DEBUNKING THE MOST COMMON LANGUAGE LEARNING MYTHS


In this post, I will rebuke the most common language learning myths I have encountered and witnessed as a language teacher.  You know, I've been doing some thinking lately and I realized that I have a lot to write about the subject of language learning. Moreover, I would like to share some tricks of the trade (for free) with my blog readers. In this article, I'll focus solely on the topic of foreign language learning. I will not talk about whether you should learn a language or not, what are the pros and cons of language learning and so on. The topic of why or whether you should learn a foreign language will be left for some other time.


In my post about using blogs as a language learning tool, I’ve mentioned that many learners are held back by language myths. What are those language myths? Are they potentially dangerous to language learners? Actually, yes, they often are! This is why you need to know about these myths, so you don't get (subconsciously or consciously) held back or discouraged by them. The majority of people living on planet Earth speak a foreign language, so it is definitely possible to learn one. However, many struggle in their language journey and get discouraged. That is why I'm here to help you to understand the language learning process better so that you can feel more confident in your language learning journey.


U ovoj ćemo objavi razokriti i naučiti odbaciti najčešće mitove o učenju jezika. Pisat ću o onim jezičnim mitovima i neistinama s kojima sam se često susrela kao profesorica/nastavnica jezika. U posljednje vrijeme sam razmišljala i shvatila sam da imam puno toga za napisati o temi učenja jezika. Štoviše, želio bih podijeliti neke trikove (besplatno) sa svojim čitateljima bloga. U ovom članku fokusirat ću se isključivo na temu učenja stranih jezika. Neću govoriti o tome treba li i kako učiti strani jezik ili ne, koje su prednosti i mane učenja jezika i tako dalje. Temu zašto ili kako i treba li učiti strani jezik ostavit ćemo za neko drugo vrijeme.


U svojoj objavi o korištenju blogova kao alata za učenje stranog jezika, primjetila sam kako brojne učenike jezika sputavaju jezični mitovi. Koji su to jezični mitovi i neistine? Jesu li potencijalno opasni za učenike jezika? Zapravo, da, jesu! Zato i trebate znati za njih, kako vam ne bi (podsvjesno ili svjesno) uzrokovali probleme s učenjem stranih jezika. Većina ljudi koji žive na planeti Zemlji govori neki strani jezik, pa je svakako moguće naučiti ga. Međutim, mnogi se bore na svom jezičnom putu i obeshrabre se. Zato sam ovdje da vam pomognem kako biste razumijeli proces učenja jezika te kako biste se osjećali sigurnije na svom putu učenja jezika.



OUTFIT DETAILS: BLACK BLAZER
(HANDMADE), GREY TIE /WHITE VEST/ BLUE PLEATED SKIRT (SECOND HAND), MINI BLACK BAG (BORSA), HIGH BROWN BOOTS (NO NAME)



 Why do I focus on ‘the most common’ language learning myths? Well,  it makes sense to focus on the most prevalent myths because they are the ones that can potentially be the most damaging to language learners. Moreover,  I have emphasized the most common in my title because those are the myths I’m most familiar with. Therefore, I can explain exactly why and how these widespread language myths may be holding you back as a language learner. 


 Besides, if I were to write a post devoted to all the language learning myths I have heard, it would be an endlessly long post. Have you heard that proverb that says that a lie repeated enough times becomes the truth? The same is valid for myths and misconceptions. When something is repeated over and over again (ad nauseum), we start to experience it as truth. The problem with learning misconceptions is obvious- they can hold us back during our learning journey. What is worse, language misconceptions can be damaging for learners self- esteem and motivation.



Zašto se usmjeravam na 'najčešće' mitove o učenju jezika? Svakako, ima mi smisla usredotočiti se na najraširenije mitove jer su oni ti koji potencijalno mogu biti najštetniji za učenike stranih jezika. Štoviše, u naslovu sam naglasila najčešće jer su mi to mitovi koji su mi najpoznatiji. Stoga mogu točno objasniti zašto i kako ovi rašireni jezični mitovi mogu kočiti vas kao učenika koji stranoga jezika. Osim toga, kad bih napisao post posvećen svim mitovima o učenju jezika koje sam čuo, bio bi to beskrajno dugačak post. Jeste li čuli onu poslovicu koja kaže da laž ponovljena dovoljno puta postaje istina? Isto vrijedi i za mitove i zablude. Kad se nešto ponavlja iznova i iznova (ad nauseum), počinjemo to doživljavati kao istinu. Problem s pogrešnim predodžbama u učenju je očigledan – one nas mogu sputavati tijekom našeg puta učenja. Što je još gore, jezične zablude mogu biti štetne za samopoštovanje i motivaciju učenika stranih jezika.


