5 Myths About Language Learning

Language learning myths prevent people from even trying to learn a new language. Here are the most common myths about language learning.

5 Myths About Language Learning

Learning a foreign language is only for smart people. Fluency is required to kick-start a conversation and it takes years of practice to achieve it. Myths like these prevent people from even trying to learn a new language. And, as many have seen before, these myths are nothing more than just… myths.

Here are the most common myths and the way in which reality comes to the rescue:

1. Not everyone can learn a foreign language

False! Everyone with the right motivation can learn a foreign language. The amount of effort and time invested is different for experienced learners and beginners, but the fact remains that anyone can do it. Once you ‘learn how to learn’, certain patterns become visible, especially with grammar, and this makes learning much faster.

2. Language learning requires a high IQ

So untrue! There are so many smart people who only speak one language. This is because a high IQ doesn’t make anyone a natural born polyglot. An average IQ combined with persuasiveness, sensitivity and lots of practice is a much better recipe for becoming fluent in another language.

3. Failing to learn a language in school makes the student incompetent

There are so many stories of students who left school thinking that they’re incapable of learning French or Spanish, and later in life they became fluent within a few months of living in Latin countries. The reason why students fail to learn a language in school is mostly due to the professor’s incompetence.

4. Grammar is difficult

Here’s a fun fact: grammar is a language’s least difficult element and it takes the least time to master. Every language, no matter how remote, is built on clear grammar rules and the experienced learner can easily figure out patterns that he or she can use to accelerate the learning process.

5. Conversations require fluency

When it comes to mastering a foreign language, fluency means knowing around 5000 words. That’s a lot, considering that it takes quite sometime to build such a vocabulary. Here’s the good news – having a conversation with someone from another country requires only a basic command of the language, which is around 1500 words. And here’s the even better news – very basic needs such as courtesy and traveling require an even smaller set of words and phrases, and anyone can learn these on a flight to a foreign country.

There are many such myths that make language learning seem either difficult or impossible. We at Mondly believe that there’s nothing too difficult or impossible about it. To illustrate this with an example, here’s a story from one of our users:

I have always found languages very difficult and therefore not any good at learning them. At 82 years old I know [Mondly] it’s going to be very helpful when I spend time in Spain this and next year. Thank you. (Alan, United Kingdom)

Thank YOU, Alan!

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Marketing professional, world traveler, language enthusiast and creative writer.
Making the world of languages a better place with Mondly.

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