Common Spoken Mistake #1

“I can communicate perfectly if I just have a list of words to change!”

If learning a language were this simple, we could all be bilingual after just a few classes.  Of course learning new vocabulary is a great way to form competence in the language, but only knowing the vocabulary will not assist to communicate your ideas properly. Language isn’t just about translating your sentences and memorizing phrases; it’s all about effectively communicating your ideas, which requires knowledge of nonverbal communication as well!

Communication is a complex system that takes time to master.

The Solution

Beginning language students should not expect to become fluent in a short amount of time, but should expect to learn the patterns of the language by practicing frequently. Learning some of the culture can help you to communicate effectively as well. Do not assume that all forms of communication are the same in every culture, for example: hand gestures and body language can indicate entirely different meanings in another country. Be careful not to send the wrong message!

Focus on nonverbal communication as well as vocabulary and you will be able to gain confidence in the language and successfully connect with others.