Will learning another language make your English worse? 🫣

7,503 views ・ 2024-02-27

Accent's Way English with Hadar


Please double-click on the English subtitles below to play the video.

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Hello, hello, everyone.
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Welcome to our corner "Will this mess up my English?"
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Today, we're going to ask the question, "Will learning another
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language mess up my English?"
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We already talked about whether or not listening to different
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dialects of English mess up your English and your pronunciation.
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"Would listening to different accents mess up your pronunciation?"
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And today we are going to talk to all you overachievers and language
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learners who speak English as a second language, but you are passionate
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about learning other languages.
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And you want to learn another language, but you don't know if
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it's going to affect your English.
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So let's talk about it.
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And by the way, if you're new to my channel, then hi, my name is Hadar.
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I'm a non native speaker of English, and I'm here to help you speak English
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with clarity, confidence, and freedom.
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You can check out my website hadarshemesh.com.
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You can also check out my social media accounts for daily content.
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01:01
Alright.
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So let's talk about it.
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If you are an English learner, that means that you weren't born into
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English and you have learned English and you're still practicing your English.
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And you want to learn another language.
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So I have a Canadian student, originally from Brazil, who speaks English.
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And she learned English and she improved her English significantly,
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and then she wanted to learn French.
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And she was wondering if learning French is going to affect her progress.
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So, here's the thing.
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It really depends on where you're at on your English journey.
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So, if you are at the beginning or middle of your journey, which means that you
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don't feel super confident communicating in English, you still struggle to
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retrieve words, you are not confident in the pronunciation and you often get
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stuck – which is a completely valid state to be in when you're learning English
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or when you speak English as a second language – learning another language
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might affect your progress in English, and it might hinder your progress.
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If you are very experienced in English, you are very confident, you use English
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fluently, maybe you still need to work on minor things and a little bit about
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pronunciation and a little bit on small grammatical nuances, it probably won't
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affect your progress so much, okay?
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So, mainly it's going to affect people who are still in their learning journey.
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Now, remember that there are pros and cons to everything.
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It does not mean that you shouldn't learn another language, and I'm going
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to talk about why that is at the end.
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But first, let me tell you how it might affect your progress.
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First of all, it's a question of commitment.
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Unless you are a polyglot that you get paid for learning languages, you
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probably don't have hours and hours in the day to practice languages.
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So obviously, if you want to learn a new language, you'll have to devote time
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and energy into learning that language.
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And if you focus on learning French, for example, then you won't have
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as much time, or you won't have time at all, to practice English.
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And if you're not very, very experienced in speaking English, then obviously
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daily practice is still something that you need and that is useful, and that
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would help you progress and thrive.
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So that is one thing.
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It's technical, how much time you're going to invest.
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Now, this is solvable.
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You can solve it by still devoting a few minutes a day, even if it's just
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10 minutes, to reviewing things in English, practicing English, speaking
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English, even if it's every other day.
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And you can organize your time that you focus more on the new language,
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but still maintain your English.
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Now another element that you might notice is that when you communicate
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in English and you're learning another language, what might happen is that you
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will struggle with retrieving words.
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A lot of times in these situations, you would want to say something in English,
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let's say, and the words would come up in that new language that you're learning.
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So, everything might get a little bit mixed up in your head.
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Or vice versa: you would want to speak in your new language that
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you're learning, and words in English – actually not your first language,
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in English – would come up instead.
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Because your brain already knows what it's like to retrieve
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words of your second language.
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So that is something that you might experience.
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Things will get a little messy - the sentence structure, and also the sounds.
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If you studied English pronunciation and you practiced
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it, and now you study French.
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And in French you have completely different sounds, you might be
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focused on those new sounds, working on those new muscles, placing
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your voice in a different place.
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And that might affect your progress in English.
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Now, is it something that is reversible?
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Absolutely.
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Is it something that you can figure out?
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Absolutely.
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Stick to your 5 minute practice every day or 20 minutes every week, where you remind
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yourself what those sounds of English are.
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You remind your muscles, you practice it, you use it.
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That should be enough.
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And of course, continue learning the sounds of the new
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language and practicing them.
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And also, even if you say to yourself, "I can't do both.
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I'm going to focus on the new language first", that is okay 'cause
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everything that you've learned in English is still going to be there.
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It's just going to be a little rusty, so you can come back to it really quickly.
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And by the way, I do have a video about what to do when your English gets rusty
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if you don't use it frequently enough.
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So I'm going to link to it in the description below.
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So, I talked about all the things that might mess up your learning
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curve and your progress in English.
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But here's the thing, while it may have small impact on your English
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in the short term, in the long term, you are going to benefit from
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learning other languages tremendously.
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So when we measure the pros and cons, obviously learning another language
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would have a lot more impact on your confidence, on your communication
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skills, and even on your English, than not learning another language.
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Now listen, I only speak English as a second language.
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I've tried learning other languages.
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I am planning to learn more languages in the future.
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So, I am not the person who would tell you, "You have to learn other languages".
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But if you're thinking about it and you're worried that it might affect
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your English, don't worry about it.
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Because learning a second language develops your brain.
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It helps you hear new sounds and that will affect and help your abilities in English.
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It makes you a better communicator.
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And ultimately, everything you do to invest in yourself and in your brain and
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in your communication skills is valuable, a lot more valuable than not doing it.
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So, bottom line, do not worry about it.
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And even if you feel that it might impact your English, still go for it.
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And the benefits are huge.
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And as long as you keep English as a part of your life, even if it's just listening
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and sometimes repeating it, you're good.
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I hope you found this helpful.
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If you want to submit your questions to our corner "Will It Mess Up
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My English?", just write your suggestions in the comments below.
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If you enjoyed this episode, consider subscribing to my YouTube channel or
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podcast, the InFluency Podcast that you can find on your favorite platform.
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And check out my website, hadarshemesh.com, where you'll
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find so much content and a ton of resources for you to speak English
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with clarity, confidence, and freedom.
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Have a beautiful, beautiful rest of the day.
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And I will see you next week in the next video.
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Bye.
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