There are many misconceptions about second language learning as adults. The most common is that it is much harder to pick up another language than it would be for a child. While it certainly can be challenging, becoming bilingual (or even trilingual!) can be just as possible for adults as it can be for children. And one trick to succeeding is knowing how to best accommodate a mature aptitude and skill set. So, here are a couple of key tips to help you during your second language learning journey as an adult.
Language Becomes More Complex As We Age
Generally speaking, children have a much simpler vocabulary and so are better at communicating their wants and needs in a second language. As adults, we have developed a more nuanced understanding of language communication. As such, the struggle we create is that we attempt to convey ourselves at the same level of complexity that we would in our native tongue. Our suggestion: keep it simple! You would be surprised how quickly you catch on once you stick to the basics. And higher level vocabulary and grammar will come with time.
Knowing The Why And How
As children, we generally accept language rules and absorb primarily through observance and repetition. As adults, we tend to question these rules, wanting to know ‘why’ a certain word/phrase exists or ‘how’ a grammar pattern works. This understanding allows us to better convert information to long term memory retention. And while some adults do still learn well through exposure, on some level we still try to understand how it all works. We recommend gathering a basic understanding of commonly used phrases/vocabulary and testing it out in real-life scenarios!