The appetite grows with eating.

“l”appetit vient en mangeant.” The more we eat, the more we enjoy eating according to this saying. I certainly have that feeling now with Czech. The more I can understand, the more I can say in the language, the more fun I am having. The keener I am to spend time on my Czech.  I am even afread that this will mess up my Russian. However, I have to persevere with my Czech until my Prague visit, and then I can go back and clean up my Russian. I know from experience, that desptie initial confusion between the two Slavic languages, learning Czech will, in the long run help my Russian.

But for many learners, learning a new language does not become more appetizing the more they are exposed to the study of the language. On the contrary, many people become more and more frustrated with their lack of success. Why?

Of course a lot depends on the initial motivation of the learner. But a lot depends on their expectations and their approach to learning. If we focus on understanding, and have limited expectations of our ability to speak, at least in the initial period, things may go better. If we accept that we will forget as much as we learn, and that much in the language will remain confused and very different, and for quite a while, we put less pressure on ourselves. If we can move to interesting activities, we can maintain our initival motivation, and with the first examples of success, this motivation will grow.

So, the can appetite can grow with eating, if we take charge of our learning.


1 comment on “The appetite grows with eating.

I find the same thing happens to me, especially when I get to the point where I can actually talk to native speakers, that’s what really gets me going and encourages me. I’ve been talking to people on skype almost every day now and noticing how, each day, I’m able to express myself to them just a <i>little</i> bit better and I’m able to understand them just a little bit better really encourages me, nothing feels quite as good as that.With regards to people getting more discouraged the longer they go, I think those are all people who gave up too soon. Yeah, they worked at it for a month or two and when, at the end of the first month, they noticed that they weren’t ‘fluent’ yet they got a bit frustrated, and then when, at the end of the next month, they noticed that they <i>still</i> weren’t ‘fluent’ they got even more frustrated, and by the end of the third month they just decided "this doesn’t work" or "I’ll never be fluent, people who can do this must have some special magical language-learning gene I don’t", or "Rosetta stone is crap! they lied to me!" or some such thing, and then that’s that. I suspect that’s what’s happening there.Cheers,Andrew

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