6 Obstacles to Learning English (and how to overcome them)
Learning English is like anything else in life that you want to achieve – it’s a long and often difficult journey. It’s been found that most people struggle to reach fluency not because of their age, their ability or how much money they have. But it’s because they give up too soon.
If you are learning English you will encounter certain inevitable obstacles during your journey to fluency. We believe that the best way to deal with these challenges is to be prepared for them and face them with the best strategies to overcome them.
So, here are 6 major obstacles you will face and how to overcome them.
Frustration is the first stage that you’ll experience in the learning stage, and it’s perfectly normal. This state of frustration just means you’re stretching your comfort zone and pushing yourself further than before. However, this is when so many of us quit because we don’t immediately “get it.”
It’s important to realize that after you get past the frustration stage the learning process becomes enjoyable and fun. Frustration is only a temporary state that we feel, and what separates the successful individuals from the unsuccessful, is the ability to get past this stage.
The key is to take it step-by-step, instead of overwhelming yourself with a massive challenge. If your goal is to become a fluent English speaker (and you have zero knowledge), then your first goal should be as small as memorizing 10 of the most common words. From there, give yourself a treat or celebrate your small wins, and this will trigger your brain to crave more of these progressions. Then learn 20 words, and so on…
2. Lack of interest or purpose
While most obstacles could be easily cured through simple solutions, the lack of purpose or interest can only come from within you. Without an internal desire to learn something, no amount of money, time and strategies can help you get to the next level.
Understanding why you want to learn English can help you to set goals. Ask yourself questions like these:
- What opportunities will become available by speaking fluently?
- What would I do if I could speak English fluently right now?
- How will I feel after reaching fluency?
Perhaps you could have a deeper connection with a friend or family member who knows English. You could get a raise at your current job or open yourself up to new and amazing career opportunities with English. You can finally move to an English speaking country or travel around the world with ease and comfort, creating deep connections with new people you meet.
Whatever your goal may be, make sure it excites you!
While money does not equal happiness, it is certainly a problem for many people when it comes to learning English.
At the same time, with anything in life, you get what you pay for. This doesn’t mean that free solutions are ineffective, but if you’re looking to see serious and lasting results, then the fastest way to do this is through immersion with a native speaker (preferably a professional).
The best part is, this doesn’t mean purchasing an expensive ticket to fly to England or Australia. With the advent of online technology, immersion learning can be brought to the comfort of your home – right to your screen! Our online lessons are affordable and offer you the chance to work one-on-one with our professional teachers who will work with you to accelerate your progress.
4. Lack of time
Time is the most valuable commodity that we never seem to have enough of. Having more time to learn English is a struggle for many of us – with our normal jobs, social life, and family to take care of. And when we do manage to find those extra few hours in our day, the last thing we want to do is get in our cars and drive to go to language school or meet a private tutor, right?
Truthfully, we only need to carve out an extra 30 minutes per day (or less) to learn a language, and the simplest way to do this is to eliminate commuting. Most of us are still learning a language in-person, which requires anywhere from 45-60 minutes on average that is spent just getting to your lesson!
Instead of taking a bus to the nearest Starbucks in your local city, why not look for a teacher online that will allow you to avoid the commute in the first place?
5. No growth
If we don’t grow, we become stagnant. This means we have to constantly be improving, consistently be getting better, and always growing our knowledge. Think about the last time you went on a long hike. While the final moments may seem like you’re walking in one place, the moment you look back, you realize how far you’ve gone.
This is what we need to do with language learning. Seeing how far we have come with our skill set will be the fastest way to motivate ourselves out of frustration, disappointment, or whatever state we’re in that leads to giving up too early.
If you’re working with a professional teacher, ask for a monthly report of your progress, or even record yourself every month and watch how far you’ve come. Even noticing the improvement of your accent, or the confidence you have when speaking English can give you a boost of energy and excitement to sustain your growth over the long run.
6. No accountability
This applies to not just language learning, but everything from health and fitness, nutrition, business, and more. The top athletes and business leaders pay coaches millions of dollars per year, sometimes solely for the psychological edge it gives them, knowing that someone is there to keep them accountable.
Think about how much more motivated we are when we go to the gym with a partner, rather than by ourselves. It’s just how the human mind works. This is often the reason why free mobile apps like Duolingo or Memrise don’t bring lasting results, because there’s no incentive or motive to continue.
Languages are meant to be learned and experienced with fellow humans, there’s no other reason to learn it in the first place. It’s also how we’re best kept accountable. Whether you’re just beginning your journey or at an intermediate level, find an accountability partner who is a friend, family member, or an online teacher to help you achieve your end goal.