Does Practice Really Make Perfect?

When you begin learning another language, it can be a lot of fun. You start learning a ton of new words at a very fast pace. Everything is new and exciting! We may feel like we just want to keep learning more and more words without slowing down to review what we have learned already. However, reviewing and practicing what you have learned is one of the most important parts to learning a language.

Imagine for a second that you muster up the bravery to initiate a conversation with someone in the new language you are learning, only to suddenly find yourself grasping for vocabulary that you thought you had already committed to memory. How discouraging! Although, truth be told, it happens all the time.

If this happens to you, don’t be discouraged. It’s just part of learning the language! In fact, these kinds of experiences are great for learning (the more embarrassing the better). Neurologically speaking, we learn much more from making mistakes than we do from getting it right the first time. Remember mistakes are a good thing!

As nice as it would be to learn a sign or a word once and be done with it, unfortunately that’s not how the brain works. In the book “Unlimited Memory” by Kevin Horsley, he mentions that if you really want to remember something indefinitely, it will take a lot of reviewing. He suggests that when you learn something that you want to remember, you should review it an hour after you’ve learned it. Then you review it again every day for the next 3 days. Then once a week for the next 3 weeks. Then once a month for the next 3 months.

It may sound tedious, but it really does work. Kevin Horsley currently holds the world record for memorizing over 10,000 digits of pi, so his methods for memorization are clearly very effective. After reading his book, I’ve personally have seen a huge improvement in my memory as well. If you are tired of forgetting things or would like to commit more things to memory, I would highly recommend his book Unlimited Memory.

Even if you feel like you are not a language person, know that you can still learn another language! If you believe that you have limits, your life will be very limited. The first step to learning anything new is the knowledge that you have the potential to learn it. Be mindful of your mindset as you are going through the process of learning a new language. Your mindset will define how quickly you learn the language. Once you have the proper mindset, you can start making some serious progress.

As you continue to learn the language and making progress, just always remember the importance of practice. If we don’t put into practice what we have learned, we will not get very far. The old adage of “If you don’t use it, you lose it” is very true.

Which brings us back to the original question of this article … Does practice really make perfect? The short answer is yes. If you realize that you have the potential to learn any language, regardless of your age or perceived limitations, and you put into practice what you learn, you’ll be successful!

Unlimited Memory by Kevin Horsley

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