The Five Stages of Grief Over Learning a New Language
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The Five Stages of Grief Over Learning a New Language

The Ups and Downs of Following Your Language Dream

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The Five Stages of Grief Over Learning a New Language
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Learning a new language is difficult. It's time consuming, confusing, and exciting all at the same time, and while the road may be filled with potholes and bumps, the rewards are amazing. Yet language students can often find themselves situated in what I call 'the five stages of language-learning grief'. Please know that I am no language expert, teacher, or professor, but I do know that learning new languages can be a kind of torture at times!

1. Hopefulness and the expectation that you will fully master (insert language of choice).

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Aw, how cute. You think it’ll be easy. Yeah, you just enjoy those nice little phrases now, wait a couple weeks for the pain to start kicking in.

2.Panic

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Wait, what? What are conjugations? There’s more than just the past, present, and future tense? *Stares at practice quiz in front of them* What is this? What happened to ‘how are you?’ and ‘good day’?

3.The realization that you have no idea what you’re doing.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F10%2F01%2F636108901158336073-1353479152_giphy%2520%281%29.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=702&h=5f13c32f8d48382b6f67d5904f05f612023c482a57a365164f9aef096aae3df9&size=980x&c=3152454940 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F10%252F01%252F636108901158336073-1353479152_giphy%252520%25281%2529.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D702%26h%3D5f13c32f8d48382b6f67d5904f05f612023c482a57a365164f9aef096aae3df9%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3152454940%22%7D" expand=1]

This sentence. Why is the verb first? Where’s the person’s name? ‘It’ has, like, four different definitions depending on gender? Hold on, there are three alphabets? What’s this symbol mean? What in the world is a tilde?

4.Despair

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F10%2F01%2F636108901443382375-601862343_giphy.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=561&h=b663a053495ba208849f66aa09d981f694bd34cd49b94adfb11ee899242c93ba&size=980x&c=3180191695 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F10%252F01%252F636108901443382375-601862343_giphy.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D561%26h%3Db663a053495ba208849f66aa09d981f694bd34cd49b94adfb11ee899242c93ba%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3180191695%22%7D" expand=1]

This is the fifth time you haven’t spoken a single word in class. You dread getting your quiz back, and you worry about the midterm and final constantly, even though it’s only the second week of October. You feel as though you’ll never get the hang of it, even though your friends and family tell you to hang in there.

5. Enough.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F10%2F01%2F636108901661843064-1496533506_giphy%2520%283%29.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=460&h=e2c51bfe2a64227ac01e0bbf2d26744b6353b87c20822edd5315de05fbd0de38&size=980x&c=2975517791 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F10%252F01%252F636108901661843064-1496533506_giphy%252520%25283%2529.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D460%26h%3De2c51bfe2a64227ac01e0bbf2d26744b6353b87c20822edd5315de05fbd0de38%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2975517791%22%7D" expand=1]

You take a sip of your coffee, stare down at your notes, and get to work. A’s don’t write themselves, ya’ know, and trips to distant lands are way more fun when you can actually socialize. So, do yourself a favor and cut yourself some slack. Nobody’s perfect, and learning a language is downright difficult!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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