 THE MOST COMMON FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING MYTHS & MISCONCEPTIONS I HAVE COME ACROSS AS A LANGUAGE TEACHER




LANGUAGE LEARNING MYTH #1: YOU CAN ONLY LEARN A (TARGET) LANGUAGE BY LIVING IN A (TARGET) COUNTRY


I’m always surprised by how prevalent this myth really is. Despite the fact there is documented and widespread evidence to the contrary, many people still believe that you need to relocate to a certain country to be able to learn its language. 

It’s like they have never heard about this little thing called the Internet that enables people to communicate for free with different free apps ( Zoom, Skype, Whatsapp, Viber etc) as well as professional language learning programs and apps. Not to say anything about language learning schools, academies and communities. Even before the Internet and TV, there was this thing called radio and prior to that books.

People have been learning languages since the dawn of time and most of the time they didn't (and still don't) do it by relocating and travelling. Today we have more (not less ways) to expose ourselves to a target language without travelling. We can utilize both modern and traditional ways of learning a language. I don’t have to quote or link up studies for this one, the evidence surrounds us. Among the one billion speakers of English as a second language, there are millions who have never lived or even been to any of the English learning countries. In contrast, there are people who live and work in English speaking countries their entire lives without learning or even having the intention of learning English. What applies for English, obviously implies for other languages as well. It is not about where you live or where you travel.  Sure, living in or travelling to a country in which the language is spoken can help, but it is not a must. For example, I have never set foot into any of the English speaking countries and I have had no issues learning English. Not only didn’t I have issues learning English, I didn’t have any issues teaching English to others or getting job offers from English speaking countries, so there you go. 


NAJČEŠĆI MITOVI I ZABLUDE O UČENJU STRANIH JEZIKA S KOJIMA SE SUSREĆEM KAO UČITELJICA JEZIKA



MIT O UČENJU JEZIKA br. 1: MOŽETE NAUČITI (CILJANI) JEZIK SAMO ŽIVUĆI U (CILJANOJ) ZEMLJI Uvijek me iznenadi koliko je ovaj mit zapravo rasprostranjen. Unatoč činjenici da postoje dokumentirani i široko rasprostranjeni dokazi o suprotnom, mnogi ljudi još uvijek vjeruju da se morate preseliti u određenu zemlju kako biste mogli naučiti njezin jezik. Kao da nikad nisu čuli za nešto zvano Internet što ljudima omogućuje besplatnu komunikaciju s različitim besplatnim aplikacijama (Zoom, Skype, Whatsapp, Viber itd.), kao i profesionalnim programima i aplikacijama za učenje jezika. O školama, akademijama i zajednicama za učenje jezika da i ne govorimo. Čak i prije Interneta i TV-a, postojala je stvar koja se zvala radio, a prije toga knjige. Ljudi uče jezike od davnina, a većinu vremena to nisu (i još uvijek ne rade) s selidbom i putovanjima. Danas imamo više (ne manje načina) da se izložimo ciljanom jeziku bez putovanja. Možemo koristiti moderne i tradicionalne načine učenja jezika. Ne moram citirati niti povezivati ​​studije za ovu činjenicu, dokazi nas okružuju. Među milijardu onih koji govore engleski kao drugi jezik, milijuni su onih koji nikada nisu živjeli ili čak bili u nekoj od zemalja u kojima se engleski uči. Nasuprot tome, postoje ljudi koji cijeli život žive i rade u zemljama engleskog govornog područja, a da ne uče ili čak nemaju namjeru učiti engleski. Ono što vrijedi za engleski, očito vrijedi i za druge jezike. Ne radi se o tome gdje živite ili kamo putujete, radi se o tome je li učite jezik ili ne. Naravno, život ili putovanje u zemlju u kojoj se govori jezik koji želite naučiti može pomoći, ali nije nužno. Na primjer, ja osobno nikada nisam kročila ni u jednu od zemalja engleskog govornog područja pa nisam imala problema s učenjem engleskog. Ne samo da nisam imala problema s učenjem engleskog, nisam imala problema ni s podučavanjem engleskog drugima ili dobivanjem ponuda za posao iz zemalja engleskog govornog područja, tako da vidite što želim reći.




