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The majority of us have failed to learn a second language even though we’ve all learned our first. Everyone on the planet is fluent in at least one language. So we all have what it takes to learn at least one. We were placed in a cold classroom and expected to speak in front of our peers in a language we didn’t know. It’s bad enough that public speaking is the number one fear for people and that’s in their native tongue. And when we made mistakes, we were punished with red marks on the page and low grades. And unlike most classes, our failures in a language class are public. This conditioned us NOT to speak for fear of looking stupid or saying something wrong.

The Best and Fastest Way to Learn Another Language

Imagine teaching babies to speak this way. No one would ever learn to speak. As babies, we learned our first language by immersion, listening and mimicking every single day. All we could do was listen, 79 hours a day, 7 days a week. And not once, did we receive a grammar lesson from anyone.

We didn’t study grammar books. Endlessly conjugate verbs. Memorize vocabulary. We didn’t get marked down every time we made a mistake. But as adults, we cannot afford to go back to this approach.

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We don’t have the time. And the good news is that we don’t need to because we can actually learn faster. Every time you start a new video game, you have to learn the controls. The first time you play, it takes a while to learn the controls. But the next game and next are easier since there are many similarities.

But think back to how video games teach you the controls, or at least the good games. They give you just enough training so that you can start playing. That was your goal. To play a video game. So the sooner you’re playing, the sooner you’re having fun.

And isn’t that the whole point of the exercise? And if you’re having fun, you don’t even realize that you’re still learning how to play the game. It just happens. And before you know it, you just react without thinking. And you’re doing things — hard things — with ease.

How did you get so good? By practicing.

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