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3 easy ways to boost your confidence in language learning

Self-assurance in language learning is important to speed up the process, find here three easy ways to boost your confidence.

Many of my students have great confidence with their language learning and this helps them to learn even faster. If, however, you are not as self-assured, please read on as confidence can be developed by gaining some insights and gradually shifting your mindset.

All my advice and anecdotes come from my over 15 years’ experience as teacher and teacher trainer and by observing hundreds of students.

Here are three ways to develop more confidence in your language learning:

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others
  2. Remember where you started from and how far you have come
  3. Relax… follow the process, trust your teacher, take your time

The first element that I would tackle if I wanted to gain confidence is to stop comparing myself to others.

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others

Why is it important to do so? This is because when you are comparing you think that others are the same as yourself and therefore you should achieve the same results, not slower or faster, and this is based on the wrong assumptions. In fact, you never really know the circumstances of other people. It is true that some students have a talent for languages. In other cases, students have already learnt a language and their self-confidence and experience helps them to learn more effectively. Having said that, some students – because they are not fast and they do not yet have strategies – are not afraid of repeating modules. Therefore, a person who is perhaps slower than you might be perceived as faster even if the opposite is true as they have repeated a module and are working hard to achieve their own goals.

Here is John’s story

I had a student called John, a complete beginner, who had never studied languages before. He gave me the impression of being quite uncomfortable in class and when I tried to enquire what the problem was, it was difficult to get any answers. Unfortunately, this is one of our rare students who decided to give up. I discovered what the problem was when he wrote to me to say that he was leaving the course because he felt that everybody else was more advanced than him. Some students were learning faster and therefore he assumed that the class was not at a beginner level.

However, his assessment did not stand up to scrutiny as the teacher designed the course for complete beginners; the pace was correct and most students were complete beginners. What was right is that there were a couple of people who had studied Italian before. They were sailing through the material and even using language that had not been introduced before. However, this should not have bothered John. If he had concentrated on studying the material and focused on his own development and goals, he soon would have caught up even with students who seemed a bit ahead.

Consequently, the key to stop comparing yourself to others is simple: start focusing on yourself, on your goals and on your objectives. What do you want to achieve by the end of the course? By the end of the first month? Or the first week? Set those goals and work towards them. Run your own race against yourself and you will always win.

  1. Remember where you started from and how far you have come

It is easy, sometimes, to just focus on what we cannot do and on what we are yet to learn. A better way to develop confidence is to focus instead on what we have achieved so far. Even with one term of classes what you can achieve is quite surprising.

At beginner level the improvement is transformational, so it is easy to see. The exercise is important for intermediate and advanced students as well. To see your progress with your fluency, just record yourself speaking on your phone. After a while compare that audio with a more recent one. Notice the new vocabulary and new structures you are using. Just remember, that learning slows down and it takes more time to go from one level to the next as you progress. However, you can still see your progress.

  1. Relax, follow the process, trust yourself and your teacher, take your time

Confidence is built on a relaxed attitude towards your learning. The more you relax and the more your brain becomes receptive. A relaxed attitude is one that allows you to learn without fear and anxiety.

Finding ways to relax our students in class is one of our most important aims at Parla Italiano. Trusting your experienced teacher and enjoying the calm and easy-going atmosphere that is created in our classes, is one way of achieving this.

More recently, we have realised that a by-product of our Zoom classes is the added comfort of learning from home. The time and stress of travelling have been taken away from the experience and now our students tell us that this is an added bonus.

If you wish to find out more about what to expect from our Italian courses on zoom, please click here.

You can also ask to be added to our mailing list to receive our future blogs here.

We are also on Instagram, so if you wish to interact with us and get some extra free lessons, please click here.

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