How To Learn A Language As An Introvert

Everyone learns differently. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another. However there are two classes of personality traits that have things in common when it comes to learning a new language and that is whether you are an extrovert or an introvert.

What Is An Introvert?

 

Generally speaking if you identify as an introvert you will be a deep thinker, be introspective and feel uncomfortable in prolonged social interactions, but be energized by spending time alone. So as an introverted language learner the popular advice of ‘just get out there, meet people and start speaking’ may well fill you with dread.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you have an extrovert personality, you will love meeting new people, be able to chat for hours and feel energized in large groups of people, but find being on your own for extended periods of time difficult.

Is It The Same As Being Shy?

 

Absolutely not. Both introverts and extroverts can be shy. Shyness is a fear of social situations which specifically evokes feelings of nervousness and anxiety. You may have this too, but it’s important to know the difference.

It’s also worth noting that absolutely everyone can be apprehensive about situations that make them uncomfortable. And the good news is shyness can be overcome with practice and patience. Being an introvert is not something you can overcome, and nor should you want to because it has it advantages when it comes to language learning.

Learning Techniques For Introverts

 

  1. Manage Your Energy Levels

Be mindful of how much energy you have left and how and when you can top it up. For example, if you’ve been in a big meeting at work or had a presentation to give at school during the day, that evening will not be the best time to practice talking to strangers because you will already be drained. You will make more progress practising on your own from your textbook.

  1. Be In Control Of Your Social Interactions

Set these up so that they have definite end times. For example at a group meetup let people know in advance that you can only make it for an hour. That way you’re getting the valuable experience of practicing speaking in a real life situation but are not putting unnecessary pressure on yourself.

  1. Talk To Yourself

This is a key technique for introverts who are particularly wary of judgment. Yes it may seem a little crazy at first but it totally works. You will get used to hearing your voice form the new words and it will build your confidence for when you are speaking with others.

  1. Focus on 121 time

As an introvert you will probably find that working with an online tutor whilst being in the comfort of your own surroundings with a set time limit on the interaction, is easier than classroom based learning. Or you may have an introvert buddy that understands the struggle who you can practice with. Either way, encouragement and constructive feedback from someone you trust are powerful things.

  1. Listen to music and watch movies

Find some songs you love in your new language, get up the lyrics on google, hit repeat and sing along. Use your much-needed alone time to your advantage by watching movies and series’ in the language you are learning. Have a dictionary and notepad to hand and make note of any words or phrases that you don’t know and want to practice. You can even use subtitles.

  1. Do a Homestay or Language Exchange

Living with a foreign family for a language exchange (reciprocal hospitality) or homestay (a one way stay) that you have chosen is a great way to feel settled with the person that you plan to practice your language skills with. Choose the right host based on their profile, lifestyle and interests and then chat with them to make sure that they are a good fit with you. Practicing your language skills with somebody you like is always so much easier. Many end up making lifelong friendships with their hosts.

  1. Force Yourself Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Learning a language is also about pushing yourself too. And the bottom line is you can’t get better at speaking if you don’t practice speaking. So while this may not be realistic for everyone, go somewhere where you can’t escape speaking your new language. Not right away but once you’ve been practicing the above techniques for a while this a great way of getting to the next level.

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, shy or outgoing, anyone can learn a language and ultimately language learning should fun and fulfilling, not something that depletes your energy and fills you with frustration.

So be aware of being an introvert and work with it, don’t fight it. It is part of your personality and doesn’t need to be fixed. Accept yourself and get creative in your learning techniques.

Article by Lingoo, the world’s biggest language exchange and homestay club. Lingoo gives language learners of all ages the power to decide how they would like to learn and practice a language and helps teachers and hosts to deliver authentic language learning experiences.

This is a sponsored post.

How to reach the B2 level in French in 2017

At the beginning of the year, one of the most common resolutions people make is to learn a language. But, how to achieve a good level in the language in just one year?

Even though it seems a short period of time, a year is enough to learn a language and to communicate in the country where the language is spoken.

So if you want to learn French this year, here are my tips so that, at the end of the year, you spend the holidays in Paris speaking French.

Start with the basics

To know a new language can be scary, so the best way to get started is through an amusing and easy course. Duolingo is the most successful app in the area of ​​language learning and there is a reason for that. It’s free, easy to use, fun and has constant updates to keep you engaged. Continue reading

Why learning a foreign language can change your life

English-speakers have the great luxury of knowing the most in-demand language in the world.  When Europeans are sitting down for business or for recreation, the common language spoken is often English.  The same is true in Africa and in Asia.  So, if you are a native speaker of a language that many people around the world wish to learn, you might ask yourself – why would I learn a different language?  There are dozens of reasons, but let’s focus on four of them.

Work and travel opportunities

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Speaking another language opens doors to visit other countries and parts of the world that wouldn’t be open to Continue reading

Interview with Haikaa

haikaa#HonorYourself, #HonorOthers, #HonorThePlanet, these principles permeate the works of singer-songwriter and author Haikaa. From Brazil, Japan and the US, Haikaa promotes the celebration of diversity as a catalyst for change through music and writing. You can find her on her website, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.

