Learning a new language needn’t be stressful, sidestep adult-obstacles and get stuck into a fun language class!
When it comes to learning languages, children are thought to have a major advantage. Their natural curiosity and active young brains help them pick up words and grammar much faster than their parents.
But in fact, the most recent research shows this may not be the case. Adult learners have as much potential to become fluent in a second language – they just have different obstacles to overcome.
“You need to get things wrong to learn a language,” says our founder, Jessica Bonnard. “And you can’t just get them wrong discreetly in your exercise book. You have to do it in front of other people, because that’s how language learning works.”
So, what’s standing between you and your language learning goals?
Jessica knows that the most common obstacle is a fear of failure, adults simply hate to get things wrong. Her approach to teaching meanders around this and she explains: “What I’m really passionate about is giving people the confidence to actually speak the language and to use it in real life.”
When our learners get stuck, our tutors encourage them to simply ‘wing it’.
Once you’re past the idea that you can’t make mistakes, the fear of failure loses its sting. This idea of ‘communication, not perfection’, is the foundation of the Language for Fun teaching method.
We understand that the key to successfully learning a language is simple. Make it fun. Learners shouldn’t have to speak in front of the class, obsess over boring grammar or hand in compulsory homework!
Instead, our effective teaching focuses on chatting and making friends in a new language. Jessica believes in the beauty of languages and says: “It’s a thing to be used, for new experiences and adventures. If a student is struggling, you can help by reminding them of the joy of learning a language, and by doing something fun.”
That might mean watching a film in your target language, listening to music or taking part in a quiz. You could even engage with the interactive tools on our unique Virtual Learning Environment.
It takes around 600 hours to reach proficiency in another language, and how much time do you spend watching TV each week? Precious time that you could be dedicating to your language learning goal.
More than 1,500 adults now study French, Italian or Spanish at our centres around the UK and Ireland and the key to helping them learn in the same way children do, is reducing the stress they bring to class.
To make our learners more comfortable, we refer to the SCARF model devised by neuroscientist David Rock. This identifies five social threats that interfere with adult learning: Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness.
Our teachers neutralise these threats by making learners feel valued, in control and that they are among friends. This means you know what to expect and can be confident you will be treated fairly.
We’ll never put you on the spot with tricky questions, so you’re never ‘shown up’ in front of your peers. We also repeat the same lesson format each week, so you don’t have to worry about what we might ask you to do.
Whether you prefer face-to-face classes or live online learning, we can open a world of opportunities that you might not realise was possible.
If learning alongside like-minded people in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere sounds like it could be for you, get in touch with one of our teachers in your area today, what are you waiting for?