Many students, adults especially, make a lot of common English mistakes. Being incorrect is frustrating and people do not like to make mistakes.
This is probably the number one problem with learning English.
To learn English you NEED to make mistakes...so you can learn from them.
Watch this fantastic video by my friend Robby K. He makes some great points about mistakes and fluency.
Time and time again my students ask me;
People make mistakes because they are learning something new. Think about when you learnt how to do something, like ride a bike or surf for the first time? Did you jump on the bike and ride away like a pro? NO! You fell over, lost your balance and didn't feel comfortable!
That is how people learn. They try...and then something goes wrong. Then they try again and avoid the last mistake, and a new one happens.
SO again and again you are making common English mistakes and correcting yourself, learning something new. Knowing why you are learning English can keep you motivated.
My answer to this question usually doesn't make my students feel better.
MAKE MORE MISTAKES!
What??? Why would you want me to make more mistakes?
Well, if you make common English mistakes, it is because you are using English and trying to use it properly. If you are not making any mistakes it means that you either have very good English OR...you are self concious and not using your English very much.
I always tell my students to talk a lot and make mistakes, so that I can correct them. Then they learn from their mistakes. That is why you make mistakes, TO LEARN FROM from them. That is why common English mistakes are needed. They are frustrating...but needed.
But many of you might ask,
In that case you need to adapt your learning. For example...if you are studying grammar from a book and you don't know if you have made a mistake or just provided a new way of responding to the question... you will need to ask someone (a native speaker or English teacher) for clarification. Don't know a native speaker or teacher? NOW YOU DO! ME!! Ask me!
If you make mistakes while speaking with people, I'm sorry but you just need to ignore it. People know you are learning English as a second language. They don't care as much as you think. YOU care far more than anyone else. Obviously I am speaking about intermediate learners who can speak in English but make mistakes frequently.
If you are a beginner you will make mistakes all the time. Try to accept that now. Mistakes are needed to improve. You are going to make mistakes but EVERYONE will be making mistakes.
Don't worry about it. Just keep trying. Keep studying, keep talking, keep surrounding yourself in English and soon you will notice that you are making fewer mistakes (or that you just don't care anymore because people understand you and that is what learning a language is all about... communication).
By accepting the mistakes that you make and will make in the future, you free yourself from frustration and anger that will only limit you. Being frustrated does NOT help you learn English. Confidence and positive thinking keeps you going and will help you reach your goals faster!
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