The Big Brother Factor: How you can get feedback 24/7
Just like the contestants of the TV series you, if you are in an English course in Dublin or any English speaking city, your teacher, and classmates are cooped up together for long periods of time with only each other to talk to and bounce ideas off. How you view that time with others could mean the difference between success and failure. So if you don’t want to get voted off after the first week, have a think about the following example.
Picture the scene. You’re trying to tell a group of foreign people you’ve just met about your weekend. You want to tell them you went to the beach but you just cannot think of the word for ‘beach’. You freeze and feel terribly embarrassed because you just cannot spit the word out. There is one core factor causing this feeling.
You are afraid people might view you as stupid
Let’s analyze the implications of this cognitive barrier to rapid advancement through the stages of language learning.
1. The belief is “cognitively disadvantageous” (meaning your attitude or mental set in this particular moment and situation is not to your benefit)
2. Either your teacher or another student is going to know the word. This is a positive thing – you are going to learn faster.
So, remember it’s just a belief. You do not and will never know other people’s thoughts and beliefs – only your own. So it makes sense to change those beliefs if they stop you achieving the key milestones and goals in language learning. Pause for a minute and consider the following
Try to think of one sentence you can repeat to yourself to overcome this disadvantageous belief
Stop reading. Write it down.
Upon hearing this technique I must share with you that my learning took off quite suddenly and I was more relaxed. I began to enjoy my classes and my learning much more. If something is fun we will learn more. Fun is central to just about everything here. It has to be fun – otherwise why would we keep doing it? By the way, here’s the sentence I used to repeat before going into learn a foreign class
“The next time I am with people and I and I do not know the answer I will be happy because they are going to tell me the answer – they are helping me to learn faster and more successfully.”
Imagine yourself now in all types of situations – going shopping, a dinner with friends who are all native speakers, playing Frisbee in the park, even visiting the dentist can result in a language learning opportunity. Do you know already know the word “toothache”? Remember: