Five myths about language learning: Myth 3

I don't have the language gene.

This is one that I picked up from a gentleman called Benny, promoting his easy tips for language learning online. Some great stuff in this video, a Tedx talk summarising his approach to languages.

What Benny is essentially doing is removing the apprehension from language learning. It's awesome, and exactly how it should be done. Watch the video for a good demolition of various excuses (you may recognise the myths already, for example !), a positive account of how you can pick up languages, and some great tips. I particularly agree with Benny's point about vocabulary - when I learnt Spanish, I spent so many conversations just falling back on English or French words and pronouncing them in a Spanish way. It almost always works, and no one's going to care about the 5 times when it doesn't.

The guy is no genius. He's not smarter than me or you. In fact, his grasp of eight languages is not even that unusual - I'm confident that I can speak in seven, and I haven't even lived abroad that long. The one thing that Benny has done and you haven't if you're still worried about the "difficult languages" is this: he's stopped being scared. Now sit down, write down all your excuses and really examine them. I hope you can feel your language gene waking up.

Hey there world! Remember this recent post on my blog, taking on the most prevalent language myth that I know? What do you know, I'm not the only one around. The linguistic genius of adults takes a really close look at some of the reasons why you are actually much better positioned to pick up languages than toddlers and children are.