1. Why Britons are ‘language barbarians’
Earlier this year the former chief inspector of English schools, Mike Tomlinson, described Britons as “barbarians” when it came to learning foreign languages.
Research published this week, which suggested fewer than one in 10 British workers could speak a foreign language, even to a basic level, appeared to show the accusation was well-founded.
2. 10 Tips for Language Learning Success
1. Set realistic expectations
It is natural to feel uncomfortable in a language class. You’re used to being in classes where the mode of communication — the language of instruction — is a given.
In a language course, however, it is the mode of communication itself that is the focus of instruction. For this reason, a language course is different than most other courses you will ever take. Not understanding and making mistakes — things that are negative learning indicators in other courses — are a very natural part of the language learning process. Accept the fact that you will not understand everything. In fact, at the very beginning, you will not understand much at all.
Remember that during the initial period of adaptation your ear and your mind are adjusting to the sounds and the rhythm of the language. Though you will not understand all of what is being said, you will be amazed at your increasing ability to make sense of the language. Remember that the only way to learn the language is through practice, practice, and more practice; in the course of practicing you will make many errors … and you will learn from them.