BASICALLY, THIS MYTH SAYS:  IN ORDER TO LEARN A LANGUAGE, YOU NEED TO TRAVEL, MOVE OR LIVE IN A CERTAIN COUNTRY/COUNTRIES AND THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE.


What is problematic about this myth? Obviously, the fact that it holds back those learners who don’t have an option of relocating to another country. Some people cannot travel or relocate for whatever reason (disability, lifestyle, family reasons and so on). Moreover, the problem with this myth is that it discourages people from starting to learn a language before being in or moving to a certain country. Even if these potential language learners are willing and able to travel and/relocate to a certain country, they will need time to organize it. While waiting for the relocation to take place or their vacation time to start, these learners will be losing valuable time.


I remember listening to a lecture from one British polyglot who decided to move to a certain European country in order to learn its language faster. Despite the fact he is a polyglot and has had learning language experience, he really struggled learning that language while living in that country. How is that possible? Well, you know a  move is always a stressful and time consuming experience. The fact that he worked as an English teacher meant that he wasn’t really getting the chance to use or practice the language he wanted to learn. Ultimately, he started making progress with that particular language only after he moved from that country. Imagine that! Obviously that doesn’t have to be the case for everyone, but examples like that can help you see why moving to or visiting a country doesn’t automatically mean you will acquire that language. So, before you sell your house and quit your job, think about it. Are you ready for such a move? 


 Don’t think I’m advising you against travelling or moving into a certain country if you want to. Working and living in another country can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. I might do it myself someday. I’m not saying that moving to and living in a target language country isn’t potentially very  helpful. It certainly can be helpful and rewarding in more ways than one. You might want to move and work in an X country in order to fully immerse yourself into X culture and acquire X language. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do it, I’m saying that you don’t have to. Living in a certain country is not a must if you want to learn a certain language. Even travelling to a certain country isn’t really necessary. By all means, do it if you want to, but for the purpose of language learning, it is not mandatory.  As a language teacher, I would advise you to move to a certain country only if you really want to and are fairly certain it will be a good  move for you. 


U OSNOVI, OVAJ MIT KAŽE: DA BISTE NAUČILI JEZIK, MORATE OTPUTOVATI, PRESELITI SE ILI ŽIVJETI U ODREĐENOJ DRŽAVI/ZEMLJI , ALI TO JEDNOSTAVNO NIJE TOČNO. Što je problematično u vezi s ovim mitom? Očito, sama činjenica da ograničava one učenike jezika koji nemaju mogućnost preseljenja u drugu zemlju. Neki ljudi ne mogu otputovati ili se preseliti iz bilo kojeg razloga (invalidnost, način života, obiteljski razlozi i tako dalje). Štoviše, problem s ovim mitom je u tome što obeshrabruje ljude da počnu učiti jezik prije nego što se nađu u određenoj zemlji ili se presele u nju. Čak i ako su ovi potencijalni učenici jezika voljni i sposobni putovati i/preseliti se u određenu zemlju, trebat će im vremena da to organiziraju i naprave. Dok čekaju preseljenje ili početak godišnjeg odmora, ovi će potencijalni učenici jezika gubiti dragocjeno vrijeme. Sjećam se da sam slušala predavanje jednog britanskog poliglota koji se odlučio preseliti u jednu europsku zemlju kako bi brže naučio njezin jezik. Unatoč činjenici da je poliglot i da je imao iskustva u učenju jezika, doista se mučio s učenjem tog jezika dok je živio u toj zemlji. Kako je to moguće? No, znate da je selidba uvijek stresno iskustvo koja zahtjeva vrijeme. Činjenica da je radio kao profesor engleskog značila je da zapravo nije dobio priliku koristiti ili vježbati jezik koji je želio naučiti. U konačnici, počeo je napredovati s tim jezikom tek nakon što se preselio iz te zemlje. Zamislite to! Očito to ne mora biti slučaj sa svima, ali takvi vam primjeri mogu pomoći da vidite zašto preseljenje ili posjet nekoj zemlji ne znači automatski da ćete usvojiti taj jezik. Dakle, prije nego što prodate svoju kuću i date otkaz, razmislite o tome. Jeste li spremni za takav potez? Nemojte misliti da vam savjetujem da ne putujete ili se krećete u određenu zemlju ako to želite. Rad i život u drugoj zemlji može biti prekrasno i korisno iskustvo. Možda ću to i sama učiniti jednog dana. Ne kažem da preseljenje i život u zemlji ciljanog jezika potencijalno nije od velike pomoći. To svakako može biti od pomoći i vrijedno iskustvo na više načina. Možda biste se željeli preseliti i raditi u X zemlji kako biste se u potpunosti uronili u X kulturu i stekli X jezik. Ne kažem da to ne biste trebali učiniti, kažem da ne morate. Život u određenoj zemlji nije obavezan ako želite naučiti određeni jezik. Čak ni putovanje u određenu zemlju nije potrebno. Svakako, učinite to ako želite, ali u svrhu učenja jezika to nije obavezno. Kao profesorica jezika, savjetovala bih vam da se preselite u određenu zemlju samo ako to stvarno želite i ako ste prilično sigurni da će to biti dobar potez za vas.






