Whether you’ve relocated, are planning a trip, or have a partner who speaks another language, there are many reasons to learn a new language as an adult. It can be easy to feel defeated when you’re wading through grammar charts, feel too shy to speak or STILL can’t master the future tense. But learning a new language is HARD and you should be kind to yourself!
Second Language Anxiety is Normal
Second language anxiety is a real thing. It even has a name (Xenoglossophobia). It is characterized by feeling overwhelming feelings of panic when faced with having to use your second language. You might end up tongue-tied, unable to get out simple words that you know you know! This feeling is completely normal, and it can help you not to beat yourself up to know you’re not alone!
Practise Your Language in a Safe Space
Rather than throwing yourself in at the deep end and trying to use your language in scary situations like appointments or with your in-laws, find a safe way to practise. Enlist your partner, your friend or a conversation partner to practise with to gain more confidence.
Give Yourself Time
Learning a new language takes a LONG time! It might take years until you feel you’ve mastered the basics, especially if you don’t live or work in a foreign language-speaking environment. That’s okay! Don’t put pressure on yourself to learn quickly, and you may even find that relaxing enables you to pick things up faster anyway!