We can all learn languages
Throughout my experience as a Spanish teacher, I have unfortunately had to hear such comments too often in adult learners fully trained to learn a language. It saddens me to see how they don´t realize that anyone can learn a language and even make a good command of it. Everyone, regardless their age, culture or nationality, can learn any subject, it is only a matter of knowning, understanding and respecting ourselves, finding the most appropriate way of learning for everyone.
Each person has their own way of learning
Each person, as well as has their own way of experiencing and living life, has their own way to learn and assimilate new knowledge, and it is precisely this idiosyncrasy that makes us neither better or worse students, but different and special ones.
Once we understand this, we can begin to accept, understand and respect ourselves as students in general and language in particular, each one with their own way of learning. It will be at that moment when we can really start to enjoy our process of learning and the achievements, each at their own pace, go getting, so be flexible and adapt to your own pace and way to learn.
The brain to learn needs to get excited
Another primary factor that we all share to a greater or lesser extend, regardless of age, is illusion, motivation and curiosity. The brain to learn needs to get excited, therefore it is essential to be amazed, have the pleasure of learning while maintaining a positive and confident attitude, we must not be carried away by frustration, we have to learn to deal with it.
As students, we can not afford to be discouraged, we must remind ourselves over and over again that there is no failure. When it comes to learning a language, what is important is not so much to do it with or without errors, the key is to be able to communicate, to dominate the communicative situation, to be able to express and make ourselves understood. Is not that our aim when we decide to learn a second language?
Every day we learn something new, we only must have patience and wait for the brain to assimilate and automate the new knowledge to make it part of us, as what everything we have been learning throughout our lives.
Is the age a handicap for learning languages?
Age has always been one of the factors most commonly used as an excuse not to learn something. That children learn better than adults, does not have much to do with the direct relationship between age and the ability to learn, this is a myth. Youth and the ability to learn a number, unspecified it necessarily, nor physical impairment won´t necessarily associated with mental decline, in fact there are other elements that have a greater influence on the ability of learning.
Then, why do children learn faster? It will surprise you to know that it is really because of their childish attitudes, these being the desire to play, wonder and, above all, willingness to make mistakes as something natural in the learning process. However, it seems that for adults, the error and the fear of being wrong becomes a sort of taboo, we forget that we learn based on errors, and is precisely this attitude which blocks our learning process.
Be like a child and be amazed
So be wrong, learn, have fun, be like a child again. Agree that you do not know everything and be amazed, don´t lose your enthusiasm and curiosity. Learn from your mistakes, they are teaching you of what you should pay attention to.
Therefore, go back to being a child and open yourself to the possibilities that learning a second language gives you, don´t put more excuses and start, I have had students of up to 90 years old demonstrating that it can be done. Now, what do you say? Do you have the courage? Go for it, you won´t regret it, you can do it.