LANGUAGE LEARNING MYTH #2: THE AMOUNT TIME IT TAKES TO LEARN A LANGUAGE


There are actually two (opposing) language myths considering time: one is that it takes ages to learn a language and the other is that you can learn a language in no time. Both of them are not true. The truth is (as you might have guessed) somewhere in between these two opposing language learning misconceptions. I decided to put both of these misconceptions about language learning under the same category because they are both centered around time. So, how much time does it take to learn a language? You can easily find the answer to this question- it’s approximately 480 hours for basic fluency. Generally speaking, it takes a certain set amount of hours for most learners. How many hours a day you want or can put in at a given time, depends on you. Naturally, most learners won't be able or willing to set aside ten hours a day to learn a language, so those 480 hours will likely have to be distributed. Obviously, learning a language takes time but it is not a huge amount of time. Learning a language from another language family will take more time (possibly double), but again it is a manageable amount of time. Anyone can find time for language learning, especially if they manage to incorporate it into their daily activities. It doesn’t have to take decades or even years. With good planning, you might become fluent in a language in a year's time. Being consistent with language learning is important. If you start to learn a language, but abandon it soon, you might have to start from scratch again. If you give up after maintaining a certain level, then it will be easier to start again. Moreover, maintaining a language takes time as well, but that’s another subject. Language learning doesn’t have to take away a huge amount of time or take years. Someone might say they have been learning some language for ten years but in reality they might have only invested a few hundred hours into the actual learning. It’s the amount of hours you have actually invested into learning a language that counts. However, you have to be realistic. For an average learner, learning a new language does take some time and effort. You cannot expect to be fluent in days or weeks, that’s simply not realistic. Even if you put in ten hours of concentrated learning a day, it would probably take you a few months to reach fluency. Moreover, as I explained, sometimes you might need to take long pauses (for whatever reason) so you might have to start again or it might take you longer than you expected. 



MIT O UČENJU JEZIKA #2: VRIJEME KOJE JE POTREBNO ZA UČENJE JEZIKA Postoje zapravo dva (suprotna) jezična mita s obzirom na vrijeme koje nam je potrebno za naučiti jezik: jedan je da je za učenje jezika potrebno puno vremena, a drugi je da jezik možete naučiti u trenu. I jedno i drugo nije istina. Istina je (kao što ste mogli pretpostaviti) negdje između ove dvije suprotstavljene zablude o učenju jezika. Odlučila sam obje ove zablude o učenju jezika staviti u istu kategoriju jer su obje usredotočene na vrijeme. Dakle, koliko je vremena potrebno za učenje jezika? Lako možete pronaći odgovor na ovo pitanje – potrebno je otprilike 480 sati za postići osnovnu tečnost u jeziku. Općenito govoreći, većini učenika je potrebna određena količina sati. Koliko sati dnevno želite ili možete uložiti u određeno vrijeme, ovisi o vama. Naravno, većina učenika neće moći niti htjeti odvojiti deset sati dnevno za učenje jezika, pa će se tih 480 sati vjerojatno morati podijeliti. Očito je da učenje jezika zahtijeva vrijeme, ali to nije nemoguće velika količina vremena. Učenje jezika iz druge jezične obitelji zahtijevat će više vremena (možda i dvostruko), ali opet je to podnošljiva količina vremenskog odricanja. Svatko može pronaći vremena za učenje jezika, pogotovo ako ga uspije ugraditi u svoje svakodnevne aktivnosti. Ne moraju proći desetljeća ili čak godine. Uz dobro planiranje, mogli biste tečno govoriti jezik za godinu dana. Važno je biti dosljedan u učenju jezika. Ako počnete učiti jezik, ali ga uskoro napustite, možda ćete morati početi ispočetka. Ako odustanete nakon održavanja određene razine, tada će biti lakše početi iznova. Štoviše, održavanje jezika također zahtijeva vrijeme, ali to je druga tema. Učenje jezika ne mora oduzimati puno vremena niti godinama. Netko bi mogao reći da neki jezik uči deset godina, ali u stvarnosti je možda uložio samo nekoliko stotina sati u stvarno učenje. Bitna je količina sati koje ste zapravo uložili u učenje jezika. Međutim, morate biti realni. Za prosječnog učenika učenje novog jezika zahtijeva određeno vrijeme i trud. Ne možete očekivati ​​da ćete tečno govoriti danima ili tjednima, to jednostavno nije realno. Čak i ako uložite deset sati koncentriranog učenja dnevno, vjerojatno bi vam trebalo nekoliko mjeseci da postignete tečnost. Štoviše, kao što sam objasnio, ponekad ćete možda morati napraviti duge pauze (iz bilo kojeg razloga) pa ćete možda morati početi iznova ili će vam možda trebati dulje nego što ste očekivali.





