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Why Can You Still Not Speak a Foreign Language?

Having talked to dozens of students studying abroad, most of them have a common problem to put forth. Even, those making preparations for their study abroad journey have a similar problem to report.  It’s about learning to speak in a language that is followed by the natives. This problem, reportedly, outweighs all other challenges and difficulties that are faced by students. Most of them have been trying really hard to improve their fluency in a local language but there are no significant results. The progress has been much slower than expected and it has led to frustration.

Notably, language fluency is important to settle in a new place that imposes diverse challenges for every student. Settlement in a foreign land never comes easy. And, it gets even more challenging when there are language barriers. You unable to get friendly with locals, explore new places, or grasp the educational system quickly.

After talking to students who face issues in learning a new language, I analyzed several common patterns that restrict their learning curve as compared to others who are fast learners of a new language. Therefore, I compiled a list of reasons as to why you’re not able to master a new language:


Are you into reading books?

If no, it’s a time to get into your reading groove. Reading books other than your textbooks is much more important than you may ever think when it comes to learning a new language.

If yes, then are you reading the books in a language you’re trying to master?

Reading textual information of some kinds in a language you’re learning helps you make very quick advancements in the whole learning process.

*Career Coach Special Tip*

Pick translated versions of the books you’ve read before off the shelf so as to make your learning fun and not a mundane task.

Notably, you must read aloud and not just scan the textual information contained in a book. Reading aloud offers you numerous benefits. Not only it helps you in quickly memorizing new words/ phrases, but also it helps you in improving your pronunciation of difficult words. You start gaining a better control over the language.

Read Also: How Can Plagiarism Negatively Affect Your Personal Essay or SOP?


Are you into the habit of taking notes each time you learn a new word or phrase? When you maintain notes of words that are frequently used in a language, the chances of getting stuck during a conversation gets minimal. Not only does it help you to remember different words, but also it helps you a great deal when you come across any new word. You may use your notes to reference the word so as to look up later and learn about its usage. Thus, you feel more confident and want to converse more in that particular language.

Music/ Movies

Getting tuned to the music you grew up listening to is certainly a great way to combat homesickness and beat your stress. I couldn’t agree more that the same implies to the movies. But, it is a major hindrance in your language learning. It is, therefore, recommended that you listen to different genres of music and watch movies in a language you want to learn. It will also help in improving your pronunciation.


Do you hang out with local students or students who are fluent in a language in which you are seeking perfection?
Mostly, the students have a core group of friends who either belong to their home country or converse in the same language as they do. This is probably the worst thing to do if you’re a serious learner. It is, therefore, recommended that you use a new language for personal communication.

Cell phone and other gadgets

Have you changed the settings of your cell phone to a new language you’re studying?
If not, you must do it right now as all of us spend maximum time on mobile phones these days. Considering the amount of reading and texting we do with our phones, it is one of the best ways to master a new language in the quickest possible way. You may even apply this to all the other gadgets that you use like iPad.

Learning a new language is neither a rocket science nor does it happen overnight. It takes a lot of patience and continuous practice to master a new language. Above all, language learning is all about believing in your abilities.