4 Reasons Why it is Difficult to Learn a New Language as an Adult

by Janet Anthony

It is common knowledge that learning a new language as an adult is difficult, however, many people don’t understand why this is the case. One would think that an adult, who is much more capable of sitting still, and communicating in a well-developed manner would have an easier time learning a second language than a young child who is not. However, the opposite is usually true. Young children always have the easiest time learning a new language, and the older one gets the harder it becomes. If you’ve ever wondered why to keep reading.

1. Lack of time

With a job, and possibly a child or elderly relative to look after it is easy to understand why it might be difficult for one to find the time to learn a new language. Even watching a video, or taking a short, online class doesn’t seem appealing because most of it represents, even more, loss of your already dwindling free time.

2. You don’t absorb information as easily

As a child, you easily absorb the information you are given from a young age. Your entire life you have probably heard your parents speak one language, watch television in one language, and so on. You absorbed that one language, and by the time you were able to speak you were able to do so in a somewhat fluent manner. However, as an adult, this becomes difficult, as you don’t absorb this information or make the connections as easily as you did as a child.

3. We treat language learning like any other class

As we try to learn a new language, we try to organize things in a certain way. Much like the different styles of mathematics, or the dates in history. Learning a language simply doesn’t work like this, and being able to describe how it works doesn’t necessarily help in being able to learn it.

4. Adults try too hard to “Figure things out”

As you become older you tend to develop a key towards problem solving, which leads you to look at a language from a completely different standpoint from a child. A child is told that an apple is red, they do not question it, or ensure that they say it correctly. They simply know that it is red. However, as an adult, you don’t go from point “A” to point “B” as easily. You spend a lot of time trying to figure out why, which makes it hard to understand the basic point the language had made.

As one can easily see there are many reasons as to why it is difficult for an adult to learn a new language. Due to the fact that we think and act differently from children. However learning a new language is not impossible. Everyone learns in a different manner, it’s up to you for you to find the best way for yourself to learn.

About the writer

Janet Anthony is a blogger from Kansas City and writing editor at WritingDaddy.com who has been writing professionally for five years now. Her motto is “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows”. Find Janet here: twitter


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