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  • Mark J.E. Walker

Language learning in a perfect world



Learning a language is easy in a perfect world! All you have to do is follow a course and you’re there! And in this perfect world you are a perfect language learner.


• You have a perfect memory and you remember everything without effort. You only have to introduce the data once and it’s on your hard disc ready to be accessed whenever, wherever.

• The language has a perfectly predictable pronunciation, you just have to look at a word and know how it is pronounced.

• You have perfectly flexible vocal organs that allow you to pronounce like a native speaker from the get-go.

• You have perfect ears too. You can effortlessly differentiate words and syllables from the stream of speech.

• Grammar is perfect and follows hard and fast rules, there are no idiomatic expressions and no exceptions.

• You have perfect processing. You can study a grammar rule, any grammar rule, remember it and apply it at will instantaneously, automatically and without thinking.

• Your perfect processor allows you to understand everything in real time, no matter the speed.

• All new words are understandable through context so you can pick them up effortlessly and add them to the flawless personal dictionary growing in your brain.

• People always speak in perfect full grammatical sentences with clear pronunciation and at a comfortable speed.

• They are patient and kind and love to speak to you, even when you are a beginner.

• You have an unshakeable self-confidence and can communicate with anyone in the new language without a hint of self-doubt or self-consciousness. Mistakes, if you make them, are met with smiles and warm encouragement.

• And of course, you have ample amounts of time to concentrate on your new language as well as being exposed to it on a daily basis.


Unfortunately, we are not perfect people and we do not live in a perfect world. If you think that buying an English course and/or going to English class, however good they may be, will be enough to overcome the many obstacles to language learning, then think again.


Language learning is hard, very hard, messy and unpredictable and no-one can give you a language, it’s something that you have to take for yourself with a considerable amount of time and effort.


Over the next few weeks I’m going to do a series of posts on how to cope with the fact that languages are far from perfect, we are not computers and do not live in perfect world.