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  • Writer's pictureIan Gibbs

Language Learning Laws 1: You Can Do It

Some activities are easier to do if you are physically built in a certain way.

It’s easier to play basketball if you are tall.

It’s easier to read tiny writing if you have good eyesight.

Let’s face it, if you don’t have the necessary physical appendage, some activities can be almost impossible.

Similarly, some ‘soft skill’ activities are done better if you are highly creativity or have a good emotional intelligence.

You might be tempted to say, ‘I don’t have what it takes to learn a new language’.

But the fact you expressed this statement in a perfectly well-structured sentence using the correct grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation demonstrates, contrary to your opinion, you definitely do have what it takes to learn a language.

Learning to speak a language has nothing to do with emotional intelligence or I.Q..

I know some fantastically stupid people who are capable speaking most eloquently.

I admit, the language in question is their mother tongue but at one point, they couldn’t even speak that.

Nevertheless, they were able to learn it without any problem, just like you and I did.

If you did it once you can do it again.

There are millions of people on this planet who never studied languages at school. But in spite of this, they are still able to speak several.

In Nigeria there are over 500 languages actively spoken. It’s not at all unusual to be able to speak three or four languages there.

About a quarter of the population of Switzerland speak three languages or more, too.

Even in the city where I live, Barcelona, most people are bilingual, if not trilingual.

In fact, in many parts of the world, only being able to speak one language is considered unusual.

Yet these people are not gifted, they have the same mental capacity as you and me.

All human beings have the mental capacity to learn a language. It just requires using the techniques that work instead of those that don’t.

If everyone else can do it, you can do it, too.

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