Learning foreign languages influences the human brain!
Research has proven that language learning makes our brain grow bigger. The effect has been studied with MRI technology. As stressed by dr Xiaoqian Chai, a neurologist from Johns Hopkins University, the brain exhibits great plasticity – it may be shaped by learning and experience. If it’s not talent, what is it? What makes you able to learn any foreign language?
Motivation or conscientiousness?
Motivation and self-discipline are a team which can work wonders in education. Being motivated and conscientious are requirements when learning any language, on any level. But without discipline, motivation alone won’t be enough.
According to psychologists, the positive effect of motivation goes away after about two weeks. Once the first blush of excitement about starting out with a new language has passed, motivation stops working. It’s worth staying disciplined to survive the first moments of difficulty in learning a language.
Faith in your own abilities is coupled with motivation. When do you run out of it? Do you assume that you can’t make it? Do you have a ready answer, or many, why you’ll fail to learn the language? It’s a psychological effect known as the learned helplessness model. It lurks deep in the unconscious mind, undermining self-confidence, the belief in achieving your goals, or even the point of making an effort!
A person with the learned helplessness model of behaviour retains in their unconsciousness the results of previous bad experiences (failures), and fears to even make the attempt at learning a language. Luckily, you can counteract it. First of all, do try, and don’t give up too soon. Give yourself time to learn. Surround yourself with positive people who will support you.
Positive emotions are very important. In the moments of doubt, recall good memories, like that time you finally remembered the word which gave you problems, or you understood that pesky grammatical structure. With time, doubts will come fewer and farther between.