Set realistic expectations: learning a language

When it comes to learning a second language, everyone has a different view on what it takes to learn a language. Some people believe that they could never learn a language because in their mind it is impossible, while others believe they can be fluent in a few short months.

The most important component in learning is defining measurable personal goals. Most people set generic goals such as “I want to be able to speak the language” or “I want to be able to understand.” This type of statements is difficult to measure.

Language learners should define specific situations they want to be able to succeed at when speaking a new language. For example, greeting the neighbors, ordering food, giving directions to a taxi driver or checking into a hotel. Or situations such as understanding announcements on the train, reading advertisements and labels.

How professor Jargonstein suggests setting realistic expectations.

By setting language learning targets that are measurable, the learner can easily evaluate their learning process and will have a sense of accomplishment when they see what they can do. If the learner defines and meets measurable language learning goals, their efforts will result in successful acquisition in the end.

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