How to Deal with Frustration When You’re Learning a Language


Learning vocabulary, lots of vocabulary and grammar rules not to mention pronunciation and word order can be frustrating.  Feeling overwhelmed can cause anxiety and irritation making it difficult to remember new words; understand speech and pronunciation. Staying calm or “going with the flow” will allow you to learn a foreign language easier and to enjoy learning it.

One of first things you need to realize when learning a foreign language is that everyone learns at different speeds. Also certain topics may be easier for you to understand while others will be more challenging to learn.

There are a few things as a language learner you need to be aware of:

  • Generally written language is easier to understand than spoken language
  • Slower speech is easier to understand than fast speech
  • Switching back and forth between two languages is difficult
  • It is possible to understand every word and still not understand the meaning of the sentence
  • When you’re tired it is more difficult to understand a foreign language
  • Every language is unique and if you learn one language in three months does not guarantee that you will learn another in the same time frame.

Frustration occurs when you’re not happy with your results or you’re not meeting your goals. By following these suggestions you can avoid being frustrated and continue learning:

  • Redefine your goals – if you set your goals too high or life gets in the way simply readjust your goals. Allowing yourself to get frustrated only gets in the way of learning so by redefining your goals you remove what you find frustrating. Make sure your goals are achievable and measureable.
  • Take some time away from what’s frustrating you.After a short time away from studying you will feel fresh and ready to begin again. Look for specific and new ways to tackle what has been difficult for you to learn.
  • Find ways to make learning enjoyable. This is perhaps the most important suggestion. How many times have you studied a difficult subject only to realize that it was easier than you thought it would be because it was taught in fun and interactive way? Listen to a song, watch a movie, or read a book in the language you’re learning.
  • Track what you learned. – Keep a record of what you have learned. By doing this you can go back and see how much you have learned. This will provide you with a sense of accomplishment.

Remember, it is perfectly ok to make mistakes, misunderstand, misspeak or simply screw up when learning a language just try to relax and avoid frustration. We all make mistakes!


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