LANGUAGE LEARNING MYTH #3: LANGUAGE LEARNING IS HARD AND/OR BORING

Another common myth is that language learning has to be boring or hard. This belief perhaps comes from the way most people see language learning- and that is in a classical school, work or academic setting. Unless you are studying language to pursue a career in language teaching or are set on becoming a language professional (then you’ll need degrees and/or certificates), you don’t have to choose an academic approach to learning a language. Even if you are learning a language in a traditional setting (school/work), you can still spice things up. You can look for alternative ways for language learning and focus on what works for you.  The truth is that you can actually adapt language learning to suit your needs and lifestyle. You can try out different language learning methods. If something doesn’t work for you, try something else. However, don’t give up too easily. You have to invest some time and effort to see the result and to be sure something doesn’t work for you. This applies to any skill. Our language skills are something we are constantly developing, one way or another. When it comes to our mother tongue, we are not aware of it most of the time, but it happens. Every time you come up with a good argument, when you use language to your advantage in any shape of form (either by writing a blog post or speaking up for yourself), you’re developing and perfecting your language skills. If you are bored while you’re learning a language, maybe you’re doing it the right way. Language learning isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it shouldn’t be incredibly hard either. If you’re really struggling with language learning, maybe you’re not learning right way. 


MIT O UČENJU JEZIKA #3: UČENJE JEZIKA JE TEŠKO I/ILI DOSADNO Još jedan uobičajeni mit je da učenje jezika mora biti dosadno ili teško. Ovo uvjerenje možda dolazi iz načina na koji većina ljudi vidi učenje jezika ili ga je doživjela - a to je učenje u klasičnoj školi, na poslu ili u akademskom okruženju. Osim ako ne studirate jezik da biste ostvarili karijeru u nastavi jezika ili ste spremni postati jezični stručnjak (tada će vam trebati diplome i/ili certifikati), ne morate odabrati akademski pristup učenju jezika. Čak i ako učite jezik u tradicionalnom okruženju (škola/posao), još uvijek možete začiniti stvari i prilagoditi učenje sebi. Možete tražiti alternativne načine za učenje jezika i usredotočiti se na ono što vam odgovara. Istina je da učenje jezika zapravo možete prilagoditi svojim potrebama i životnom stilu. Možete isprobati različite metode učenja jezika. Ako vam nešto ne ide, pokušajte nešto drugo. Međutim, nemojte prelako odustati. Morate uložiti malo vremena i truda da vidite rezultat i da budete sigurni da vam nešto ne ide. Ovo se odnosi na svaku vještinu. Naše jezične vještine su nešto što neprestano razvijamo, na ovaj ili onaj način. Kad je riječ o našem materinjem jeziku, najčešće ga nismo svjesni, ali se događa. Svaki put kada smislite dobar argument, kada jezik koristite u svoju korist u bilo kojem obliku (bilo pisanjem bloga ili govorom u kojem se izborite za sebe), razvijate i usavršavate svoje jezične vještine. Ako vam je dosadno dok učite jezik, možda to radite na pravi način. Učenje jezika nije najjednostavnija stvar, ali ne bi trebalo biti ni nevjerojatno teško. Ako se stvarno borite s učenjem jezika, možda ne učite na pravi način.






