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Common errors when learning a foreign language – Part 2

More mistakes you should avoid when taking Spanish or English classes

Last week we introduced you to some common errors people make when learning a language. Now we present the second part of this series. Being able to avoid these mistakes will guarantee you success in Spanish classes, English classes or when learning any other language!

4. Despair because listening exercises can be hard

As we all know, four skills are being built when a student learns a language: speaking, writing, reading and listening. The last of these is often a particular challenge for students since the conversations on the CDs accompanying language textbooks are between native speakers, and at higher levels they begin to speak at a rate approaching the natural flow of everyday speech. Moreover, listening is sometimes made more difficult by the inclusion of sound effects like street noises or a telephone receiver.

However, the publishers of language textbooks don’t want to drive students to despair. Rather they aim to design listening practices which are as realistic as possible to prepare learners for real life. Students shouldn’t aim to understand every word they hear, but rather try to understand the context and pick out the most important information through single words and background noises. In this way the content of the conversation will soon become clear.

5. Feel you are “worse” than other students

Even though we ask our students to take a level test and then place them in class groups according to their existing abilities, students’ levels of knowledge will often vary within a group. Some students will have learnt English or Spanish at school or done a previous course at a language academy. However, it is very important that no student feels they are “worse” at the language they are learning than their fellow students. Everyone learns a language at their own pace, and taking a language course is never time wasted. And, finally, all students take language classes to learn more, not to show off what they already know.

6. Get discouraged by “blocks”

Everyone has a bad day now and then when nothing seems to go right and you feel you’re not making any progress. Sometimes there may even be an entire week when you just can’t concentrate. This isn’t reason to think you’ve lost your connection to the class and can’t keep up. Stay calm and don’t put too much pressure on yourself; soon you’ll get past this bad patch and be back on top form. If you feel you haven’t been keeping up with the class for a while, talk to your teacher about it. Our teachers have lots of experience with this kind of block and they can help you overcome it.

If you are interested in learning or improving a language at Route 66 Idiomas, get in touch with us and we’ll be delighted to welcome you into the Route 66 Idiomas family.