Lesson Transcript

Hey everyone, welcome to the Monthly Review!
The monthly show on language learning.
Where you discover new learning strategies, motivational tips, study tools, and resources.
By the way, all the lessons and bonuses you’re about to see can be downloaded for free on our website.
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Okay, today’s topic is:
The Power of Mistakes
Have you ever made a mistake in your target language while talking with a native speaker? Maybe you said the wrong word. Maybe you misconjugated a verb. When you make a mistake, you usually don’t forget about it, right?
Well, that’s the power of mistakes, and in today’s episode, you’re going to find out why making mistakes is crucial to learning a language.
But first, listen up! Here are this month’s new lessons and resources.
First — The “Writing Your Resume” Cheat Sheet
Want to get a job where you can speak your target language? Then you’ll want this new cheat sheet. Inside, you'll learn all the words and phrases needed for resume writing and handling job interviews.
Second — The “All the Words &Phrases You Must Know About Love”
Learn all the words and phrases for romance, love and dating with this brand new PDF eBook.
Download it now for free.
Third — Do You Know the Most Common Adverbs Of Frequency?
You will, with this 1 minute lesson. Learn how to say rarely, always, often, sometimes, and much more in your target language.
Fourth — Must-Know Summer Clothes Vocab
Do you know how to say “T-shirt” or “shorts” in your target language? If you don’t, you can learn how! This 1-minute lesson will give you all the words you need for summer clothing.
Fifth — The Top 50 Adjectives for Personalities
Can you describe your personality? This next bonus teaches you 50 must-know adjectives for personalities so you can talk about yourself in your target language.
To get your free resources, click the link in the description below right now. They’re yours to keep forever. Ok, let’s jump in to today’s topic:
Okay, today’s topic is:
How remembering your mistakes can help you learn faster
First, take a moment and think of a time when you made a mistake. Maybe you were at school. Maybe you were at work. Maybe you were shopping or in another public place.
We can all probably clearly remember many mistakes we’ve made. We also remember the reactions of the people around us; some people are understanding, and some people aren’t so understanding.
But why do we remember these situations so clearly?
Psychologically speaking, negative things tend to impact us more than positive things. For example, if we’re asked to choose between gaining friends or gaining money and losing friends or losing money, we’ll choose not to lose friends or lose money, not to gain. This is called loss aversion. We tend to avoid losing more than we work on gaining.
We spend time thinking about our negative past experiences to avoid them in the future. Because of this, negative events, like making mistakes, stay in our minds for a very long time.
And this happens in language learning.
If you make a language mistake while chatting with a native speaker, it’ll probably be hard to forget. Yes, it’s true that when we’re learning another language we don’t always know when we’ve made a mistake. But when we realize we’ve used the wrong word, used grammar incorrectly, spelled something wrong, or similar, we tend to remember the situation vividly.
In some languages, just a tiny change in pronunciation, tone, or writing could make a big difference, so mistakes are a big source of worry for many learners.
But the fact that mistakes are very hard for us to forget can be a powerful tool when learning a language. We want to avoid the feeling of embarrassment that comes after a mistake, so we work hard to correct ourselves. Past mistakes can motivate us to try harder.
We can use our mistakes as a tool in our language learning. But we can’t make these emotionally powerful mistakes by reading a textbook, or even by taking a lesson with a teacher. The only way you can make these mistakes is by speaking in real conversations and messing up.
So, what can you take away from this?
Let’s jump in to the 2nd part.
We can give advice like, “go ahead and make mistakes,” but that’s easier said than done.
Here are 3 tips to help you make the most of your mistakes.
One: Speak in your target language as much as possible. Why? Because part of the learning process is making mistakes. Accept that mistakes are going to happen. If you’re not making any mistakes ever, then you’re probably not challenging yourself!
Two: Look for opportunities to speak.
Many learners have trouble finding public places to practice the language they’re studying.
See if there are language groups in your community or at your school. If you have trouble with that, look online, and be creative! You don’t need to search for groups specifically for language learners. See if you can find a hobby discussion in your target language. Maybe you’ll find a news discussion group. Think outside the box!
Find somewhere to practice and make mistakes. When you DO mess up, you’ll probably remember it.
Three: Build on your experiences.
Think carefully about your conversations after you have them. And work to make them longer each time. If you made a mistake in your first conversation, think about how to fix it. If you said only a few sentences in your first discussion, work to speak for 15 or 30 seconds on the next discussion. Challenge yourself!
Many learners have trouble finding opportunities to speak that work with their schedule and their level. If you’re not sure where else you can practice, you can consider hiring a tutor.
If you’re a Premium PLUS member on our website, you can practice with your teacher.
It’s still important, where possible, to practice and make mistakes in real life situations. This will help you to more carefully reflect on your conversations and work to improve. It isn’t the quite the same as studying with a textbook or a hired tutor.
This strong desire to avoid making a mistake will help you work to improve. You’ll be motivated to try harder. This can help you learn faster.
So, thank you for watching this episode of Monthly Review
Next time, we’ll talk about: How to Match Your Routine to Language Learning
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See you next time! Bye!