It's OK to be nervous!
Hello friends! We are all living the COVID life, and a lot of us want to learn languages but at a safe distance. A really good way to do that is by finding a tutor online! But sometimes, we feel really nervous and don’t know how to approach language learning when we’re shy or introverted.
So what do you do when you feel nervous for your first online language lesson?
Here are 4 tips.
Tips for introverted language learners
Book the lesson as soon as you can
Try to book the lesson as close to the present time as possible. When I book something ahead of time and there’s a lot of time between now and then, I to start getting nervous. If you’re really nervous, you can try booking a lesson for that evening, or for the next day, or at least that weekend so that there’s not too much time between now and then.
This post is not sponsored, but I like to use italki to book language learning lessons. I use italki for Hungarian, Tagalog, Chinese, Korean and Spanish – and it’s been a great help in finding tutors who are skilled, available at various times, and suited to any budget. For readers of my blog who use the link below to sign up to italki, you will get $10 free credits after your first lesson!
Prepare topics ahead of time
If you’re booking a conversational lesson, it’s useful to prepare your own topics beforehand so that you are comfortable with the content and vocabulary you might use. The best thing that I like to do with my Hungarian lessons is to write a few sentences beforehand. You can even get it checked by a friend or use Google Translate (it’s okay, it’s still part of the learning process!)
Create your own sentences and then you know you have something -at least a phrase or a few sentences – to say to your tutor. Don’t aim too high above your current level so that you don’t get overwhelmed or feel pressured to memorize new words.
TL;DR: Video version of this post
Changing your mindset and realizing that you are here to learn and that you are going to be a baby in this language is difficult but important. Language learning is a new situation and it will be hard to express yourself. Just relax and remind yourself that your tutor is not here to laugh at you. They are not going to judge you. Language lessons are wonderful situations where you can learn a language with someone who patiently guides you to your goals.
If you’re really struggling, see if you can do anything that helps calm you down before your lesson. Drink some tea, light a nice candle, journal about your anxieties. Take it one day at a time!
Remember to be easy on yourself. Life gets in the way sometimes. I barely have time to do my homework sometimes, but I still give myself a pat on the back when I make it to my lessons despite how busy I am.
It gets better! You will improve. It just takes time. Nothing is easy and perfect from the first moment, so give yourself grace and time. Take it one day at a time; one baby step at a time. I like to journal about my lanuage learing progress so I can see how far I’ve come since I’ve started. Once you notice that you are making slow but steady progress, the learning journey will feel much smoother.
I believe in you! Go ahead and book your first lesson!