient

Language learning was never supposed to be a quick endeavor. Even those who reach a conversational level before others still have much more to learn. Websites that tout fluency in several months often require extensive study, beyond the time commitments available for most working individuals or active students. “Fluency” is also a relatively subjective term, and each person has a different judgment on when he or she is truly “fluent” in their eyes. You know you and the goals you want to achieve, so you know how long it might take you to reach this goal given your study style and available study time. Be patient with yourself, knowing that each step toward your goal, regardless of how small it is, is a step forward nonetheless.

Be persistent

Studying every day is better than studying a lot just a few days a week. Language learning is a marathon rather than a sprint, and so it’s important to be persistent (and consistent) in your studies. When you may be tired or distracted, find whatever energy and time you can for study, if at least a little each day. Over time, all of it will add up. Just as exercising your physical body requires pain for gains, some struggle with language study is natural. The important thing is that you keep doing it.

Be positive

It’s easy to fall into emotional pitfalls while studying a foreign language, and so maintaining positivity is vital to the learning process. Find ways to make your studies more interesting and fun. Go out and regularly use your language with real humans. Focus on why you are learning a new language in the first place, and reward yourself for improvements. Above all, acknowledge how far you’ve come by regularly looking back at your progress.

Be adventurous

There are many ways to study a foreign language. Books and apps are helpful, but there may be more out-of-the-box learning strategies that suit you better. Be adventurous and take your language skills out into the world, finding new and innovative ways to use what you’ve learned. Travel, if you can, and meet new people. Say yes to new experiences and step outside your comfort zone.

Language learning is a long process, and a strong mind and a healthy mentality are important for reaching your goals. What are some of the positive mental habits that you have that help you in your studies? Let us know on our Facebook Page, and be sure to “like” telc English for more articles on culture and travel!