Introduction to Book 1

Learning a language is a highly individual process and consists of a combination of factors of which the most important one is you, the learner. Let me ask you a question: What do you think motivates successful language learners?

• Word lists?
• Grammar books?
• Audio CDs or DVDs?
• Good intentions?

In reality, those choices are not the best choices in learning a language. In order to successfully learn a new language, you need to have:

• Motivation to learn
• Self–confidence
• A positive attitude

Ask yourself these questions before you start:

1. What are my reasons for learning the new language?
2. How important is it for me to learn it?
3. What have I found about the people who speak that language?
4. How much more of their culture do I want to understand or make a part of my own life?

Another way to keep the motivation going is maintaining your self–confidence in yourself as an intelligent adult. You are not stupid. It's true that it takes a kind of courage to approach strangers and ask them questions in the new language, knowing that you are likely to make mistakes. But the fear of speaking to strangers, especially in a foreign language, is natural — we all experience it. The trick, however, is to learn ways to deal with these fears so that they do not interfere with your language learning.

Profiting From Failure

The language learning business is a huge industry. It lives off your fears and hopes that you'll fail at completing the course or give up on trying to sound perfect like the audio files. They count on people spending a lot of money to buy these self-study courses and never complete them.

The reality is that many start with good intentions but give up because these courses are designed to tear down your self-confidence and make you fail. The industry lives because of this. How many times do they promise: "This time it will work!" or "This method will achieve the results you want!", "It’s the easiest and fastest way to learn a language!" Of course, they will also tell you their courses are used by the CIA, FBI and other government agencies or celebrities to make you believe that if it works for them, it works for you, too. And this leads us to the next topic... Don't Believe the Hype »