Unfortunately, a lot of people see studying as a hard and exhausting task that one is obliged to complete when young. I disagree! I find learning - especially languages - an extremely rewarding activity. I also believe in life-long self-development: I think, one can never be too old - nor too young - to learn something (especially when it comes to languages)! Maybe some people get that negative concept by the fact that their education was compulsory. They may remember back being teenagers who hated getting up for school and being told what to do all day long. On the other hand, most students enjoy being with their peers. Some would only go to school because they have to, but once they are there, the majority of them are happy to socialize. And these are the clues when it comes to learning (foreign) languages later in your life: the desire for socializing and mixing with others - the usable, active knowledge!

As a bilingual English teacher, I feel, I need to emphasize that if your plan is to obtain a second language effortlessly, you may have the wrong idea! Although,making some effort is far from struggling...The easiest way to learn a language is by being taught! Just think about "first language acquisition" and remember, no-one is born with the ability to speak (any) languages fluently! If you are lucky enough to be surrounded by speakers of your "target language" (the one you'd like to learn), is definitely a great advantage but just think about how many times little kids need to be corrected. Making mistakes is (vital) part of the process when learning through experience (but there lies the danger when you are older!)

Possessing a second language is no "cheap gift" at all! You have to work for it and whether it's going to be a marathon or a casual walk - you'll decide. A lot depends on your attitude and willingness to sacrifice - time and effort! The more you endeavor, the sooner you'll succeed! And bear in mind, no-one can teach you, without you learning it. Hence, it's easier for children, they have a lot less on their minds. Grown-ups think too much and are full of doubts

The first key principle of second language acquisition for adults is courage! Be brave enough to try and fail, then try again and succeed - if not the second time, then the third...or the fourth...or the thousandth time! Have the strength to keep going till you get there! That's why it's easier for kids because for them giving up is not an option - they need to learn, no matter what! But remember, they are guided through the whole process and corrected all the time!

Autodidacticism in language learning: Myth or Fact? 

I'd say, it's definitely possible. The more languages you speak, the easier it will be to understand a new one. Once you get the hang of it, your struggle may become lighter , but the amount of effort input may increase. Having decided on teaching yourself a new language, you'll need to be prepared for (sometimes unnecessary) hurdles, you will need to scarify a lot of time and you may want to seek some help and mix with speakers of your target language (best with native speakers)

Best to mimic the way childer learn to speak: watch and try and be brave to try again and again till you succeed! Read a lot, build your vocabulary. Watch out for grammar, understand the difference and find similarities - use your mother tongue to guide you. But, remember to keep an eye out for "false friends" - as, there are many in all language pairs! Hence, it's so hard alone...No need to be stubborn, easier to cry for help: just like toddlers do when they fall to get guidance, so they'd get up again ready to conquer the whole World.  Once thing you should keep in mind, though: you will need to walk before you run, otherwise, you may fall more than necessary!

Published by Kati(e) Mesfy