When we learn a new language, we make a lot of mistakes. Below I have tried to gather briefly some concerns about how you should NOT learn a foreign language:
1) Not be a regular learner.You cannot learn a language if you are not constant. You learn some new words this week, then the next one you “don’t’ have time” for learning new vocabulary and revising the previous ones. You will forget everything quickly.
2) Comparing with other people. Each learner is different . Each person has different skills. There are some people who learn very quickly and others who take more time.
3) Studying a lot in 1 full day and the other six days of the week doing nothing. Of course, if you study more and more you will improve quickly. But many times we cram up till we are exhausted and then forgetting to learn not even 10 minutes per day. It is useless memorizing each words by heart. You cannot learn a language even if you study 10 hours per day for 3 months. Learning a foreign language is a constant and long process. Studying in a smart way is the key.
4) Be not curious about some expressions that you can guess the meaning but you struggle to use them.
5) Forcing the accent.Too many people make a lot of efforts in copying the native accent. Most of the time, it will sound very artificial and ridicolous. Everybody has a different accent, even in their mothertongue. In particular, I found this bad habit widespread among US students: they want to sound “native” since the first class, but they do not have enough grammar basics. Don’t be in a hurry, you will get over there eventually.
6) Feeling Frustrated. Sometimes, we are falling apart because we have spent too much time studying and we do not feel we master the language yet. It should not discourage us. Mastering a foreign language is something you will achieve in years.
7) Not pay so much attention how the native speakers speak. Sometimes, we focus too much on the content of each sentences heard, leaving the native accent out. The best way to learn is copying the native speakers.
8) Don’t understand your own limits. Learning a new language also means being aware of the limitations we are going to have. We will never get to speak like a native and there will always be expressions that we will not understand, as well as phonemes that we will never pronounce accurately.
9) Moving to a foreign country with a very poor knowledge of that language. It is a common mistake thinking : “yeah, I move to Mexico City and I will learn Spanish in couple of months”. Living in a foreign country is undoubtedly super useful but if you do not have a solid grammatical basics, your progress will be super slow.
10) I will never forget what I have learnt. No matter how well a foreign language is mastered, if you don’t use it you will forget it gradually. Studying must be continuous.