Contrary to that voice inside your head and your high school teacher’s scare tactics, learning a new language doesn’t have to be a chore. Thinking about grammar drills, vocab lists and rote memorizations would give anyone foreign language anxiety. But you when you’re learning a new language, you shouldn’t have to worry about the jitters or the paralysis that so many people feel when they put their language skills to practice with native speakers. Because at the end of the day, the ultimate goal of learning a new language isn’t taking tests and reading textbooks; it’s having real-life, authentic conversations — with confidence. That’s why we’ve designed Babbel with language learning strategies to get you speaking a new language without fear and anxiety, from your very first lesson.

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Where Does Foreign Language Anxiety Come From?

If you’re ready to put your new language know-how to the test but the fear of having an actual conversation leaves you trembling in your boots, you’re not alone. The anxiety around speaking a new language can be a major mental obstacle to having real-life conversations. In fact, one of the most frightening parts of practicing new language skills cited by learners is speaking it in front of others. There are always reasons why speakers can convince themselves their language skills just aren’t “good enough”:

  • Negative foreign language learning and speaking experiences in the past
  • Comparisons with more advanced speakers, especially native ones
  • Worry about failing to recall important vocab and grammar rules from memory
  • The fear of looking foolish after making a language mistake
  • The lack of speaking practice in real-life situations

The list goes on. Plenty of people get nervous about mispronouncing a word, forgetting a conjugation or not being able to keep up with the pace of conversation, all of which can lower your confidence and your perception of your own competence. But speaking a new language doesn’t have to be so demoralizing.