Friday, November 13, 2015

"I just have no talent for languages."

Lots of people think they have no talent for languages. The reason, I think is that they have been in classes that provide very little comprehensible input and focus on grammar learning and memorizing vocabulary. In these cases, students are forced to try to acquire language using brain mechanisms that were not designed for it. Tragically, when they fail, they blame themselves.
    Here is an analogy: You are asked to paint a wall. But instead of doing it with your preferred hand, you have to do it with your other hand. And you have to face away from the wall and paint it by leaning over and reaching the wall between your legs. You will probably do a lousy job of painting the wall under those conditions.  Do you blame yourself, and conclude you just have no talent for painting walls? Of course not. The fault is the technique, not your ability.
   Anyone does not acquire much from a traditional language class should not conclude that he or she has no talent for languages. The fault was the method, not the student’s.
S. Krashen


  1. Y esos son obstáculos-los cuales se pudieron prevenir- que llevan a una persona a negarse la oportunidad de crecer y expandir su repertorio lingüístico. ¡Una tragedia!
    Helena, ILTX

  2. I've been trying to learn Spanish for about the past 6 months by reading children's and YA books, but even that doesn't seem to help much. I think the fault is in my brain.