2017 Pennsylvania State University graduate Ryan Elantri enjoyed a unique opportunity to begin study of Mandarin Chinese at an early age. Since that point, Ryan Elantri has not only become quite proficient in Mandarin, but has also successfully earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese Language and Literature, and has even been honored with the chance to host workshops for English-language learners in Shanghai.
As Mr. Ryan Elantri knows, the process of jumping into and becoming fluent in another language isn’t always easy, and often presents the individual with a number of potential pitfalls along the way. Mistakes are common, but avoiding such issues is possible.
Learning without Aim
Many striving to learn a new language don’t have a specific goal in mind when they begin the process. It’s important to ask yourself such questions as “Why do I want to learn this language?” and “What do I hope to achieve with this newfound skill?”, as giving yourself a purpose can provide the motivation needed to keep working and studying throughout the process.
Being Ashamed of Mistakes
One of the biggest mistakes people make when learning a new language is feeling embarrassment when they make a mistake. It’s important to understand that learning any language is wrought with potential errors, and that the best way to make it through such mistakes is to view them as opportunities to learn, not lament.
Failing to Practice
Classroom instruction, as Ryan Elantri knows, is often essential to the learning process, but failure to supplement that experience with practice and initiative on your own can slow if not stall your path to fluency. Take time to practice as often as possible.