Hello, first of all, it’s great to be here talking to you. I’m a singer-songwriter and author and I write and sing about love in its many forms. I have lived in three different countries – Brazil, Japan, US – and one of my passions is to celebrate diversity. I think that’s one form of love. I’m a language nerd too so combining music and languages is another way in which I express love. And I have many, many songs about love, self-love, romantic love, universal love because I think it’s a wonderful way to share this feeling.

  1. What languages do you speak and at what level?

Continue reading

10 tips on how not learn a language

Are you tired of learning a language? Tired of the same advice about language learning?

Don’t worry, I have the solution!

Hownot

  1. Study only grammar

Why waste your time talking, listening, reading the language when you can just study grammar? Study only grammar and you will, probably, have more knowledge of the language grammatical structures than any native speaker will! And, who doesn’t want to know more than a native? Continue reading

Interview with the tumbler Laura Fitzgerald

Laura - Tumblr - InterviewToday, I will interview the Irish student Laura Fitzgerald. To know more about her, visit shootabluejay.

1) Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Laura, I’m 19 years old, and I’m from Dublin, Ireland. I’m studying Spanish and Japanese full-time in university. I like listening to music/singing and playing video games.

 2) What languages do you speak and at what level?

I’m a native English speaker, fluent in Irish and Spanish (non-native speaker of both). I can also speak basic conversational Japanese. Continue reading

Confessions of a Polyglot: demotivation

I don’t know about the other polyglots, but I can’t keep myself motivated all the time while learning a language.

In June, I had a big problem to keep me motivated to study German. Like everyone else, when I start to learn a language I get very excited, I search for thousands of information about the language, materials and methods.

Learning a language is to know a new world. Despite the difficult task ahead of us, every little step is a big step forward. By learning a word, you have improved 100% in your language. Every word learned is a victory. The feeling of understanding for the first time a word in a sentence and after a sentence in context is indescribable. However, the better you get, the lower the returns.

Suddenly, to understand a phrase is normal, to read an article is no longer difficult. You are not fluent, but manages to get by in the language. The language is no longer a novelty for you. Your curiosity fades, you become fascinated with some other language, focused on some other task, goal or challenge of your life and gradually abandon the language. The result? Days, weeks or even months without studying the language.

pexels-photo-66143 rollercoaster

Continue reading

Confessions of a Polyglot: Introversion

Students with different personalities have one thing in common, whether learning a language alone or in a classroom: shame/fear of speaking. The reason for this is always the same: shyness and/or introversion.

Well, I have a confession to make; I am shy and introverted. But, what these words mean and what is the difference between them?

introversao

Introversion

Introversion is closely related to energy. An extrovert feels energized around other people, an introvert feels drained, so often he/she prefers to be alone. Introverts are more sensitive to external stimuli, so when he gets too much of it, he needs to be alone to recover.

Shyness

Shyness is the fear of being judged negatively, it is a kind of social anxiety. In the head of a shy person, everything is going to be bad. This fear happens not only around strangers; a shy may become anxious even with friends or relatives. Many shy people like to socialize (probably more than introverts), but fear prevents them from doing it. In cases of extreme shyness, treatment for anxiety is necessary, since extreme shyness can have catastrophic consequences in personal and professional relationships.

Everyone has moments of shyness and introversion. Even the most friendly, outgoing and confident people are afraid of being judged and need occasionally a quiet time to recover. Continue reading

Resources for beginners in language learning

Learning a language is one of the most common resolutions in the beginning of the year. And, I always get emails from people asking for advice. To help these people to learn a language in 2016, here are the resources I recommend.

Assimil

Aslogoassimilanimesimil is always the first course feature on my list; Assimil took the first place on my list after I finished the French course, see the review here. The course is simple; the lessons are short and progressive. Grammar is explained, but it is not the focus of the course and the vocabulary is fairly extensive.

FSI

All FSI courses are alike, but some are better than others. They are old, some more fitted to diplomatic situations. The courses are dense, sometimes difficult and boring. Take a look at my review of the FSI French course here and decide whether to use it or not. For me, is the perfect complement to Assimil. Here you can find the courses for free.

Grammar book

Grammar is part of a language, and to speak and write well you need to know at least the basics. There is a wide range of books; I made a post about the books that I know here. But don’t overdo it. One grammar book is often enough.

Language partner

italki

There are several websites that offer linguistic exchanges. The most famous of them is italkiVladimir Skultety who was interviewed here, created another option the website SharedLingo.

Vocabulary & Writing

Use an application for learning vocabulary, as Duolingo, Anki or Memrise. Each has its own style and you can customize your own phrases with photos, audio, etc. Moreover, what about to train your new vocabulary writing a bit? Two good options are Lang-8 and again, Italki.

There are many more resources. But to get start and achieve a good level (B1, maybe B2) these resources are more than enough.

Beginner’s mistake: in search of the Holy Grail

When we begin to study a new language, we make a lot of mistakes. Today, I will talk about one of the most common errors: the search for the perfect method/material.

The perfect material/method does not exist

Image from: https://larspsyll.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/monthly-sharpe-header.jpg

There are good and bad materials/methods. Some are better than others. Some will be better for you and your goals, but none is perfect. You will not learn a language well, using only one method. Of course, you can learn the general basis of a language from one method, but learning it well? I doubt it, and you should also be suspicious of any material or method that promises you a good level without effort and using only one material/method. Continue reading