LANGUAGE LEARNING MYTH #4: LANGUAGE LEARNING REQUIRES TALENT OR LOVE/AFFINITY  FOR LANGUAGES

A language learning misconception I often come across is that language learning requires talent. It’s odd how many people still believe that, considering the amount of people who speak one or more foreign languages.  In Europe, the majority of people can converse in a foreign language. So, it’s not a talent. It’s a skill. Most things that people see as talents are actually skills but we’ll talk more about that some other time. The fact is that you don’t have to have a language talent of any sort in order to learn a language. You just need to put in the time and the effort. You don’t even have to love languages. A lot of people learn a foreign language for practical reasons: work, school and so on. I’ve seen plenty of people with no affinity for languages learning them without great difficulty.  I mean it probably helps if you love learning languages, but you can definitely learn a foreign language even if languages are not your cup of tea. 


MIT O UČENJU JEZIKA #4: UČENJE JEZIKA ZAHTIJEVA TALENT ILI LJUBAV/SKLADNOST PREMA JEZICIMA Zabluda o učenju jezika s kojom se često susrećem jest da je za učenje jezika potreban talent. Čudno je koliko ljudi još uvijek vjeruje u to, s obzirom na broj ljudi koji govore jedan ili više stranih jezika. U Europi većina ljudi može razgovarati na stranom jeziku. Dakle, to nije talent. To je vještina. Većina stvari koje ljudi vide kao talente su zapravo vještine, ali o tome ćemo više govoriti neki drugi put. Činjenica je da ne morate imati jezični talent bilo koje vrste da biste naučili jezik. Samo trebate uložiti vrijeme i trud. Ne morate čak ni voljeti jezike. Puno ljudi uči strani jezik iz praktičnih razloga: posao, škola i tako dalje. Vidio sam mnogo ljudi koji nemaju afiniteta prema jezicima koji ih uče bez velikih poteškoća. Mislim, vjerojatno pomaže ako volite učiti jezike, ali definitivno možete naučiti strani jezik čak i ako vam jezici nisu najomiljenija stvar na svijetu.



LANGUAGE LANGUAGE MYTH #5: LANGUAGE LEARNING IS EXPENSIVE

Language learning can actually be free of charge. You can do it by yourself or sign up for free classes with an organization that provides them. If you look at language learning with the proverb ‘time is money’ in mind,  then it will cost you some money, for there is a certain time investment, but still it won’t be expensive. As I have explained, language learning doesn’t take a huge amount of time. If five hundred hours for basic fluency sounds like a lot of time, then put all your Netflix time together in a year and see how much Netflix is really costing you a year. Even if you are learning languages with a school or a private tutor, you can still get some amazing deals. Language tutors and teachers are (more often than not) a dime a dozen. The fact is that language learning isn’t really expensive. Language tutors charge less than most tutors/mentors and are easily available. Online language schools are only a click away. 


MIT O UČENJU JEZIKA #5: UČENJE JEZIKA JE SKUPO

Učenje jezika zapravo može biti besplatno. Možete to učiniti sami ili se prijaviti za besplatne tečajeve u organizaciji koja ih pruža. Ako gledate na učenje jezika imajući na umu poslovicu 'vrijeme je novac', onda će vas koštati nešto novca, jer postoji određeno ulaganje vremena, ali ipak neće biti skupo. Kao što sam objasnila, učenje jezika ne oduzima puno vremena. Ako petsto sati za osnovnu tečnost zvuči kao puno vremena, onda zbrojite sve svoje vrijeme na Netflixu u godinu dana i vidite koliko vas Netflix stvarno stvarno košta godišnje. Čak i ako učite jezike u školi ili kod privatnog učitelja, još uvijek možete dobiti nevjerojatno povoljne ponude. Učitelji i učitelji jezika su (češće nego ne) povoljni. Činjenica je da učenje jezika nije baš skupo. Nastavnici jezika naplaćuju manje od većine učitelja/mentora i lako su dostupni. Online škole jezika udaljene su samo jedan klik.







