What’s the difference between successful language learners and those who just can’t seem to get very farno matter how hard they try? Is there a list of characteristics that ensures success on the journey to lifelong fluency?
Contrary to what most people believe, the most important characteristics are usually more related to courage, confidence, and hard work than grammar and intelligence. Sure, some people have a special ability to learn languages, which helps, but such special talent is not as common as most people think.
1. They Have Their Heart In It
The Most Successful language learners are connected to a powerful innate sense of WHY they are learning. You can call this passion, purpose, inspiration, imagination, and even vision. While “heart” is definitely not the most tangible or objective aspect of language learning, it is absolutely necessary.
2. They Take Responsibility For Their Learning
The most successful English learners take responsibility for their learning and develop the proactivity to take charge of their process. They don’t blame their circumstances (or other people), they aren’t satisfied with mediocrity, and they don’t let themselves get deceived by quick-fix solutions (quick and false solutions).
If you are NOT willing to learn, nobody can help you. If you are willing to learn, nobody can stop you. -anonymous
3. They Develop Strong Daily Habits
Successful English learners are generally good at implementing strong and diligent daily habits, which in one form or another includes practice in their lives.
They know that to be good at anything, you must do it consistently, with attention, and do it over and over again until it becomes an unconscious part of you. They also know that this routine needs to feel natural, practical, and not forced.
4. They Don’t Expect Perfection
Good language learners know that the only way to learn anything worth learning is to risk embarrassment, to make mistakes, and to make lots of them. People won’t always understand you, people may even laugh at you, but successful language learners have the ability to be okay with this.
“Mistakes are the portal of discovery.” –James Joyce
5. They Build Support Networks
Good language learners find people and communities who nurture their process. They know that we need people to share our journey with, so they reach out to other learners for friends, mentors, teachers, inspiration, and a place to practice. Being alone will feel lonely and uninspiring, and if you’ve never been around people who like learning languages, you probably don’t know how fun it can be.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” -African Proverb
6. They Make “Boring” Things Interesting
Good language learners know full and well (very well) that this is hard work, that there will bechallenging parts of the journey, and that it’s NOT always fun and games. But, because they have a clear and compelling (inspiring) reason why they are learning (#1), and they take responsibility (#2), they don’t let themselves fall off the wagon (get distracted).
7. They Understand Their Learning Style
If you’re an effective language learner, taking responsibility for your learning requires you to have a certain awareness of your learning process. Because you can’t pass off total responsibility to another person, school, or program, you are going to have to observe your process and understand exactly how you learn best. There are very few schools that even pay attention to this, and those that do are never going to know you as well as you can know yourself.
8. They Fall in Love With the Culture
Effective language learners come to a point in their process where their passion is ignited by the culture through which the language speaks.
“A language is not just a body of vocabulary or a set of grammatical rules. A language is a flash of the human spirit. It’s a vehicle through which the soul of each particular culture comes into the material world. Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind, a watershed, a thought, an ecosystem of spiritual possibilities.”
-Anthropologist, Wade Davis
9. They Make Their Life Their Classroom
The result of this entire process is that you become an active, engaged learner, who knows how to use their life experiences to learn. This is the essence of the Real Life English vision, and it’s the magnet that pulls the entire process forward.
The process of learning gradually becomes more and more participatory, and the difficulty of the forced artificial learning experience gets replaced by the direct relationship you develop with the source of the language: the experience of people, of culture, or meaning, and of real communication.
Call to Action
As you can see, these are not things you generally learn in school; you learn them in life. The point is not to be perfect in all of these, because few people are. Your mission is to evaluate your English learning process, your life, and see what you can do to improve your process. You can work on any and all of these, but the point is to take action, and to point your life in the direction of successful learning.
All the best my dear users- U-Dictionary
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