If you make a mistake, you’re a failure – Right? WRONG! At Bilingual Bridges, we view failure as a First Attempt in Learning, and we hope that you see it that way, too!
Below we have some tips that we adapted from an article that focuses on how to get past mistakes while developing English fluency. These tips, however, can be applied to whichever language you’re aiming to master; so be sure to take a minute to check them out!
Recognize that mistakes are how you learn. Easier said than done, right? When one of our teammates was in high school, she made a Jeopardy game for her Spanish class. To start off her presentation, she said what she thought meant “Welcome to Jeopardy!” What she actually said, though, was “Welcome to danger!” That got her classmates’ attention! In all seriousness, her mistake helped ensure that she would not forget el significado of peligro and that she could not rely on Google Translate. Plus, it gave her a funny story to tell.
Observe how proficient speakers pronounce words and frame sentences. This does not mean that you have to fly off to a foreign land. Watch YouTube videos of people speaking the language you want to learn. Interact with classmates or community members who are proficient speakers and build friendships while doing so. Download songs on Spotify, watch movies, and talk to your foreign language teacher more. Whatever you do, though, make sure it pertains to your interests. For example: watch your favorite movie in the language you want to learn. Don’t just watch a kids movie because you think it will be easier.
Ask a trusted individual to kindly point out the mistakes you repeatedly make shortly after those mistakes occur, and have that person teach you how to fix them. Fixing common mistakes will improve your language fluency skills faster, and focusing on one area at a time will keep you from being discouraged. Giving that trusted individual a job beyond pointing out errors will also help them be more patient and will allow you both the opportunity to build stronger bonds. And, finally, being made aware of the mistake shortly after it’s made will ensure that what you’re learning is relevant.
Looking for some more language learning tips? Click here to meet our teachers and learn about classes.