Most experts agree:
Extroverts are better language learners than Introverts.
If you’re an Introvert, you’d better learn to change your personality or you’re doomed. You won’t be able to learn another language well if you’re an Introvert.
Well, what a load of ……..
The idea that Extroverts are better language learners is only partially true and hurts introverted learners.
If they keep believing this sh*t, Introverts might refrain from learning another language
And that’s not all…
They may also think that they must change their personality in order to be able to learn a new language.
Which…of course, is way harder than actually learning a language.
You Can’t Really Change Your Personality
When you get to a certain age, say 25, the task of changing your personality is tougher than learning another language…or two.
You can only improve “weaknesses” in your personality, but they rarely disappear completely.
You can improve your assertiveness…
But in most cases, you’ll find that the personality traits you rejected in yourself are still there…maybe just a little less present.
A 180 degree turn is as unlikely as getting fluent in a month.
And I speak from experience.
I’m an Introvert, too.
And guess what?
Introverts Are Just As Capable of Learning a New Language As Extroverts
Ironically, it’s always the Extroverts who scream the loudest that they are better language learners. (If you’re a serious Extrovert, this is a joke.)
Truth is: they have their strengths, and so do Introverts!
And it’s not just me saying it:
A recent study done at the Putra university in Malaysia, suggests this is true.
The researchers set out to try to answer the question:
Who learns foreign language better, Introverts or Extroverts?
Unsurprisingly: Extroverts did better in speaking a foreign a language. (They also did better in reading.)
But here comes the kicker:
Introverts did better in listening!
So, while being an Extrovert has its advantages, it’s likely that Introverts are better listeners.
And listening is as vital a skill as speaking — some would say even more important.
The Fear to Speak a Foreign Language
Introverts often suffer from the fear of speaking a foreign language.
That’s something they have to overcome.
But it’s not all bad. You can turn this “weakness” into a strength.
Introverts feel a huge need to become better in their new language. They don’t exactly appreciate looking like fools when speaking in a foreign language.
This may inspire them to put in more and better learning sessions than an Extrovert would.
In other words, it makes them better at doing Back End work.
Another potential weakness of Introverts that’s often mentioned, is that they wait to converse in a foreign language until they’re “ready” — a moment that sometimes never comes.
Waiting to be ready to converse is a trap…
But so is starting to converse from the get-go and picking up a huge amount of fossilized errors that are hard to correct later on.
Gotta strike a middle ground, my friend.
There you have it.
There’s no need to feel inferior if you’re an Introvert language learner.
Extroverts have their strengths…and so do you!
Embrace your strengths instead of rejecting them.
Work with them, and you just might be surprised by the results…