Making mistakes is part and parcel of learning and whilst this is an obvious fact, there is still a slight stigma that prevents people from venturing in optimal exploration and learning. Unfortunately, in today’s result-oriented society, errors are meant to be interpreted as failures. Many individuals would often prefer to keep mum as opposed to practising what they’ve learnt, lest they embarrassed themselves in front of an audience. This is especially the case for language learners.
However, we’re here to tell you that making mistakes is not only permissible when learning, but is instead encouraged! By being aware of what needs to be rectified, you’ll be a step closer to being fluent and proficient. Read on to discover in detail why mistakes are, in fact, necessary in language learning.
Our brains may be supercomputers, but that doesn’t mean they’re exempted from erring. When you’re learning something for the very first time, the brain instantly tries to associate it with something that you’re already familiar with through a process of assimilation. On top of needing to solidify new and reinforce old connections, your brain has to also filter out unnecessary information. This reasons why many of those who have already mastered a language are still susceptible to language attrition if they’re not practised often as the brain perceives it as useless pieces of information.
Learning from mistakes is quite effective, and there’s biological evidence that suggests as such! There are two responses when one makes an error. Your brain will send out an Error-Related Negativity (ERN) wave 50 millionths of a second after you’ve made a mistake. The second brain wave, error positivity (Pe) will come 50 to 550 milliseconds later.
ERN is linked with the ability to be aware when things didn’t go as plan and to better your working memory. The latter is believed to represent the conscious attention given to the error, followed by an effort to allocate mental resources to rectify and rebound. Which only means increasing and solidifying your brain connections, which in turns leads to improvement!
Most times, you’re not made aware of the mistakes you’ve made till somebody else points it out. Having a tutor to overlook your work and identify the errors are just some of the perks of being enrolled in a class.
Of course, it doesn’t discredit the fact that those who learn languages on their own can still improve by working with practice and exam papers. However, if you’re hoping to ace an exam that’s internationally recognised, having a tutor to guide you will make the entire learning process slightly easier. For instance, those who want to have access to the global job market will want to attain the IELTS certificate as it provides better accessibility. Thus, enrolling in an IELTS course with teachers who are familiar with the exam will be the most beneficial.
Learning in itself is a mark of personal development, but having the tools to properly navigate around your mistakes is not to be understated. Furthermore, the skills and techniques that you’d gain in conjunction will aid you even outside of learning!
When you’ve made up your mind to learn a specific language, the end goal is to achieve mastery and proficiency. During the entire process, you’re bound to make mistakes along the way and some of them might even be embarrassing. But don’t shy away from any of them as it’s a wonderful thing! The mistakes will rally your attention and register in your mind, which will pave the way for revision and progress.
If you’re keen to learn English or improve your mastery of the language, English Explorer is here to help! Our online English classes are designed to build your mastery and confidence in the language, all whilst staying safe during the pandemic. With our experienced teachers guiding through the entire process, mistakes will no longer be something to be so afraid of.
Our teachers are committed to giving 100% to help every student who is enrolled in our English classes. Our classes are also fun and exciting to spur learning and retention for our students. In turn, they will love the language and excel in it too. Learn English in Singapore with us today!
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