Learning a language successfully: you only need one rule

After many years of teaching Italian to adults I have come to the conclusion that for learning successfully there is only one rule: don’t give up!

Recently, a person that I don’t know sent me a message telling me that she had been studying Italian for some times, but she had now given it up. She was contacting me for other reasons than studying Italian but my first emotion upon receiving such email was one of sadness. The way she phrased her message made me think that she had been learning for a while and that she had lost hope.

In my years of teaching I have come across many different students, some natural linguists, some average learners and some very slow learners. No matter the student talent we worked together to achieve language learning and mostly succeeded. Whenever it happened that a person did not succeed it was because they had given up.

Of course, I do understand, that sometime students only want to try something new. After a term of classes, some decide that this is enough and that they wish to try something else. Trying something new is a healthy and it is not giving up. Giving up is due to the belief that we are not achieving, we are not good enough and we might as well stop trying.

I still remember a student I taught about twelve years ago, he was clearly a very intelligent man, with a great career, economic success and very satisfied with his life. He had a reason for learning, however teaching him was difficult, extracting one word from him excruciating. He was not a natural language learner to say the least. However, he had something even more powerful, he had grit, he would not give up, year after year he stuck with it and he achieved his goal. He started to be more and more fluent and became satisfied with his language skills.

What is the secret of his success? His determination of course. But also, even if he had accepted that learning was difficult, he never compared himself to others. He acknowledged and celebrated every little success. And such a great teacher he was to me!

Parla Italiano new Italian classes for adults open every term, please get in touch if you are interested by email: laura@parlaitaliano.co.uk or phone laura on 07941 092593