unable to learn a language

People often come to me, complaining about their misfortune:

– “I am unable to learn a foreign language.”

I always ask them:

– “What do you do in your free time?”

– “Well, 25% of the time I spend on Facebook, engaging in strange discussions and stalking my exes. Then, 25% on talking about what I’ll do when I find free time. 25% on searching for learning materials and complaining that I can’t find the right language course. 25% on watching TV series (of course, with a voice-over or subtitles).”

And here’s an interesting fact: that’s how most people spend their free time, although they probably don’t want to admit it. If there’s no room for language learning in their schedule, why would they expect to make progress?

What should you do then?

Specify what the next step you need to take in order to make even a small progress in a foreign language.

Maybe you can go through the next lesson in your textbook? Read one page of a foreign-language book and check unfamiliar words in the dictionary? Watch a short lecture, like a TED talk, in the original language without subtitles? Have a conversation with someone for a few minutes in that language?

The choice of what you do doesn’t really matter.

What matters is actually doing something.

You know why most people can’t learn a foreign language?

Because they don’t do anything to move in that direction.

And you? What are you doing to learn a language?

How do you utilize your free time?

Do you know what step you should take next?

Konrad Jerzak vel Dobosz

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