Language learning is a marathon

August 12, 2013

Every language learner will tell you that the process has been arduous and frustrating. Endless hours of lessons, repetitions and mispronunciations can get very annoying. But it pays off if we persevere and stick to the program.

There are many methods of learning a language but they all require discipline and perseverance. As students practice they progress and get better both at pronouncing the words and extending their vocabulary. A similar thing happens with marathoners. An extenuating amount of practice is needed for them to achieve their goals. Again, with time and training better performance ensues.

The great parallel between learning a language and running a marathon is the process that the individual goes through from the start to the finish line. Runners will confide that their minds go through a roller coaster of emotions during the race. The desire to give up is present at various times but the passion of competition or of the running itself usually ends up conquering those thoughts. The exact same feelings are felt by the language learner who at times, as it is normal, he/she will not see the desired results after a short period of time However, if one has the goal in sight and the many advantages and satisfactions that achieving that goal will bring, the learner can experience bliss at the end of the struggle.

Runner’s high is something the competitor can often feel during the race. Not to be confused with the high or ecstasy of finishing the race and beating one’s goal. A language learner will feel a similar range of emotions at the end of the journey, very seldom will these feeling be present in the duration of the language study. Both the runner and the learner fulfill their goals the same way. But they can also be defeated by the actions of their own mind. 

Language learning requires us to focus, be disciplined and persevere both mentally and emotionally. The runner must do this mentally and physically, which makes their accomplishments extremely satisfactory. 

For all of you language learners,, do not give up no matter how far YOU think the goal is. When you get there you will have completed one of the most satisfying marathons there are. And you will be a better person for it.

Until next time!