Three Language Learning Hurdles and How to Overcome Them

You’ve been studying hard and acing your vocabulary quizzes, but something still isn’t clicking. No matter how much you study, there are three big hurdles that stand in your way of success: loneliness, fear, and self-doubt. Although they are hard to overcome, you can jump these hurdles to successfully learn English.

Hurdle #1: Loneliness

A woman looking frustrated in front of a computer

Loneliness is particularly common among ESL students. It’s difficult to make friends in New York, especially when you speak a foreign language. Friends are important when learning a new language, and without a supportive group of friends who can celebrate your successes and cheer you on through struggles, it’s hard to feel motivated.

Your classmates may also feel lonely, so consider putting together a study group. You’ll feel less isolated, and your English skills should start to improve. Plus, speaking English out loud is a very important part of learning the language. You can also find friendship and support in online language learning communities, like HelloTalk and Facebook groups.

Hurdle #2: Fear

Have you ever heard the quote, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”? That was said by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his inauguration ceremony in 1933. He was right! Sometimes the thing that blocks us from success is ourselves. Learning a new language is not easy, but when you’re brand new to the country, don’t speak the language, and don’t know anyone, it can feel impossible. If you let your fear take control, it will hold you back.

Take small steps to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, like joining class discussions or asking a cashier about their day. You also need to hold yourself accountable. For example, you could book regular study sessions with a classmate, who will count on you to show up.

Hurdle #3: Self-doubt

If learning a language were easy, we’d all speak ten! People learning a new language can lose confidence if they mispronounce a word or have a hard time understanding someone. When you lose confidence in yourself, it can be hard to get back on track. That’s why many people struggle with self-taught programs, which leave room for self-doubt and make it hard to tell if they’ve made progress.

Language courses like those offered by ALCC American Language do not leave room for self-doubt. Our qualified instructors are always available to help you, and our students regularly form study groups and work together to support one another. Our students have a common goal: to learn English. You’ll always find someone to study with or help you with your pronunciation. You won’t find a more supportive community of language learners to help you rise above those feelings of insecurity that might be keeping you down. To learn more about the ALCC American Language courses and community, give us a call at (212) 736-2373.

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