Learning Spanish: The Affective Factor

The biggest problem for most Americans who want to learn Spanish, but do not succeed is the emotional factor. In simple terms this means that emotional problems; ie adults panicked at the thought of making mistakes seems like too much to bear for them.

The Affective Factor in action!

I have been with many American expatriates and monolingual Canadians in Mexico who do not speak Spanish. Therefore, they are forced to live in different Gringolandias because they are too afraid to communicate in Spanish. They themselves see the problem as his “old age” or as a cantankerous old coot he said, “I have too bad a willingness to learn Spanish.”

Indeed, the fear of making a mistake is the issue here. If you attend a class or you are in place when it comes to producing something in oral language paralyzing fear may overwhelm you. You feel you have to act against others who can be really good in the language. This is too much for some people. They think to themselves that they will die of humiliation because they will have to speak Spanish in front of a cruel audience.

So, what should one do? First of all prepare before signing up for a class in the country or abroad.

One of the biggest myths in foreign language teaching is that going to the country where the language you want to learn to be spoken is the best way to learn Spanish.

Fact: appealing as it may sound, this “immersion” will be an extremely costly and time-consuming operation
For starters, it will not be true as Immersion Language Immersion defined along. If you go to the country where the language you want to learn is spoken, you will soon learn that classes are taught in the same way classes are taught in the United States only in the language of the host country.

You have the ability to ask even if you understand what is taught. Make your own preparation in the privacy of your own home until you have accumulated a level of confidence to produce language in front of a teacher and classmates.

Use  commercially available products on the market to learn some Spanish before launching into a situation in a class performance against others!

Is it possible to have Spanish immersion in a non Spanish speaking country? Find it out here!.  Struggling to say a word in Spanish! Find out why that may be happening here!

Comments (6)

  1. Tod

    Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this info. This thing bout affective factor is very interesting.

    Reply
    1. Daniel Edwards (Post author)

      Yes, it is indeed. Thanks for your comments!

      Reply
  2. Heath

    Hi, cool post. Is this thing about the affective factor a new thing?

    Reply
    1. Daniel Edwards (Post author)

      Oh no, it’s been around for quite a while. Just google: “the affective filter” in second language acquisition. You’d be surprised at the wealth of research available on this.

      Reply
  3. Tim

    Fantastic article, very insightful.

    Reply
    1. Daniel Edwards (Post author)

      Thanks! I appreciate your kind words.

      Reply

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