Talent vs. Hard Work in Language Learning

By Lauren Laporte • 5 minute read

How many times have you heard, or even said yourself, that you need talent to be successful in language learning? You’ve probably met children and adults who seem to have it all figured out. They simply show up to class and start speaking in a new language without any difficulty. You may be quick to judge them as gifted, but be careful. It’s actually more likely that they’re simply hard working with it comes to language learning. Anyone can learn a language if they try.

The Value of Hard Work in Language Learning

To learn anything, you have to invest time and effort into it. Hard work, dedication, and regular practice can help make anyone from nobody into a professional over time. Executive, athlete, even polyglot, it doesn’t matter, hard work often pays off. 

Simply put, it sometimes comes down to how quickly you learn. This is something that’s probably most obvious in schools. Classrooms contain numerous children with different capabilities, backgrounds, and interests, with one teacher guiding them through their lessons. Those who learn quickly often receive compliments and praise. In turn, this boosts their confidence and provides them with the motivation they need to try harder, do more and become more. This emphasized the myth that they have a talent for language learning.

Then there are those who struggle to learn. These kids are usually aware of this fact. Rather, they see it as some sort of shortcoming. And this can take its toll on their self-esteem, causing them to give up more easily when they reach obstacles. With enough failure, they teach themselves that they can’t learn over over time. And that’s the problem.

Just because something is difficult, doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do, especially with language learning. If you find yourself struggling, don’t let this be an excuse that will drive you to give up. Instead, use it as motivation to help better yourself and perhaps change the way you approach language learning and the methods you use.

The Importance of Foreign Language Teachers 

Other than being able to pass on knowledge, it’s the teachers’ role to be there for their students and to inspire them when they stumble across various obstacles in the curriculum. This is especially important for the younger learners, since developing self-esteem is as significant for them at that age as acquiring various skills, if not more.

This is why parents who want their children to learn or even acquire a new language should be careful when choosing schools. Fortunately, the schools are aware of this as well, which is why sending a child to a place like the eminent Monkey Tree English learning center can make a huge difference. The techniques and methods they use are focused on inspiring children. Their goal is to help them easily build their vocabulary. They also work to help enhance their comprehension using immersing and engaging materials.

Having caring teachers matters, and that’s often hard with the current state of language learning education. Teachers who pay equal attention to each child, who encourage students to express themselves and who nurture and develop their students’ creativity in order to teach them better are something to be valued. When the teacher is persistent and capable, they’ll have more to offer to their students. They can also make the learning process much more pleasant, enticing all their students to keep working hard. 

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Is Linguistic Intelligence the Same as Language Learning Talent?

When people say that somebody has a talent for language learning, more often than not they actually mean that the person is intelligent. To some extent, this may be true. And when it comes to language learning, whether or not you have linguistic intelligence is surely something to consider.

Having linguistic intelligence, among other things, means that you have a way with words. It means that your vocabulary is extensive. It also means that you understand how a language works, so that you can use it exceptionally well.

language learning achievements dont require talent

Does Linguistic Intelligence Make Learning Languages Easier?

With linguistic intelligence, you understand the underlying rules of a language. These rules make sense to you. And it’s likely that you’ll find the rules of foreign languages logical as well. This can lead to you learn other languages faster and with less effort. It also makes sense that people with some sort of musical background will have less difficulty with accents and sentence rhythm than those without it.

Gifts can only get you so far, however. Having the ability to play an instrument or sing is, doesn’t make you a musician. And having linguistic intelligence doesn’t make you a polyglot. Sure, it can be helpful when learning a language, but it doesn’t mean that you’ll have guaranteed success. You’ll still need to hard work to achieve your goals of reaching fluency fast.

So, the next time you tell yourself that you can’t learn a language because you don’t have a talent for it, think again. Remember: you’ve already learned one language. The goal is to keep trying, even when things seem too tough to handle. Persistence, hard work, and determination make foreign language-learning happen. Tell yourself that you can do it and eventually you will.

Lauren Laporte