Learning a new language can feel very intimidating. Add on the pressure of actually communicating with others (yes, actual people who can hear you speak), and we have ourselves a recipe for anxiety.
But before you get overwhelmed, this study cites personal advantage as an excellent reason to learn English,
Use of the English language is very useful to achieve personal goals such as getting a job, making a successful communication with people and also promoting one’s position in the workplace. Therefore, English is advantageous for those people travelling to English-speaking countries to help them easily understand the language and overcome language problems.
Welcome to the two-part series that’s sure to quell all your language learning fears. And get you on the fast track to a successful virtual assistant career.
Stick around because this article series will change your life.
Let’s tackle the first four myths, shall we?
Myth #1: I’m Too Old to Learn English
Oh, one of our favourites! For a long time, even the experts thought that young children learn languages faster than adults. This is just not true!
Just think about it – how long does it take for a child to learn their native language? Years! Even when they reach their school age, they’re still struggling with grammar, vocabulary and don’t really speak that well, do they?
The point is – children learn languages in a different way. They are not overburdened by expectations. They don’t feel the anxiety. They enjoy learning! It’s a fun game for them.
On the other hand, the adults want to know the rules, the reasons, the laws of the language and they approach it that way. So they burden themselves with attaining certain goals, high expectations and self-consciousness. The truth is:
Still not convinced? Then how do you explain this: 90-year-old in Malta to learn English. Play the video to hear this wonderful person speak.
Just to prove this is not a lone case, read up on this brave gentleman who travelled to Oxford: 80-Year-Old Student Proves Age Is No Limit.
However, if you’re still not entirely convinced, read these two articles that involve serious linguistic proofs of the fact that you DO NOT lose the ability to learn a new language with age:
Expatriate Connection: Is It Ever Too Late to Learn a New Language? Here Are the Facts
Now that we have established that the right time to start learning English is NOW, let’s deal with other myths that keep you from being successful.
Myth #2: I’m Not Good at Languages
Can you prepare a meal that would get 5 Michelin stars? Probably not. But you can still cook, at least a little bit, right?
Something similar happens with languages. You may not be speaking absolutely fluently, or you may not have the strong command of an extensive vocabulary.
But you can still lead a meaningful conversation, express yourself and understand the person you are talking to.
That’s quite enough.
Of course, there are hyperpolyglots; the language super learners who have the ability to learn any dozens of languages pretty quickly. So, are they born with this talent?
Surprisingly – NO.
They are born with an ability to store information in their long-term memory more quickly and retrieve it whenever they want.
This ability, combined with motivation and hard work is what makes a hyperpolyglot. It’s also honestly what really makes you a really good virtual assistant.
The ability to learn a language is not a special talent. It’s a skill that CAN be perfected. All you need to learn a language are the willingness and faith that you can do it and a brain.
Luckily, you’re burdened with both! So here’s the real truth about this myth:
You don’t have to be a hyperpolyglot to learn a language! Of course, some people will be faster at it and others will need more work. But there is no person with optimal cognitive abilities on this planet that cannot learn a language.
There’s plenty of science and research behind these statements. The following articles give more detail on the same.
Is Learning a Language Talent or Skill?
Is There a Talent for Language Learning?
How to Stop Worrying About your Language Talent [Infographic]
However, the point is– YOU have ALL that it takes to start learning English TODAY.
Myth #3: I’m Just Not That Smart and My Memory Is Bad
You probably already know there are many types of intelligence. When people talk about how ‘smart’ they are, they’re talking about general intelligence. That being said, let’s bust this myth right away:
Studies conducted on children show the correlation between general intelligence and the ability to write better. But as far as the conversational language is concerned – there’s no evidence that you need high intelligence to learn a language.
So, relax! You’re definitely smart enough to learn English – everybody is!
If you’re interested in this topic, here is a nice article that can clear some things up for you: Learnable intelligence and how it relates to language acquisition.
Bad memory is also a very common myth among people. They usually describe a situation in which they learned several words one day only to forget most of them the following day.
This happens to everybody – yes, even those amazing polyglots who speak several languages.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t have what it takes to learn a language, it merely suggests you have an ordinary human brain.
Usually, throughout our school days, people were praised and awarded for the ability to memorise a lot of data at once. Having great memory meant being successful at studying. Luckily for all of us goldfish people, language is acquired in a slightly different way.
Even if you managed to memorise all the words from a dictionary, you still wouldn’t have known how to speak a language. You’d just be able to understand a lot of words.
The secret is – a BIG PORTION of a language is acquired subconsciously. Your brain does all the work and pulls all the important levers in order to modify itself. So you can use the new language you’re feeding it.
Being a pro at memorising words is useful and it definitely helps you study harder. But it’s absolutely not essential for learning English.
Your memory is just fine. It’s adequate enough for you to give English and a virtual assistant career a chance.
Therefore, let’s say it out loud:
Moreover, there are many tips and tricks that you can use to jolt your memory and to exercise it. You can build it, like a muscle.
Here are some links that you may find useful if you want more proof that your memory is just fine.
Help! My Memory isn’t Good Enough to Learn Another Language!
The Role of Short and Long-Term Memory in Language Learning
Myth #4: I Would Need a Lot of Money
This is one of those myths that most people use as an excuse not to start anything that could make their life better.
Yet anything beneficial calls for your personal investment, right?
So skilled lesson providers want to earn from their wealth of information just as you do from your virtual assistant skills
And you do want to earn a great salary as a VA, right? Learn the 7 Secrets to Earning a Mindblowing Salary As a VA.
So the truth is:
Of course, being able to pay for a private tutor would speed up things, but it’s far from necessary.
You can join different language swap groups, find free courses online and use tons of free textbooks and workbooks that are available on the Internet.
But, let’s talk about what you get for the money you spend on learning a language. If the English language allows you to get a well-paid job, change your life and enjoy a new virtual assistant career – is there a price tag you can put on that?
Well yes, but not a lot of money. Just the right amount for the right quality.
And we’ve got just the perfect course for you. This Basic English Language Training for Virtual Assistants will take your English to the next level.
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What are you waiting for? Enrol now.
Read more: Jumpstart Your Virtual Assistant Career: Break These 4 Language Learning Myths (Part 2)