It depends on what your low self-esteem stems from, whether it is from your associates around you or from negative thoughts within you. As with anything, there will be those people who support you and your goals, and those who do not. Surround yourself with positive people who will encourage you. As for the rest, you don’t have to tell them that you are learning a foreign language. By the time they find out, you will be well along in your goal. If your low self-esteem is because of a lack of confidence on your part, think of the rewards learning a foreign language can bring. Also, you will be surprised at how much your self-esteem will improve when you are able to say your first words to a native speaker, and they actually understand you!
Learning a language has more to do with desire and motivation than it does with being intelligent. If you have a strong enough desire to learn the language, you will keep at it until you have achieved your goal. On the other hand, some ‘smart’ people may have a hard time learning a foreign language if they are not willing to think open-mindedly. . . which is absolutely essential to foreign language learning. Further, the way we learn in school does not represent all the possible ways that we are able to learn, nor does it even represent the best way to learn. We will discuss this in detail later.
I thought I knew the answer, until I began reading terms like “English as a Second Language” and “English as a Foreign Language”. What’s the difference? A second language usually refers to a language that you learn in the country where that language is spoken. Immigrants coming to the U.S.A. and learning English would be learning English as a Second Language (ESL).
A foreign language usually refers to a language that you learn where it is not the native tongue. For instance, a French student in the U.S. learning English would be learning English as a second language. A French student in France learning English is learning English as a foreign language (EFL). Some may even resent using the term foreign since they feel it has a negative connotation. They prefer to call non-native languages taught in a classroom as world languages.
Learning a foreign language adds variety and flavor to your life. You begin to see the world through eyes in addition to your own. For example, take the word, self-control. In Spanish, it is called auto-dominio, (domination of oneself). Analyzing the Spanish version of this word adds dimension to your existing understanding of the concept of self-control. And to think, this is just one example. Experts know that at one time humans spoke one language, and did indeed have one set of words.
Aurelia McNeil has been teaching languages for over twenty years.