Being Tolerant of Ambiguity
Let Go of Perfectionism
Learning a new language is like learning any other complex skill. You are NOT going to get it 100% right the first time, or the second time... or maybe even the third. You need practice and you learn by making mistakes. If you refuse to speak until you can do it perfectly, it is unlikely you will ever speak fluently.
Be Kind to Yourself
Don't beat yourself up when you get something wrong. Don't clam up in shame because you accidentally said something inappropriate or silly. Everyone makes mistakes learning language! Think about how you would correct a child's repetitions of linguistic errors and try to be that kind with yourself.
Fluency vs Accuracy
For linguists and language teachers, there is a distinction between FLUENCY and ACCURACY. Fluency is the ability to speak confidently without needing to stop to think about conjugations, translations or word order. Accuracy is the ability to use the language without making too many grammatical or lexical (word) errors. When most people who aren't language professionals say "fluency" they mean a mix of these two concepts. Fluency in oral skills (listening/speaking) and written skills (reading/writing/written conversation like text messages or chats) is a spectrum. Everyone has some degree of fluency in their target language!
Don't Worry About Understanding Everything
It is unlikely that you will understand everything in your target language, even once you have a good level of fluency and comprehension because people speak with idiomatic expressions, different accents and use a lot more slang than in the written language. When I get to a level where I have some basic understanding of my current target language, I start listening to TV programs, Radio shows and podcasts on topics I am interested in. If I can understand 50% or more of the show, I am satisfied. I focus on what I DO understand. The more I fight to understand more detail, the less I actually understand. It's like trying to hold on to a dream after your alarm has started ringing in the morning. The more you try to remember details, the harder it is to know what the dream was about. Just float in the language, let it swirl around you and just try to passively notice what parts of the show you understand. Slowly it gets easier.
For Brazilian Portuguese, once I had a high beginner level, I recently started listening to podcasts about subjects I am interested in and in the beginning I would have to play the same podcast 3 or 4 times to really understand what they were saying. After doing this for a few weeks, I was able to understand more than 75% of the shows and only had to replay the shows on some occasions.
Mi vida antes del Covid- 19 (IMPERFECTO) A-2
The Origins of popular English Idioms
Jen Mc Monagle