By Corey Heller
Photo credit: Mattastic!
Excuses, procrastination, avoidance… we all know these: Not enough time. Too many distractions. Life is simply too hectic.
Over the years I have uttered my own excuses for not working on my foreign language skills (and I still do!). I know that it is simply a matter of priorities but for whatever reason, language learning always falls to the bottom of my list.
Below is a list of the top 10 excuses people (myself included) use when explaining why they haven’t learned a new language. Come on, admit it – you’ve used a couple of these yourself, haven’t you? Even though we all know these are just excuses, we use them anyway with full conviction.
Let the countdown begin…
10. Wrong fit. I don’t like the language learning classes in my area and I don’t like any online language learning programs. If they had come up with exactly the right program for my unique learning style, then I would finally be able to learn a language. Until then I must wait.
9. Return On Investment: What’s the financial return on learning a language? If the only return is my personal satisfaction then it isn’t worth it. I want to see some real, hard financial benefits before I start.
8. Don’t Travel: I don’t like to travel so I won’t ever need to use another language. If I do travel anywhere, it will only be to places where my language is spoken.
7. Not good at it: I’ve tried over and over again to learn a language but I just can’t do it. My brain just doesn’t work in the right way that it needs to work to make this happen. Monolingualism is what I am stuck with.
6. Finances. It’s really expensive to learn a language. I can’t afford that private tutor! Forget the cost of that evening class at the community college. Rosetta Stone is way out of my price range. Free online sources can’t be any good if they are free.
5. Too old. There is no way I could learn a new language at my age. Children can remember things like vocabulary and grammar. Someone of my age is already past being able to do that.
4. Commitment: Who has months, or years, to spend on learning a language? I don’t know where my life will be tomorrow, how can I commit to years of language learning?
3. Consistency: There is no way I can set aside time each day for language learning. Even 20 minutes a day would be way too much. I know myself and this is not doable.
2. Embarrassment: I’d sound stupid trying to speak another language. I am too self-conscious to be in a class with other people. Everyone will make fun of me when I make mistakes.
1. Global lingua franca: Everyone around the world speaks my language anyway, so what’s the point in learning another one?
Which of these have you uttered to yourself, family, friends lately? Or maybe you have heard some of these spoken by someone else? It’s all about priorities and need, isn’t it? Check out the next post where I will share some resolutions to the above excuses.
Still haven’t learned a second language? What is your excuse?
Tell us in the comments so that it can be added to the list!