Fear as a barrier to learning
Learning to SPEAK a language is much more difficult than studying about a language, because speaking is a type of performing, and many people are inhibited from learning to speak a new language by their own very real fears of public performance:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of looking silly
- Fear of embarrassment
- Fear of making mistakes
- Fear of not being confident enough
Confronting and overcoming those fears can be a very difficult process, but one that can be made much easier if the learner has some way of building their confidence and practise their performance in a safe and private environment first.
That is one of the supreme strengths of elearning, compare with learning in a group with a live instructor. Online, no-one need ever see your early awkward attempts, or your frequent mistakes. Online learning can shield you from public criticism until you have acquired confidence in your own ability.
A program like YES – that’s easy! is in many ways better than all the other more conventional ways of learning to speak a new language, better even than private tuition with a trained tutor. Even one-on-one tuition can be an intimidating activity for someone who is painfully shy and uncomfortable with any kind of critical attention.
The opportunity to practise online in complete privacy helps shy learners build their competence and confidence to the point where public and personal language interactions become possible.