Your Intuition is Wrong about Learning Languages

Do you have a vague feeling that you're too old to learn a language?

Are you still looking for the best way to do this?

Or do you just....feel like you're never quite doing enough?

Then we have the show for you!! Hit play now and check out episode 69 of the Creative Language Learning Podcast

(Beware listeners: This episode contains a discussion of a few English swearwords, so if you want to avoid them please skip the first 20 minutes.)

Here's wbat's on the show this week:

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Language Stories: Lindsay has a new podcast, reporting back from her adventures around the language landscapes of cities like Montréal, New York, and more.

Even after 20 years of English, I still don't know all the words. We discuss an English slang word that was news to me.

The Psychology of Rewards

We discussed why and how you can reward yourself when you reach those study goals.

Here are a few ideas from the super cool Fluent Language Learners community on Facebook:

Treat Yourself as a Reward

  • Enjoy a coffee and take some time out in a café, watch the people, and take in the atmosphere
  • Read a good book...maybe in your target language, maybe a bilingual text
  • Treat yourself to some new stationery
  • Go out and explore where speakers of your language hang out, for example if your city has an area where you can find ethnic food and goods
  • Go to a concert or have a kitchen dance party

Enjoy the Rewards of Successful Language Learning

  • Enjoy the happy glow of passing a certificate or good grade (Carlos), or the good feeling of completing a project
  • Allow yourself a moment to recognise how much you have achieved

Some group members said that they never feel like they reach their goals. If this is you, check out our podcast for tips and thoughts on how you can reframe rewards and make them work for you.

Language Learning Misconceptions

What are the most common misconceptions, and which one is your (and my) top one?

There is even a Wikipedia article about this.

Some of them are intuitive and easy to accept, and some of them are so widespread that they have even made it into marketing.

Here's the list we discussed on the show:

  • Children learn their first language effortlessly
  • Younger learners learn languages more easily than older learners
  • Intelligent people are better at learning languages
  • Immersion is the best way to learn a language
  • Grammar study is detrimental to second-language acquisition
  • Learning a second language hinders the development of the first language
  • Once a child can speak a language, the language-learning process is complete

Consider: All these ideas and beliefs are widespread, but none of them are true when taken at face value!