Making Mistakes To Achieve Success

By: Jakarta English Training (JET)

Mistakes are the Mother of Success: But what does this really mean?

Developing confidence is an important part of learning a language. I am a firm believer that mistakes are an important part of any learning cycle. As Henry Ford famously said: "I don't make mistakes, I learn too much from them". In the case of English as second language these wise words have so much truth attached to them. In many instances, I have seen capable non-native English speakers become withdrawn and shy when it comes to speaking with native English speakers.

With regards to increasing confidence, a major obstacle for many Asian speakers to overcome is the "loss of face" feeling when speaking to native English Speakers. It is essential to engage in self-deprecating antics which may bring forth laughter from your peers, showing that laughing with and at is accepted as an integral part of the learning process. You should constantly remind yourself to leave your "face" at home and that you have nothing to lose. Having slightly embarrassing moments and laughing about your language oversights always makes a great story, in English of course.

Getting back to Henry Ford's quote, the next stage is to recognize the self-discovery process of one's mistakes. Sophia Lorean, a famous Italian and American actress once wittingly told a bunch of reporters that, "After all these years, I am still involved in the process of self-discovery. It's better to explore and make mistakes than to play it safe." Therefore, with regards to mistakes in English, it is important to take linguistic risks and it is equally as important to make a mental note and try to examine what went wrong. This process may be tiresome at first because you may not know were to begin. Even if you did not recognize the cause of your mistake, it is always a good idea to try and investigate the cause of you language slip.

I would also like to consider another important part to learning: the discovering of personal study techniques that will work for you. In educational circles, educationalists all agree that "one size" does not "fit all", and this is especially the case when it comes to learning English. Even though there are many study methods out there, the key is to adapt the ones that work for you into your own special style. This could, for example, be as simple as studying in the morning rather than in the night or having funny word association techniques to remember troublesome words. Remember, if it works for you, 'do it'.

With all this in mind, unfortunately the world is full of critics. They play no ball, they fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they generally attempt nothing. Down in the arena are the doers. They make mistakes because they try many things. The person who makes no mistakes may lack boldness and the spirit for a learning adventure. One may dare to say, this type of person puts the brakes on the wheel of progress.

Jakarta English Training
www.jetindonesia.com

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