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5 Myths about learning English

There are so many "given truths" when it comes to learning in general, and many people, unfortunately, believe them and completely give up on learning before they even start! So I thought I'd take the time to talk about 5 extremely common beliefs that I often hear about learning languages, and of course, debunk them!

 

5 myths about learning English

  1. If you didn't study English as a child or at school, you'll never learn. Well isn't that just a load of BS?! Just like any other activity, obviously if you start when you are 3 you will have an easier time learning, but that doesn't mean there's an age limit for learning. I am fluent in both Spanish and Italian, and I learned them both after turning 18! So don't despair, you are perfectly capable of learning English at any time in your life, the only thing to consider is that the older you get, the more time you may need to dedicate to your studies in order to remember everything you study.

  2. Some people just aren't "language people". Well, it is true that some people have an easier time learning certain things than others, but that doesn't mean you can't learn. I always say I'm not a maths person. Thankfully for me, I don't need to know how to do much more than add and subtract in my day to day life, but, for example, when I need to do some more complex calculations, I just have to sit down and take the time to focus and do it. It doesn't come easily for me, but it's not impossible. The same goes for learning a language. Perhaps at first it doesn't come easy for you, but if you need to apply it to your job or studies, don't give up and I promise it will get easier!

  3. Games and fun are only for kids. If this were true, I wouldn't be a teacher. Fun is the base of learning! If you don't enjoy an activity, you won't keep doing it, no matter how old you are! Trust me, all of my students love this game, from the smallest to the oldest!

  4. If you can't speak perfectly, then it's better not to speak. Excuse me, what? Communication does not equal perfection. Heck, even native English speakers make a boatload of mistakes when they speak! I made this mistake when I was learning Spanish...I was always terrified to make mistakes and "look stupid" that I was essentially a wall flower at every party I went to my first year at University. I didn't make this mistake when I started learning Italian, however. I needed to communicate, and I just started speaking to people, and guess what...I rarely had times when people didn't understand what I was asking, even if my grammar wasn't perfect. You learn from your mistakes, so go out, speak, make mistakes, and get better!

  5. If you don't do a language exchange, you'll never become fluent. Well, this is a half myth. Put simply, a language exchange means that you are living 24/7 in English. Obviously your level is going to improve exponentially if you are living, eating and breathing English. Basically, the more time you can dedicate to learning, the faster you'll reach fluency. So, if you can only manage an hour or two a week, you'll eventually reach fluency, it will just take you a lot longer than someone who spent 6 months living in an English speaking country.

 

So, what myths are you guilty of believing in? Do you know any more common myths about learning languages? Drop them in the comments!

 

Glossary

  • given truths: when something is "a given" it means it's obvious or widely believed

  • debunk: to expose the falseness of a commonly believed concept

  • BS: bullshi* 😇

  • add and subtract: add: 1+1=2, subtract: 2-1=1

  • a boatload: informal, colloquial for a lot

  • wall flower: somebody who goes unnoticed in a group of people


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