Do you recall learning your native tongue? Was it hard? Did you struggle with it? Sure you did, but as a child you were just introduced to a complex world without the skills required to even walk or talk.
However, the language acquisition process was relatively simple. Grammar books? No. Vocabulary lists? No. Instead, we learned to speak our native language competently through exposure while acquiring all the vocabulary we needed to express ourselves in a vast range of topics.
So why, as adults, do we complicate the language learning process to the point of struggle and ultimately quitting?
Maybe it’s just human nature or the fact there is so much information out there. I suspect it’s both, which is why I felt the need to address it in my new Kindle book — Fluently Speaking — A Modern Approach to Mastering Any Language.
You see, I’m one of those “overthink it” types who wants to find the perfect system, course or book to learn anything. This approach has caused me to learn many different skills but with a degree of neuroticism attached.
In my first book, Skip the Gym and Get Strong Anyway, I documented how I had finally worked out a way to exercise with simplicity and flexibility. Fluently Speaking emerged from a similar journey, this time out of the language learning jungle I kept getting lost in with both Czech and French.
Stop doing what doesn’t work
We humans are funny creatures. There is a tendency in us all to keep striving and pushing to acquire and improve our skills with methods that do nothing but raise our blood pressure.
This is a marketer’s dream. Get enough people frustrated and then offer them a way out with a plethora of apps, books, courses and gadgets.
Hence, we acquire a great deal of information, watch YouTube videos and search for the best “stuff” that will magically make us better. This is a common trait of the “self help seeker” who constantly feels they aren’t enough and need that extra book or to attend that course.
STOP doing that with language learning!
I spent years combing the Internet for Czech resources trying to find the magic pill that never existed, all the while leaving what I had acquired sitting on a shelf or in a document folder on my computer.
Stop acquiring and start using is the first principle in Fluently Speaking because it is the most important. Simplify your resources down and focus on one or two at a time. Really get inside them, learn them inside out. OWN those resources.
Only by owning the language in the courses and books you acquire can you develop the kind of COMMAND of the language necessary to have the words on your tongue with little thought.
Fluently Speaking prescribes an inexpensive and simpler way to learn a language. The resources and processes I describe in the book are designed to take the unnecessary pain out of the process so you’re free to learn a language smoothly and naturally.