A Better Attitude towards Errors

Dans: Apprendre l'anglais
Note moyenne de 4 sur 5 Total 1 votes.

One characteristic of learning any new skill (including learning a foreign language) is the inevitable fact that everyone is going to make errors in the learning process.

As professional adults, we have been educated to think that errors are wrong and must be avoided at all costs. I say that in the learning process, errors are both necessary and desirable.

Consider a baby, for example. At a certain point, that baby will decide the time has come to walk. Will that baby’s first attempt be an unconditional success? You know the answer to that question. The baby might manage one step and then “face plant”. What happens next is critical…Does the baby say to himself, “I’m no good at this. I tried and it didn’t work, so I might as well give up.”? No, not at all. The baby will keep trying and keep trying until finally succeeds so well at moving from one place to another that his parents will sometimes have a hard time catching him. You see, each error informed the baby what he needed to do differently, and he eventually learned from those mistakes.

Have you ever taken a plane ride? Although you arrived at your destination, did you ever consider the fact that during your flight, that airplane was off course ninety-eight percent of the time? Well, it was, but yet you arrived safely. What really happened? As often as the airplane veered from its course, its onboard computers compensated for it and put the plane back on course – constantly.

So, by welcoming errors as an opportunity to learn and developing self-awareness about what we are saying, we can constantly improve our mastery of the language we have chosen to learn. NOTE: The comments I have just shared with you apply to the learning process – not that of performance (such as tests and interviews). An adequate level of expertise is needed to perform well on such things. However, we will reach this level faster if we do not berate ourselves – doing so is like running a footrace with lead weights strapped to each ankle!

  1. What does “veer” mean?
  2. What does “berate” mean?
  3. What happens if we choose to berate ourselves when we make mistakes in the learning process?