As a beginner, myself, I think it’s important to be open to ideas and try what works for you. I believe you can learn new skills at anytime of life and I do not believe when people say it’s harder the older you get excuses, excuses.
Although I’m starting out to learn Italian I have had in the past had private Portuguese lessons and also spent time in Brazil where I put it into practice and saw the results. I also have the chance to use my Portuguese in and around London within my work, also social occasions. I’m not fluent or perfect by any means but I don’t need to be, as long as I’m understood, I realise it’s a continuous process.
Babies for example, do not wait until they can speak perfectly before speaking then suddenly burst into conversation; it’s the same with a language or any other skill. I also play the guitar and know this to be the same rule. It’s a formula that can be applied to any other skills.
I believe for you to be good at something you must have a reason to learn, a desire to put in the time to reap the results. Obviously my reason for starting to learn Italian is so I can communicate with the other locals in the town, also when spending time in Rome.
There will be lots of places and situations where I can use what I learn which in turn will help me progress quickly.
I believe getting started is the main thing and also as I have mentioned before, not being perfect. Learn things you will need to know and worry about the more complex issues later. If you can’t make it fun and see results you will find it hard work, boring and ultimately give up. This is the same when learning an instrument some teachers can have you playing songs within weeks, others insist on teaching theory and scales which are need further down the line but not at the beginning. Get playing/ speaking and work on polishing things up later when you have some experience.
What I’m trying to get across is you need a good influence, someone who makes learning a language seem fun and simple.
Good teachers are important, for anyone looking to learn Italian I’d like to introduce you to Irene; she has a great website and will help you get speaking Italian in no time.
I will be keeping everyone up to date with my progress, I may even do a video myself once I get good enough.