Oh, so you long to be a successful language learner? Perhaps you even aspire to be one of those smarty-pants polyglots who parade their linguistic prowess all across the mighty interweb. Well, well, well! – aren’t your lofty ambitions impressive?
But let’s face it, my fellow language learners, learning any foreign language is far more challenging than simply memorising a bunch of strange new words and grammar rules.
No! Successful language learners possess a certain je ne sais quoi – a certain mindset and combination of core values that help them conquer obstacles and achieve their grandiose goals.
Fortunately for you lucky linguaphiles, I’m here to spill the bubble tea on the eight must-have mindsets and core values an adult student needs to become a successful foreign language learner or even……..smarty-pants polyglot.
1. Embrace the Growth Mindset: Embracing Mistakes and Learning from Them
Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard this one before. But it’s true! Successful language learners embrace the opportunity to make mistakes and view them as opportunities for growth.
They maintain a positive attitude towards learning, even when things get difficult or frustrating. They also understand that trying different methods and approaches to learning foreign languages is crucial to their growth and success.
Avoid aiming for perfection – there’s actually no such thing! Just keep trying until you get it right.
2. Embody Perseverance: Never Giving Up on Your Language Learning Journey
Listen, learning a new language is no easy feat – you’ve noticed, right? It requires the ability to keep going even when progress is slow or difficult.
It takes dedication and a lot of effort to become proficient in a new language.
Successful language learners stay motivated, continue working towards their goals, and embrace the process, even when progress seems slow.
So, don’t give up because progress is not as fast as you’d like. Keep at it and stay motivated, even when it feels like you’re not progressing.
3. Cultivate Curiosity: The Insatiable Hunger to Discover New Languages & Cultures
If you’re not curious about the culture and customs of the target language, then why bother learning it?
Serious language learners:
- have a thirst for knowledge and aren’t afraid to try new things.
- are interested in learning about the culture and customs of the target language and are open to new experiences.
- try unfamiliar foods.
- engage in conversation with native speakers.
- ask questions and seek answers to improve their language proficiency.
So go ahead, try that weird food and strike up a conversation with a native speaker.
4. Develop Discipline: Setting Goals and Sticking to Them
You must be disciplined if you’re serious about learning a new language.
Smart and successful language learners:
- understand that discipline is crucial to their success.
- set goals, create a study schedule, and stick to it.
- make time for language learning, even when life gets busy.
- dedicate specific times of the day to studying,
- set weekly goals, and track their progress.
You can do that, can’t you?
5. Patience Pays Off: Slow & Steady Wins the Successful Language Learner Awards
Patience is a virtue, my friend. Successful language learners know that learning any new language takes time.
They recognise that language learning is a long-term process that requires dedication and effort.
They also continue to practice and study until they truly master the language.
6. Be Culturally Sensitive: Navigating Language & Culture with Sensitivity
Don’t be that person who goes to a foreign country and offends everyone with their ignorance. Successful language learners understand that language and culture go hand in hand.
Successfully mastering a new foreign language, with broad-mindedness and sensitivity means:
- being respectful and sensitive to the nuances of different cultures.
- understanding that language and culture are intertwined.
- taking the time to learn about the customs and traditions of the target language.
- being open-minded and aware of the potential for cultural misunderstandings and adapting your language and behaviour accordingly.
Take the time to learn about the customs and traditions of the target language and be respectful of them.
7. Flexibility and Adaptability: Embracing Change & Pushing Past Limits
We live in a constantly changing world, and language learning is no exception.
Successful language learners are adaptable and open to new approaches and methods.
They are also open to new approaches and are willing to try alternative ways to improve their language proficiency.
Similarly, they adapt to new situations, such as learning with online resources or speaking with native speakers and embrace new growth opportunities.
Don’t be afraid to try new things and embrace new growth opportunities.
8. Motivation in Motion: Keeping the Fire Alive for Language Learning Success
Last but not least, stay motivated!
Successful language learners have a clear reason for why they want to learn a language and set themselves specific goals.
They use their goals as inspiration to keep going, even when it feels like progress is slow. I know, I know – at times, it really does feel slow.
TL;DR? (“too long; didn’t read”) Here’s the Summary:
There you have it, my fellow foreign language enthusiasts! To become a successful language learner or even polyglottal powerhouse, one must possess certain mindsets and core values beyond memorising vocabulary and grammar rules.
- embracing a growth mindset
- embodying perseverance
- cultivating curiosity
- developing discipline
- practising patience
- being culturally sensitive
- adapting to change
- staying motivated
Successful language learners view mistakes as opportunities for growth, stay motivated even when progress is slow, remain curious about the culture and customs of the target language, are disciplined in their study habits, practice patience in the long-term learning process, adapt to different situations, and maintain a positive attitude driven by their goals.
A piece of cake, right?
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