Why floundering is good.

We tend to learn better if we struggle a bit on our own, according to this article

Trying to figure something out on your own before getting help actually produces better results than having guidance from the beginning” says the byline to the article. I agree, and this has application to language learning. 

I think we learn a language better if we train ourselves to notice what is happening in the language, if we discover the way the language works through struggling to understand. Very often the neat and tidy rules that describe what what should happen in the language go in one ear and out the other. After we have struggled with the language, and perhaps been confounded and confused by some of the structures, and perhaps noticed others, it becomes easier to understand the explanations, most of which are readily available these days in books and on the internet.

Once we have enough words to express our thoughts, we need to speak and write, to confront our weaknesses. As to when we start doing that, I think that depends on our availability of time, and our opportunities, and of course our personal likes and dislikes. I do think I should write more, though. I need to flounder a little more in my Czech, but I cannot resist just going back to reading things that interest me in the language.

12 comments on “Why floundering is good.

Un Canadien errant

Making embarassing mistakes in front of people is a good way to learn. Sadly, I tend to avoid all situation where that might happen. Learning by shame. The concept sounds new to me. I even have a book title: "Increase your IQ by making a fool of yourself!" Do you think that could work?


This is unrelated to the blog post above but I read a bit of your ebook. Saying that you found cantonese to sound ugly until you’ve started learning it. And then you pointed out to Dutch. To me this is funny, because I agree. Even though I do speak Dutch, I just don’t speak the same accent as you’re probably referring to. I live in Belgium. I’m going to continue reading your ebook again.Thank you for writing it.

Steve Kaufmann

Making mistakes is good, it is where you identify your gaps. Your language is your own thing, don’t worry about what others think.Cody, once you commit to a language it becomes yours. Anything your own cannot be ugly to you.

E Laroche

La traduction française de vos textes en anglais est déplorable. Je m’attends à plus d’une entreprise qui se targue de vous apprendre des langues, bien mieux que toutes les autres. Parfois on doit recourir au texte en anglais pour comprendre l’essentiel du propos. Je suis désolée d’avoir à vous adresser un blâme, j’aimerais mieux vous féliciter, mais je ne peux pas faire autrement.

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