Communication: The Most Important Part of Language Learning (with VIDEO)

english-communicationDo you have a fear of speaking in English? Or do you just not feel confident in your abilities?

It might sound obvious, but communication is extremely important when learning a new language. So today, we’re going to discuss all about communication, and help you to conquer your fear.

There are many people who believe that it’s necessary to study for a long time before one is ready to speak. But this isn’t true.

It is far too common for people to begin by studying the grammar and the structure of the language—all of the rules—but they hardly speak.

This problem derives from the traditional language teaching methods used by most schools that put tons of emphasis on studying and memorizing the rules, and few, if any, opportunities for students to speak and to experience the culture.

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Make as Many Mistakes as You Can

What’s even worst is that these schools teach that mistakes are bad.

Have you ever taken an English test and gotten it back with a bunch of red marks on it? And how does that make you feel? Does it increase your passion for learning the language? Probably not…

Mistakes aren’t bad: in fact, the more mistakes you make, the faster that you can correct them and learn.

Teachers shouldn’t be there to “teach” you the language. They should be there to increase your passion for it and to help you learn it.

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire” – William Butler Yeats

After all, what’s a language if not a tool that lets us communicate with other human beings?

Don’t Be Afraid to Speak

And last, we shouldn’t be scared to speak, but rather we should be proud that we know how to speak a foreign language!

What’s the worst that can happen if you challenge yourself, open your mouth, and speak the language that you are working so hard to learn? Absolutely nothing. If you are passionate about learning the language, others will see this, and they will help you.

No one will punish you. And if someone laughs at you that only means that you need to learn to laugh at yourself. Remember: mistakes are important.

Learn Like a Child

I want you to think about how a child learns his first language. He hears it for a long time before he even tries to speak. He never learns the rules—no one tells him he’s not ready to speak because he hasn’t mastered the present continuous! And he never thinks of it as a subject in school.

Children have fun and play with the language. Why don’t you consider doing the same?

Surround Yourself with the Language

I’ve been “studying” French for a few months now. But I’ve never opened a textbook. I surround myself with the language. I listen to music, I listen to French radio stations while I am working, I use online resources. Through this, I’ve become passionate about French culture and language.

And I know many people in our community who have done the same with English. Here are five examples:

So, what I want you to do TODAY (not tomorrow, not next week) is to find some way to speak to a native English speaker. Sound hard? I promise you it isn’t! You can start by reading this article… and then this one.

Languages were invented for communication. Don’t neglect it. Connect, discover, and have fun!

Check out this video of me speaking the four foreign languages that I know (at varying levels). I sure had fun making it, and I hope it inspires you to open your mouth and make lots of mistakes! I had to overcome some of my own shyness to even consider sharing this with you, so I know you can do it, too.

If you want other ways to start speaking English online, then remember to download our FREE report at the top-right of this page.

Song: Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood by the Animals 

Transcript in Original Languages:

 

German

Hallo, alles klar?

Es gibt viele Zeit dass ich nicht Deutsch gesprochen habe. Aber machst nichts. Ich glaube dass du werdest mich verstehen. Hast du angst von Englisch sprechen? Du musst nicht angst haben.

Heute, wir werden über die Kommunikation sprechen weil die Kommunikation ist sehr sehr wichtig wann wir möchten ein neues Sprache lernen. Gut dann, los geht’s!

 

Spanish

Hay muchas personas que creen que es muy importante estudiar un idioma por mucho tiempo antes de poder hablar. Pero no es verdad. Esto es culpa de los métodos tradicionales y de las escuelas que apoyan estos métodos.

Seguramente, ya has tomado un examen en una clase así. Los devuelvan y lo ves y crees, “Bueno, yo no sé hablar nada de Español… de Inglés,” disculpa! Ves muchas marcas en rojo y dice que, “Esto no es correcto. Esto está errado. No está dicho bien aquí.” Y como sientes cuando ves esto? Sientes bien? Tienes más pasión por aprender la lengua? Yo creo que no.

Los errores son muy, muy importantes para aprender un nuevo idioma. Por qué? Porque, los más errores que cometemos, lo más rápido que los podemos corregir y aprender. Seguramente estoy cometiendo muchos errores en este video. Tu me puedes corregir.

Para lo que es un idioma, si no para comunicar con las personas? Para hablar?

 

Portuguese

Outra coisa mais, você não deve ter medo de falar, você deve ter orgulho de saber algo de um outro idioma. Que é o pior que pode te acontecer se você abre a boca, se atreve, se fala com as pessoas? Se pratica uma língua que você tem passado muito tempo estudando. Se tem trabalhado muito para aprender. Nada vai te acontecer, te prometo.

