Most of my current English (EFL) students are adults. Some progress quickly, others struggle for each step.
Some are studying for university or their jobs, others for travel, and the remainder for the community bonding they get in each class.
The ones that progress the fastest are those who are curious about English, and those who are not afraid of making mistakes.
These are the essential things you need to learn languages easily.
Curiosity helps the learning process
Curiosity makes you want to learn more, to find out interesting bits of information and search for bridges to existing knowledge, either in English or your native language. You search for new words, notice patterns, and look for why the language is used as it is. You can concentrate and remember words and grammar structures more easily.
Curiosity makes picking up a second or third language much easier, you always want to explore and pick up new things.
You aren’t motivated by an external reason, learning it solely for school or work purposes. You don’t get bored or burned out easily from studying.
Curiosity is completely internal, and naturally provides motivation.
Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning. ~ William Arthur Ward
Not afraid of making mistakes
Everyone makes them, so there really is nothing to be frightened of. And in fact, most native speakers make tons of mistakes, knowingly and unknowingly, in their every day speech!
If you do make a mistake that creates a misunderstanding, what will happen? The world stops turning? The sun explodes? Nope.
People are almost always patient with language learners, and very happy to see you trying to learn and use their language.
Without the fear of mistakes, you are comfortable with speaking and writing from the beginning, which in turn speeds up your language learning.
Do what you fear and fear disappears. ~ David Joseph Schwartz
Combine being not afraid with curiosity, and you have an unstoppable force, propelling you towards fluency!
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