Learning a foreign language is not an easy thing. It s the result of months, sometimes years of grammar, rules, lists of words, phrases, dialogues.
How does this result in learning a language?
Results? Almost always embarrassing. Practically everyone has tried this from time to time; who knows how many of us have already abandoned the venture?
My name is Claudio Santori and I’m among the Italians that have gone on. For 10 years I’ve lived abroad, first in Finland and then in Lithuania. I tried to learn English, then Finnish, then Lithuanian, Russian and German. I tried language courses, private lessons, mp3, podcasts, apps on the phone … I invested a lot of time and a lot of money. And I made some interesting discoveries.
For the past two years language learning has become a central part of my life.
In fact, while I was in a bar in Vilnius concentrating on the study of Lithuanian I had an epiphany. Create a software that could find interesting content for me at my level. A Google for languages, a search engine that can find stories, songs, jokes and other content which is suitable for my level, with a limited number of words always new and unknown. BliuBliu.com today is a reality, offering the opportunity to improve a student’s level in more than 100 languages.
Bliu Bliu was born from my deep conviction: that languages are difficult to learn if you do not solve the most important issue: the psychological aspect in language learning.
Why do kids learn languages faster than adults?
Kids don’t have problems learning languages.
Chinese, Lithuanian, Finnish, Italian, English, all children of 4-5 years are able to speak the language properly. Perfect pronunciation, use of appropriate vocabulary and ample ability to use grammar correctly.
Several studies have shown that children’s success is due to a brain that is still being molded, however, it is also due to psychological conditions.
For an adult the main problem is that when we learn a new language we feel stupid. It is not just a feeling ours, we are really stupid in the eyes of our stakeholders.
I am a 36 year old Italian who lives in Vilnius, Lithuania. I have an excellent command of the Italian language (after 10 years abroad still hope to remember all the rules!). But when I try to speak in Lithuanian anyone speaks better than me, including children. The feeling I have is stupidity.
Not being able to express myself is a problem. Another problem is not understanding almost anything of what people say.
Moreover, people begin to talk as if we were stupid, talking too slowly and articulating their speech word by word. Or worse give up and leave, because the conversation is honestly too boring.
In Lituania they start by learning Lithuanian, and they finish off speaking in English fluently.
Maslow’s Needs Pyramids
Here’s where Maslow’s Needs Pyramids come in handy.
Once they meet the basic needs (survival), this triggers the need to belong, to be accepted. Our brain is there ready to protect us every time we are in danger of being the most stupid person in a group, which is a dangerous situation.
10,000 years ago to be the most stupid meant to eat last, it meant not find a partner, it meant to be rejected by the group. And the same is true today. Or so our subconscious believes.
And it is precisely for this reason that our brain protects us from all those situations that do not make us feel at ease.
The problem is not just about learning the language: it is difficult for us adults to learn anything: tennis, sewing, playing guitar etc. etc. Languages make the problem bigger because a lack of knowledge deprives us from the opportunity to communicate. No one will ever say “I stopped studying English because I felt stupid”.
Here are the 4 classical excuses:
- I don’t have time
- Language xxx is too difficult
- I’m not capable of learning a new language
- I’m too old
The truth is that we are not capable of accepting the psychological challenges that are associated with learning a new language.
SO IS LEARNING A NEW LANGUAGE IMPOSSIBLE?
Experience shows that for some people it is relatively easy to learn a new language. Some people are able to speak about 5, 10, up to 20 languages. I have known people who can understand and speak 40 languages, many of these at a good level.
Here are the characteristics of those who can successfully learn a language
To learn a language you have to go through a period, or longer, during which you will feel stupid and you appear foolish to others.
Mistakes are part of the path. You have to fall a thousand times to learn to walk. You have to make a thousand grammatical errors before they learn to speak properly.
Find people to talk to, with whom you feel at ease. Girlfriends Wives and Husbands are among the worst possible choices.
Talk to older people. They have the patience and do not try to correct every mistake that you make.
Use BliuBliu.com Our site collects all the words that you know while recommending more content which is suitable for your level: video where there is only one difficult word to understand, and the rest is easy.
There is no method to learn a language which is valid for all. To progress quickly you need to focus on activities that we like.
If you love the grammar studying it will make you feel good. If you hate it, the study of grammar will not help you make progress.
If you love to talk to people everyday practice will make you feel good. If you’re shy and you are afraid of making mistakes, practice with native speakers will make you give up.
To learn a language successfully you have to feel comfortable. Avoid all activities that can make us feel stupid.
That’s why language learning through play is successful. But when these games are modeled on children’s play, they stop being useful for an adult audience.
How many of you have learned English by simply watching movies or TV series?
When you stop focusing on the study and the focus shifts to the fun, we become more receptive and we can learn a language without even realizing it.
The old methods used in schools are obsolete and will soon be replaced by new generation software, software that can offer a personalized experience for each student.
And this is the center of the experience that we offer on BliuBliu.com.