LANGUAGE LEARNING MYTH #6: YOU HAVE TO START YOUNG BECAUSE CHILDREN MAKE BETTER LEARNERS

This language misconception that you have to start young to be able to learn a language may sound logical, but is nevertheless false. However, this is a language myth I can at least understand because it kind of makes sense. The illusion that children make better language learners probably comes from the effortlessness with which children learn just about anything. Most children are playful by nature and thus seem to acquire language in a natural and easy way. Children are less afraid of making mistakes, so they are not held back by embarrassment when speaking in a foreign language. The truth is actually that adults (and adolescents) learn faster than children. Why is that? Well, simply because adults have the advantage of having their cognitive abilities fully developed and children don’t. So, adults and adolescents will learn a language faster than children.  Some aspects of language learning (such as pronunciation) might be easier for children, but generally speaking adults and adolescents are better at learning languages than children. This often comes as a surprise to people for the variety of reasons I have already explained. Naturally, it is good to start young but it is not a must. Everything is easier if you start young or if you have already put in some work and time into it. It is never easy to start from stretch. However, it is never too late to start learning a language.



MIT O UČENJU JEZIKU #6: MORAŠ POČETI MLAD DA BI NAUČIO JEZIK JER DJECA BOLJE UČE Ova jezična zabluda da morate početi mladi da biste mogli učiti jezik može zvučati logično, ali ipak nije istinita. Međutim, ovo je jezični mit koji barem mogu razumjeti jer ima smisla. Iluzija da djeca bolje uče jezike vjerojatno proizlazi iz lakoće s kojom djeca uče gotovo sve. Većina djece je po prirodi razigrana i stoga se čini da jezik usvajaju na prirodan i lak način. Djeca se manje boje pogriješiti, pa ih ne sputava neugodnost ili sram kao odrasle kada govore na stranom jeziku. Istina je zapravo da odrasli (i adolescenti) uče brže od djece. Zašto je to? Pa, jednostavno zato što odrasli imaju prednost što imaju potpuno razvijene kognitivne sposobnosti, a djeca ne. Dakle, odrasli i adolescenti će naučiti jezik brže od djece. Neki aspekti učenja jezika (kao što je izgovor) mogu biti lakši za djecu, ali općenito govoreći odrasli i adolescenti bolje i brže uče jezike od djece. Ovo često bude iznenađenje za ljude iz raznih razloga koje sam već objasnila. Naravno, dobro je početi mlad u bilo čemu, ali nije obavezno. Sve je lakše ako počnete mladi ili ako ste se već uložili vrijeme u to. Nikad nije lako krenuti od samog početka. Međutim, nikad nije kasno za početak učenja jezika.




LANGUAGE LEARNING MYTH #7: YOU HAVE TO BE SMART TO LEARN  A LANGUAGE

The language myth connecting intelligence and language learning is a persistent one, but nevertheless, it is completely false. Your IQ has absolutely nothing to do with your ability to learn a foreign language. Every human being is born with the ability to learn a foreign language. As a foreign language teacher, I have had students with intellectual disability who achieved perfect fluency in the target foreign language. Everything they were able to say in their mother tongue, they were able to say in the foreign language.  Similarly, I had students with an above average IQ who didn’t achieve fluency in the target language because they didn’t do the work. Having a high IQ helps with learning in general, but it is not essential for foreign language learning. There are a lot of monolingual geniuses out there. Some of the most intelligent people on the planet only speak one language and millions of people with an average intelligence speak one or more foreign languages. Moreover, it is possible for individuals with mental disabilities and limited mental capabilities to achieve perfect fluency in a  foreign language. To conclude, you really don’t have to have a high IQ to learn a foreign language.


MIT O UČENJU JEZIKA #7: MORATE BITI PAMETNI KAKO BISTE NAUČILI STRANI JEZIK Jezični mit koji povezuje inteligenciju i učenje jezika je uporno prisutan, ali je unatoč tome potpuno kriv. Vaš IQ nema apsolutno nikakve veze s vašom sposobnošću učenja stranog jezika. Svako ljudsko biće rođeno je sa sposobnošću učenja stranog jezika. Kao profesor stranih jezika, imala sam učenike s intelektualnim teškoćama koji su savršeno tečno govorili strani jezik. Sve što su mogli reći na svom materinjem jeziku, znali su reći i na stranom jeziku. Slično, imala sam učenike s natprosječnim kvocijentom inteligencije koji nisu tečno govorili ciljni jezik jer nisu obavili svoj dio učenja. Visok IQ pomaže u učenju općenito, ali nije ključan za učenje stranih jezika. Postoji puno monolingualnih genijalaca. Neki od najinteligentnijih ljudi u planu govore samo jedan jezik, a milijuni ljudi s prosječnom inteligencijom govore jedan ili više stranih jezika. Štoviše, pojedincima s mentalnim poteškoćama i ograničenim mentalnim sposobnostima moguće je postići savršeno tečno znanje stranog jezika. Da zaključimo, stvarno ne morate imati visok IQ da biste naučili strani jezik.


