Perhaps the biggest obstacle of all to language learning.

In a comment to a previous post, Melissa spelled out what I think happens to a lot of language learners.


“To comment on the original post, I spent a significant amount of time in the beginning of my language learning journey focusing on the “work” (grammar, sentence structure, memorizing vocabulary) rather than on natural discourse. Eventually I learned to pull back on the former and increase the latter, which has led to far better results. It would make sense to me if this was a route that most language-learners take. ”


I am convinced that there are millions of people who would like to become comfortable in another language. They often expect the task of learning another language to consist of a lot of ” “work” (grammar, sentence structure, memorizing vocabulary) “, and this thought often holds them back. But what is worse, if they do start to try to learn a language, they often seem to want this structured, “”work” (grammar, sentence structure, memorizing vocabulary) ” approach, and resist more natural, more enjoyable and more effective approaches. It seems almost masochistic, or maybe it is the result of conditioning in school. But this attitude is a major obstacle to language learning.

2 comments on “Perhaps the biggest obstacle of all to language learning.

Bela Abaffy

I agree with you. I think my problem is same. I was learning English so many years with "work", and I cannot speak. I can explain all of grammar rules in my native language, but I cannot say a complete sentence during speaking.


I think that we are indeed conditioned to regard language learning as a form of work rather than fun. There are great methods out there that teach languages in a fun way, and I would love to see more people embracing those methods.

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