I am a beginner. If you are reading this blog you are probably a beginner. Maybe you are looking at this blog hoping for help with Turkish or language study. And you are certainly a beginner in some area of your life.
Today I want to share what other beginners have told me my attitude should be. And attitude management is half the battle. It is attitude that will allow us to keep enjoying ourselves. It is our attitude that will help us persevere. It is our attitude that will determine if we will improve.
So what is the attitude for beginners (in language)?
- Accept you will be bad at first. If you cannot accept that in the beginning you will not understand very much and will make a lot of mistakes you will never improve, because you can never learn. You will never put yourself out there because you could make mistakes and you don’t want to embarrass yourself. We need to make these mistakes to learn and we need to avoid comparing ourselves to others lest we get discouraged.
- Celebrate the little things. When you first get going there will be a lot that you will not understand. You will tire easily in your new language and a lot of interaction will leave you bewildered. So celebrate the little things. If some one uses a long stretch of words and you know 3 of them. Celebrate. This is celebration will bring excitement which will encourage you to further engagement with the language. Whereas if you focus on how much you didn’t know you will be stuck discouraged about how much you don’t know. Celebrate what you know, celebrate you what you can say, and celebrate it all often.
- Work towards shared meaning. This one is specific for language learning but falls in the category of setting appropriate goals. Shared meaning means you and the person you are communicating with have the same understanding of what you are trying to say and you understand what they are trying to say. Work toward it. Use all the language you have. Use gestures, tone, context and pointing if necessary. You are learning to communicate. And that is all language is. Once you begin communicating- its just a manner of time before you learn to communicate in a more civilized manner.
- Interact with other language learners. This is key. Interacting with other people in your boat. They will have empathy and encouragement for you. This is the kind of relationship that will be mutually motivational. (You can always interact with me, if no one else is around).
Now speaking of beginners. I am also beginner to this blogging thing and would love your feedback. We have had hundreds of views in the last couple weeks and would love to know how the blog is serving you. Please take 5 seconds to do the poll on this post. And leave any more detailed thoughts in the comments below.