Starting to learn a new language can be tricky, and your first tries at mastering the new vocabulary and a totally new grammatical system will no doubt lead to you making a good amount of mistakes.
Traditional learning tells us that mistakes are bad, and that we should try to avoid them at all costs, this can make certain students feel scared to speak and be active in their new language thus, slowing down their progress. However, mistakes can be the key to mastering a new language quickly and when analyzed correctly they can provide great feedback and prove to be a fantastic tool to improve our progress. So contrary to what you have been told, mistakes are actually a very good tool to help your progress.
To clear things up, no one is suggesting that you make mistakes on purpose or not try to correct mistakes once you realized you are making them. This behavior can lead to bad habits that will be hard to unlearn in the future. However constantly analyzing your speech and writing while making the most of the feedback and criticism you get can bear great results.
Improve grammar and vocabulary
Let’s take for example the importance of speaking in your new language, regardless of your level, or whether you do it with your teacher, your tutor or some native speaker. While you might feel reluctant, communicating can prove to be a fantastic way to correct mistakes like the bad pronunciation of words, poorly understood grammatical structures, and idioms you didn’t quite get. It is the only way to take a bad habit and turn it into a lesson. Being corrected may seem embarrassing but it will certainly help you retain the correct form, and ensure that you won’t make the same mistake again.
Analyzing your speaking mistakes can prove a great way to understand the meaning of a word and not just the basic definition. The English language has a lot of words with double meanings and it’s actually important to make mistakes in this field because you will always remember the various connotations of tricky words.
The most important thing is your attitude towards mistakes. If you let them bother you enough and scare you into silence your progress will surely have to suffer. However, learning from them can help you with certain areas of learning English that would be very hard to reach by a traditional learning method.
Mistakes are a measure of progress
The bottom line is that you should be proud of your mistakes. They are an essential part of learning a new language and are simply unavoidable. You should be proud because it shows that you are constantly trying and while it may seem daunting to have every single mistake pointed out to you it is the measure of your effort and progress. The only people who don’t make mistakes are the ones who aren’t committed and who aren’t trying.
Learning from your mistakes while you learn a new language will also help build character, and will help you be proactive and solution oriented when you encounter difficulties in any other field or undertaking.