Se alguém rir de você, isto só significa que  você tem que aprender rir de você mesmo. Cê tem que aprender como um criança. Os crianças têm medo de cometer errores? Não! Claro que não. Eles se brincam com a língua. Se divertem. Eles passam dois, quase dois anos só escutando o idioma antes de abrir a boca. Mais depois, eles só divertem com a língua. Se aprendem mais naturalmente. Você não acha que também é uma boa ideia para você aprender o inglês assim?

 

French

J’ai étudié le français des mois et j’ai pas peur de parler le français avec les personnes. Je m’entoure de le français. J’écoute de la musique française, j’écoute de la radio française pendent je travailles. J’ai des amis françaises. Avec quilles je pratiques parler français.

Je suis devenu passionné pour la langue française, pour la culture française, J’aime bien le vin français, cuisiner la nourriture française. Est comme ça que tu as besoin d’apprendre quelqu’un nouvelle langue. La passion est très très important. Alors, se connecter, découvrir, et s’amuser!

Merci beaucoup d’avoir regarder cette video aujourd’hui. A la prochaine. Salut!

Notice some mistakes in your language? I noticed some myself! Feel free to correct them in the comments below. 

I also recommend that you film yourself speaking in English, or another language your learning, and share it in the comments below! Let’s learn together.

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22 Comments

  1. Adriano Monecchi on July 16, 2013 at 1:47 am

    I love this post Man! Congrats for your achievements! My way of putting it (and I totally think you covered this) is that the effort to think positively and embrace new ideas and challenges will be worth it when you're able to take part in the benefits that come from learning another language…It really changes your world!

  2. Marcelo Augusto on July 16, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Very good!
    This website is very usefull!

  3. Tamie Osipova on July 16, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Very useful! Thanks!

  4. ???? ????? on July 17, 2013 at 7:55 am

    it is very useful! thanks

  5. Ethan Zinho on July 20, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks, Marcelo!!

  6. Marizete Cotrim on July 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    it´s very important.

  7. Dr. English on October 18, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I liked this post, very nice guys. Thank you

  8. Amin Ahmed on October 26, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Thanks

  9. How Learning English Can Make You a World Citizen on October 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    […] communicate with people from different cultures, and this alone will transform your perspective. Nothing can replace communication, which is the gateway to true human connection and relationship. Not travel, not education, not […]

  10. […] communicate with people from different cultures, and this alone will transform your perspective. Nothing can replace communication, which is the gateway to true human connection and relationship. Not travel, not education, not […]

  11. […] communicate with people from different cultures, and this alone will transform your perspective. Nothing can replace communication, which is the gateway to true human connection and relationship. Not travel, not education, not […]

  12. Wellem Evangelista on December 23, 2014 at 2:39 am

    I love this community, you speaking portuguese make me laugh, (but you speak portuguese very well!!) and I saw that if I make mistakes can be fun too. Thank you! Congrats

  13. […] Communication: The Most Important Part of Language Learning […]

  14. Cristina Serafim on May 29, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Great video, Ethan! Grown-ups need to be less of an adult and more of a child to be able to relax and truly enjoy this wonderful ride. Learning a foreign language is “brave” to say the least! We broaden our horizon by leaving our comfort zone, and that’s something! I really admire the work you all do at Real Life! 🙂

    • Ethan on June 1, 2015 at 6:06 pm

      Thanks so much, Cristina! Loved hearing your feedback. So agree!

  15. Yoann on June 18, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Thanks for this video ! 🙂
    There are some mistakes in French, “Je m’entoure de Français”, “pendant que je travaille”, “J’ai des amis Français”, “avec lesquels je pratique le français”, “par la langue”, “par la culture”, “C’est comme ça que tu as l’envie d’apprendre une nouvelle langue”. Instead of “s’amuser” , you can put “profiter”, that’s make more sense.
    Bye ! 😉

  16. […] to get better at speaking another language, there is no magic pill or technique; you just have to open your mouth and start […]

  17. […] world would be if this were true everywhere. I sure wish I’d grown up with some television shows in Portuguese, Spanish, German, Catalan and French when I was a […]

  18. […] problem is that languages are taught like every other subject in school: Memorize the rules and then prove you know them on a test. Every time you make a […]

  19. […] of the reasons that people fear speaking is that we are all trained from a young age that making mistakes is bad, rather than a positive part of the learning process. The more mistakes that you make, the faster […]

  20. […] to face it. This means that in order to feel more confident and less afraid of speaking, you must start speaking, […]

  21. chellini chellini on August 13, 2016 at 6:03 am

    wow actually learning a language process is not a very easy issue but you make it very easy by sharing these amazing articles thank you so much

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