Why Studying Fails

The difficulty you’ll face the most is in not believing you know enough. It’s the #1 struggle that will probably hold you back from even trying in many areas where you could easily make a decent go of using your new language and having fun. And you’re not alone. The vast majority of students give up of their own volition, without ever sitting down and having a real conversation with what they’ve learnt.

The thing is, we humans hate to be embarrassed and seen as inferior. And when it involves work to fix, it all gets put into the “all too hard” basket. We don’t even try.

Learning a new language to intermediate fluency does take effort. But not that much effort. With daily practice it isn’t just possible - it’s inevitable. Even if you only learnt 3 words a day.. for a total of maybe 3 minutes practice when you factor in revisions, over the past 3 years, you would now have intermediate fluency. You would already have comfortable proficiency. Yes, it takes some effort. 3 minutes of something you resist will always seem like 3 minutes of discomfort. And yet pushing through 3 minutes a day would give a vocabulary solid enough for confident day-to-day conversation.

Confident day-to-day conversation

Isn’t that the dream? Isn’t that where so many problems could really be resolved? Because those who are having the most fun in Asia, laughing and playing, don’t always have perfect language skills. But they can speak well, with a fluent bank of vocabulary.

There are ways to make studying more fun which we’ll discuss in a moment. But first let’s look at the ways in which languages can be learnt. There are only a few primary methods for reaching a satisfying level of communication with new people: 1. Understanding the writing system. We can keep writing English romanization of words up to a point, but there will eventually come a time when we need to undo all those memory links and re-learn how everything is written for real. It is a harder starting curve, but it really pays to learn how to read first. You don’t have to worry about writing if you don’t want, as that can be quickly picked up based on your reading knowledge. 1. Learn vocabulary. The joy of having thousands of words at your fingertips makes conversation so much simpler and comfortable. 1. Find a conversational partner. Whether by email or something more face-to-face, a native can do wonders in helping guide you in common usage patterns and the correct situations to use words. And more importantly, practicing conversation allows you to look at and become familiar with how words are used in sentences.

These are how languages are learnt. There is some benefit to other methods, such as learning grammar from textbooks or formal classrooms, or using classrooms as motivation to keep learning. In fact, the more help and variety you can get to keep interested daily, the better. But to really excel, the above 3 really form the core of learning a language completely. Without any of those 3, most students end up remaining “stuck” at the upper beginner level, never really progressing above a few catch phrases and limited vocabulary.

So where do you need to go from here to master your new language? As we started off with, the main difficulty you’ll no doubt need to overcome is in believing you know enough. To believe you can master this language completely. If you can visualise yourself as being a master speaker, capable of listening and comprehending every word, then you’ll have the motivation to work towards your goal. Only goals that you believe are achievable, are attemptable. Thus it really is vital that you believe that you can master this language completely.

I’d also recommend, if you’re serious, you to start checking out as many learning methods as you can. Find ways that work for you, for learning the writing system, mastering vocabulary, and conversing with a partner.

If you are serious about mastering Kanji or Hanzi in learning Japanese, Chinese or Cantonese, I recommend you take a look at our product Scribe Origins. It covers every single character in an amazing learning system to remember them all quickly.

And if you are ready, really ready, to begin mastering all vocabulary, we have created a series of packages for Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Cantonese, Thai and Spanish, that really solve this problem and bring about complete comfort with the entire set of common words.

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