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Comments

  1. English, German and Spanish courses are so popular among the youth here. We send our kids to these course but they forget it in summer holidays. Thanks for the myth. Happy Mother's Day.

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  2. Thank you for expounding the myths about learning languages. I really ought to do better with improving my poor skills. I'm currently brushing up on a few words in Greek! Looking fabulous in all of your outfits! xxx

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  3. Thanks for sharing your experiences! I like the point number 4 as well - as someone who struggles with languages I feel it's a bit stressful trying to learn another language! I often can't think of the right words in English, haha! I did learn a language in school but I can read/listen to more than I can speak in it - the grammar and sentence rules just seemed so complex for me! But my kids are learning the same language at school (just a little lesson once a week) and it makes me see i remember more than I think as I know all of the things they are saying! I really should try learn it again.

    Hope your week is off to a good start!

    Away From The Blue

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  4. Such a great post. I think we all learn differently. And going global as we are gives us more opportunity to discover and find how universal we actually are. And like the list that you wrote about, too. Sometimes, syntax can be the problem. Especially, if you aren't familiar with the romantic languages. Thus comes the 'gender' factor (which can entirely mean something different these days in the world's problems) Some languages are just easier to pick up by listening. While some people grasp the symbols. Recently, I was talking to someone who learned Chinese by how the language was written, but even China has decided to simplify those symbols for better literacy for their country. While I on the other hand, enjoy listening to the language and have slightly grasped a few words and phrases. There are so many apps out there. For teaching and also for communication. Recently, we had a Spanish speaker at the library. Asking us questions. Finally, he turned to his app on his phone...which did wonders! Communication is key ❤️❤️ I so love the collages!

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  5. Thanks for the in-depth look at learning languages. I think it takes a lot of diligence. Of course, we can learn so much from each other. Along the way, we can enjoy the music and of course, the dramas too! We have Pronunciator through our library that has about 80 languages you can learn. All you need is your library card. Awesome, outfits!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, that is so true. Libraries are gateways to knowledge.

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  6. Thank you for this thought provoking post on learning languages, Ivana. For me, personally, however, it has been really important to have a love or affinity for a certain language in order to learn it properly. In other words, I do speak/read the languages I love better than the ones which were just on the curriculum at school, if that makes any sense ... xxx

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    1. It makes perfect sense. Motivation is an important aspect of language learning. Affinity can help us a great deal, but it is not a must. When we are motivated to learn a certain language, we can do it even if we don't have affinity for that language.

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  7. I agree with the debunking of these myths. I understand a few languages (Spanish, French, Italian) and I am fluent in English, besides my mother-tongue. All these languages can be learned easily and it's a fun thing to do, better than another binge-watch of a series, for example.

    Love your post!! xx

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  8. I studied Linguistics at university (I have a degree in it) and loved learning bits and pieces of other languages, and learning about how they worked - there are so many different aspects to language and language acquisition! I have always enjoyed historical linguistics, and learning where words came from and how they reflect the language's histories.

    Great outfits in here too, Ivana! I love the grey suit.

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    1. I enjoyed that aspect of studying linguistics too.

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  9. Hello Iavana, I just wanted to return to say how very inspiring this post was. I read it a few days ago on my iPhone but didn't comment as I'm a terrible one finger typer and like to comment using my laptop. For the first time in years, I dug out some of my French books and cds and I am also determined to pick up a little Spanish, German and Italian - just the essentials perhaps - i.e. ordering food and drinks ;) x

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    1. I'm very happy to have inspired you to do some language learning. When we learn a language, we also learn about culture so it is a win win situation. I'm a terrible at typing on my cellphone.

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  10. GREAT POST, YOU SHOULD WORK AS A MODEL

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All your comments mean a lot to me, even the criticism. Naravno da mi puno znači što ste uzeli vrijeme da nešto napišete, pa makar to bila i kritika. Per me le vostre parole sono sempre preziose anche quando si tratta di critiche.

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