It happens only too often that we find ourselves caught under a glass ceiling when learning a new language. We learn and learn and learn anticipating that we’ll be able to speak to native speakers fluently and with intent, that we’ll be able to express what we feel, and that we’ll have thought-provoking conversations with them just like in our native language. Have you been trying to reach a higher level in a foreign language? Does that sound familiar to you? It certainly does to me.   I often find myself imagining situations about how cool it would be to share my thoughts with different people in a different language, and perhaps even create some new ideas on the way. When faced with reality, though, I usually end up overwhelmed by the volume and variety of words used in a conversation - add an accent or dialect that I am unfamiliar with and I’m totally lost.   We at ANUBA Language Community have noticed this issue not only in ourselves, but also in many of you language learners and enthusiasts out there that interact with us on our Youtube channel. The specific difficulties that people experience can range from lexical problems (not knowing words)...

Learning new words in a foreign language can be a very long and arduous process. We sit around with our flashcards looking at the word we want to learn, then we look at the translation in our native language and back at the word we want to learn in the foreign language. Sometimes we might even mutter that word to ourselves to practice pronunciation. I think we can all agree that there must be a better way to do it! Not only is this way SUPER boring, it is also not very effective. The reason for that is that translating is a very costly strategy for our brains. First we read the foreign word and our brains are trying to analyze the writing for meaning (so we go from a series of signs that represent a thing to the idea of that thing!) , but of course we don't find any! Then we look at the translation in our native language and our brains need to process that word for its meaning. And then finally our brains must connect that meaning to the new foreign word. In other words, it takes us 3-4 long steps to understand the thing we...

  Error management - welcome mistakes. Many of us were taught to fear mistakes. You make a mistake at school and you get punished - oh no! It’s another F. You use the ‘wrong’ grammar and someone laughs. You take a bit longer to express yourself and the conversation doesn’t flow - you might get bored looks from people which is also never a pleasant experience. Learning a language is just like any other skill you acquire. You need to put in the time and effort to use the language. That in turn means that you will be making mistakes. And that’s OKAY. Making mistakes means that you’re trying. It means that you see what works well and what still needs to be worked on. Making mistakes means finding out what that particular language is all about. Immersion - BE the language. Often we like to imagine ourselves speaking fluently in a language, reading, writing, and - most of all - thinking the same way we do in our native language. What mostly happens is that we start translating our thoughts into the language we want to learn. What we should be doing is trying to think in the language...