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Common errors when learning a foreign language - Part 1

Mistakes you should avoid when taking Spanish or English classes

Since Route 66 Idiomas opened in Valencia, we have got to know thousands of students who have learned Spanish, English, Dutch, Valencian or other languages in our language school. Thanks to their professional qualifications and their many years of experience, our teachers manage to make learning a new language as easy as possible for our students. However, students still need to make every effort if they are to reach their learning goals. There are common mistakes a student should avoid when learning English, Spanish or any foreign language. Here are some of them:

1. Being scared of talking

Some language learners are scared to use the foreign language in class or when interacting with native speakers. It happens very often to beginners, but can also be seen at higher language levels. Students don’t want to make any mistakes; they think their language skills aren’t good enough and they are scared to stand out in a group. However, active talking is the most effective way to learn a new language and mistakes are totally natural. If a student never opens their mouth for fear of making mistakes, they will never be able to raise their level of language competence and may even suffer a setback on their route to language fluency. Only the student who manages to shed their inhibitions and dares to use what they have learned will get the most from their language classes.

2. Valuing perfection more than fluency

A mistake some students make when learning a language is to strive for perfection instead of fluency. They want speak faultlessly and so put themselves under enormous pressure when in conversation. Very often, errors cause frustration and give students the feeling they have failed to become fluent in a language. But you can communicate successfully without using perfect sentences! An incorrectly placed pronoun doesn’t necessarily mean the sentence will not be understood, and even a misunderstanding can be cleared up quickly thanks to language fluency. In every language class there are moments that require accuracy and moments that ask for fluency. The student who learns to balance these moments will notice both their accuracy and fluency improving.

3. Switching back to an “easy” language to communicate

Sometimes we observe in classes at Route 66 Idiomas that students switch to a different language to communicate with each other. Spanish students who want to learn English quickly slip in a Spanish sentence to make themselves understood; and international students who want to learn Spanish in our language school are easily tempted to talk English after class. It is understandable that there are situations when everyone wants to relax and use a language everyone understands easily. However, if someone wants to exploit every opportunity to improve their language competence, they shouldn’t be tempted to take the easy option and should instead accept they will have to make a certain degree of effort in a conversation. Any new language soon becomes familiar with practice.

Are you thinking about learning a new language? Then get in touch with us and we will help you find the perfect class.