Listeners, this is a big question and let me tell you I wrote several pages of notes to answer it. Listener Simon from Dublin was feeling a MAJOR case of frustration and wrote in to the show. Here's some of what he said:
Sometimes I just cannot seem to lock down a concept in the language I'm learning, no matter how much I try.
These mental blocks can be demotivating. They force me to use simpler sentences than I know I can produce. They make me feel uncertain when trying to express certain concepts, and they can cause frustration when they seem like they're always going to be stopping my progress. Sometimes these blocks are the reason a person thinks they're not good at learning languages.
Frustration In Language Learning
There's a truth about learning any language: Frustration is real and it's normal and it's extemely ennoying! Once you start to feel it, you have reached a new stage of growth...expect to be frustrated for a few years.
Frustration's good sides are:
- It's a sign that you care.
- It pushes you to re-commit to the process of learning a language.
You cannot really eliminate all of this and fix every mental block, but you can REDUCE and EMBRACE the frustration.
Here's how to do it:
1) Change your outlook. The mental blocks are not hindering your progress. They ARE your progress.
2) Deal with the practical challenges one by one, not all at once.
3) Cut out comparison. Where you are right now is fantastic, and it's important to examine the source of your high expectations.
4) Set the best possible goals for yourself by leveraging the Zone of Proximal Development - not the Panic Zone!
More about all this in the episode - click play and I hope you'll find it helpful.
Thank you to Stephen for this episode introduction and to kick-ass language learning app Clozemaster for supporting this show.
- Why do we get frustrated when learning something? - Quora
- The 30-second briefing: What is the zone of proximal development? | Tes News
- The Language Habit Toolkit | Fluent Language — Goal Setting and more with the Language Habit Toolkit
- Zone of proximal development - Wikipedia
- The German Pronunciation Masterclass | Fluent Language — Example of a pronunciation course and its structure