30 October 2012

Confidence and trust in language learning.

How can I learn Korean and still improve in my Russian, Czech and German? This was the concern I raised in my last post. Well, I have started doing something about it.

I am reading the news in Geman. I am using LingQ to read about the horrible damage caused by hurricane Sandy as descrdibed in Die Welt. I read a lesson that Evgueny created in Russian for LingQ about the recent Ukrainian elections. I have also downloaded some articles from Czech radio.

But as for my Korean, the last thing I do at night, the first thing I do in the morning, and as often as I can during the day, I read and listen to Korean. It is not my first time to study Korean, so that the ‘strangeness” of the new language has long since worn off. However, I sense myself forgetting the new words I look up and the patterns are strange and often unclear.

But I have confidence. I have the absolute knowledge, that if I keep exposing myself to the language, it will become clearer and clearer. Things that I keep forgetting will eventually start to stick. I have done it so often before, I just trust my brain. I know that with enough exposure the language will become a part of me.

The same is true of my efforts to maintain the other three languages. I just have to have the discipline to continue. I know my efforts will be rewarded.

This the confidence that I now have, and which I did not have over 40 years ago, when I first started learning languages. In those days I tried harder to deliberately learn things, and got easily frustrated by what I forgot or did not understand. Today, I am not at all concerned by these obstacles because I trust my brain, and have confidence, the confidence that comes from experience. I just have to stay the course.

3 Comments

  1. Talib Allughat
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Recently I realised that I could quite understand whatever I read and listen in French after I have been studying it for about five years. I have been learning from time to time so it took quite a long time. But it finally pays off. I felt that I would never succeed but I did not give up. I kept on learning whatever the result would be. Some moths ago I felt that I was going to succeed in the near future, within a couple of month. To some extent, it becomes a reality now. If I learn it on and on, my French will improve very much.

  2. Steve Kaufmann
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Yes, as long as we enjoy the journey, we will reach our destination, and it is a great feeling when we get there.

  3. Dangph
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    Trusting yourself is indeed a good thing. I believe that anxiety about learning can actively block learning. I met a lady once at a language meetup who was trying to learn a language but she was telling me she was too old to learn. I was thinking that in the time she spent complaining she could surely have learned a new word instead.

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