“I’m too old to learn English”
“I’m not good at languages”
We’ve already covered these and other language learning myths. By now, we hope we’re succeeding at emptying your account of excuses.
So maybe now you’re ready to write a resume for that lucrative virtual assistant job you’ve been eying?
Not to worry. We’ve got you covered. These remaining myths are will definitely bolster your confidence.
Here are four more English language learning myths to sink your teeth into (and hopefully rip out!)
Myth #5: I Have to Travel to English Speaking Countries
There are many proofs that show that complete immersion into language with no access to your native language results in dramatically fast language learning!
Take a look at this language experiment conducted by the two linguists who learned languages implementing the “no English rule”.
This is very exciting and interesting, but is it necessary? Absolutely not.
There are thousands of people who live outside their homeland, for years even, and they still don’t speak the language.
Even when they’re married to a person with a different native language. If simply spending time in an English speaking environment was enough to learn a language, those people would speak it.
Therefore, it’s safe to conclude:
Moreover, we already stated that there are many other ways to be exposed to the English language without leaving your own room, let alone country.
Myth #6: I Just Don’t Have Enough Time
Depending on your native language and its similarity to English, you’ll need more or less time to learn it. For example, if your native language is German, you will learn English faster than if your native language is Mandarin.
However, that is where your native language stops being an obstacle – you CAN learn it, you will just, maybe, need a bit more time.
This is the moment when you sigh and say – but, I don’t have the time! I’m just too busy!
And that is where you are wrong.
Forget about the classes that happen two times a week and last for anywhere between one and two hours. It’s great if you like working that way, but it is far from being the only way to learn the language.
Consistency is much more important than the volume of your study. It’s better to learn a bit every day than to go days without doing anything English-related and then trying to make up for it during your weekend.
The same can be said for a virtual assistant career. It’s more important to consistently produce quality work than to work in spikes. This sharpens your skills and builds trust with your clients.
Expose yourself to English at least half an hour a day and it will have tremendous effects on how well you use the language.
It’s important to be proactive about it: sing, talk, listen, come up with made-up conversations…there are tons of ideas out there on how to improve some of your language skills in a short time.
Here are some of them: 8 Ways to Get Daily Language Practice on Your Coffee Break
Also, here are some interesting suggestions about planning your daily language learning routine.
Or, if you’re not so keen on fixed schedules, this is a goldmine of ideas for you: How to Set Up a Successful Language-Learning Schedule (Even if You’re a Screw Up Like Me)
Myth #7 It Will Take Ages to Learn English
You’ll hear people giving up on learning English even before they start it. And they will usually refer to their prior, unsuccessful attempts to learn English saying something like this:
I learned English in school for 10 years and I still can’t use it at all!
But, have you REALLY spent 10 years learning English? Every day? No. You haven’t. You probably had English lessons twice a week where you were not motivated to learn, at all. And you were exposed to ancient, very ineffective language learning techniques.
There are many speculations and guesses in regard to how many hours it takes to learn a language from scratch. Some say years, others even suggest that it doesn’t have to take more than several weeks.
These numbers vary, but one thing is for sure:
Remember that your goal is not to pass a difficult test. Your goal is to learn English well enough to communicate properly and freely as a virtual assistant. Especially with all your clients.
Take a look at this man who attempted to learn a second language well enough in six months:
Keep in mind this person didn’t know Spanish before taking this challenge. And you’re in a better position, aren’t you? Either that or somebody else is reading and translating these lessons for you.
Myth #8: People Think I’m Dumb When I Use Broken English
Another common misconception is that native speakers think less of you when you try and speak their language. Just put yourself in their position!
What if a foreign person came to your hometown and tried to speak to you in your language? Would you laugh at them? No! You’d think it’s nice that they put in some effort.
Therefore, expect the same courtesy from your employer/client as a virtual assistant. The more effort you put into your language learning, the better the results.
With this being said, it’s time to forget about how you look or appear to others if you want to successfully learn a language. Instead, be proud of the fact that you’re intentional about upskilling.
Furthermore, even those that pay attention to you and your language learning will not mock you but appreciate your effort.
Take it from the ordinary person who once believed in all those myths only to realise they kept him from learning more. This is not a linguist and it’s not a hyper-talented language learner.
He’s just an average Joe with a little bit of a sketchy memory and a desire to learn. In other words, a person not so different from you.
Now, that you know the truth behind all these common myths, you’re ready to take the plunge and start learning.
The more you understand language learning, the less scary it becomes
Here’s a set of excellent tips to inspire and relax you before you start: 15 Things to STOP Doing When Learning English! (Very Important!)
Remember, motivation and a general good feeling about language learning are the most important factors in language acquisition.
Changing your life and obtaining an excellent new virtual assistant career should be sufficient motivation for you as a language learner.
On the other hand, you’ll hardly learn well if you don’t feel right about the entire process. So here’s a rundown of the only truths you need to subscribe to:
- You are not too old to learn English
- You don’t have to be especially talented to learn English
- You are smart enough to learn English
- Learning English doesn’t have to be expensive
- It is not necessary to travel to an English speaking country
- You can find some time throughout the day to do some learning
- Learning English doesn’t have to last for ages
- People are more likely to appreciate the fact you are learning a language than to mock you
So now you know you have all it takes to learn English well enough. From abilities, access to resources and motivation.
All you need to do is start and we’ve got the perfect basic English course for you. It’s tailor-made for your virtual assistant career so you get to kill two birds with one stone.