Langauge learning and mental health

Language learning should be enjoyable but there are also lots of psychological pitfalls which those of us studying Chinese intensively commonly fall into. I discussed this issue on my podcast (link below) with two friends, Karl Baker, a language app programmer and UXP designer Esther Birts. We talk about dealing with comments and judgments from native speakers, coping with moments when we failed to live up to our expectations of ourselves and much more. How about you? Let me know your experiences :slight_smile: Mental Health & the Psychological Highs and Lows of Learning Chinese (Podcast) – I'm Learning Mandarin

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I find learning Greek a big challenges and takes up some energy and patience which may otherwise affect your mental health. I often find comments and corrections very unhelpful and misguided. Having said that, a sense of progress on a difficult task is a great feeling.

I use such negative experiences to motivate myself. Yes, they do happen in the workplace by natives as they are in a hurry to pass on instructions and have no patience at all for repeating themselves. As long as you are using them to improve your weak points in your target language; they can be construed as direct feedback and in the end, you want honest feedback. It is all good as long as you do something with it. I know if my listening skills are not up to mark, then I will do something with it. May introduce a different strategy such as active listening and repetitive listening more often.
It is great you are fixing your tones and you can overcome fossilization of mistakes with deliberate practice. That’s eye opening for many learners.

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You got me interested. Psychological well-being is profoundly influenced by the time we spend on social media, as discussed in Excessive use can trigger anxiety, depression, and a sense of inadequacy due to constant comparisons. Escaping this trap requires setting boundaries and prioritizing self-care. By allocating more time to meaningful offline interactions, hobbies, and mindfulness practices, we can nurture our mental health.

Learning French here…

I had an intense dotcom job back in the late 90s. I fell in love with French music, so I started self-learning French very part-time.

A month later I visited a couple who were sending their early teen son to Alliance française. I tried a bit of my novice French and the kid fried me for my pronunciation.

Yeah, he was just a kid and his mother chided him, but boy it sure killed my interest in French then.

So I’ve taken up French again. I got over the kid – he is now bilingual and living in France – but I am still determined to learn French and get the accent tolerably right.

It is tough to get hard criticism when one is learning. That’s the way of the world. Language teachers tell you not to worry about mistakes. OK.

But there really are people who will give you grief and one is wise to take that possibility into account.

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