Learning a language can be a big piece of learning about a different culture but many feel they lack the ability to learn a foreign language. Consider this article ( When speaking a new language, what matters most is your attitude — not your accuracy ) which encourages language learners to focus more on the person they are trying to speak with and the result they want to achieve from that conversation rather than on one’s self and one’s accuracy regarding grammar and pronunciation.
I have to say, this has been true in my experience! Not that learning grammar and correct pronunciation are unimportant. Just that language is a social activity, not something you learn only on paper or in a classroom. To learn you have to be willing to use language and your focus needs to be on communicating. People who are able to set aside their self-consciousness about making mistakes and can enjoy playing with language will be able to communicate and in communicating, they will improve their language skills.
When I was in the Middle East, I found if my focus was on communicating with my Arab friends and building relationships, I was able to connect even when my language abilities fell short. You can get a long way with a little if you can get past your fear of making mistakes and instead focus on connecting.
So, have courage and give it a try even if you have always felt you have no talent for language. Maybe a shift in attitude is all you need to begin experiencing the joy of speaking a foreign language!
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