"I ran from one course to another for years", "I spent both my time and money on private tutors", "I held my head very tight and then the rope went away", "I'll definitely get it done this summer", "I couldn't learn, at least, let my child learn", "whatever we do no, matter what we do, we can't talk like 'they'", "hard brother, hard work to learn after this age"
Do all these statements sound familiar from somewhere?
If a survey were made, I'm sure eighty percent of Turkey would include these in the first ten statements about the English language. So why doesn't it happen? As an English teacher, I would like to share my humble thoughts with you.
Because English is our nightmare.
Fear is such a powerful emotion that the brain involuntarily distances itself from what it fears. But fear, like any other emotion, begins with just a feeling either from an English teacher you didn't like at school or a question you couldn't do, or an answer you couldn't give to a stranger you met outside, or the pressure of "let's talk kid, let's see it in English". No matter what, you definitely have a feeling in your past that created the fear of English, and remember that this is a formation you created in your brain.
"What is the way out of this fear?" if you ask, "English is a much simpler language than Turkish", I would reply, "If English were not such a simple language, it would not have spread so quickly around the world and chosen as a 'lingua franca' (common language/world language)" by saying the previous sentence and I can do a cross check. First, get rid of the perception of "difficult" and let yourself go to the excitement of learning a new language and its benefits.
Because you are getting old.
According to researches, the brain is flexible until the age of five and absorbs any given information like a sponge without saying "true/false". However, after the age of five, it gradually begins to lose its flexibility. We got this as a first reason. While the working speed of the brain is many times higher than that of an adult in adolescence, as the age gets older, the learning speed of the brain starts to decrease along with the working speed of the brain. This is two. Unfortunately, that's how our physiology is. Therefore, do not expect the impossible from yourself or your children. Don't worry about speaking fluently and accurately like an "British" or "American". Unless you grew up in a country where the English language was the mother tongue by the age of five.
A little advice; Thanks to this brain flexibility, give your child as much language as you can from birth. Do not think that "s/he would be confused". I'm sure s/he will be grateful to you when he grows up.
Because English is not your mother tongue.
Actually, this statement is related to the second statement. Let me explain it to you like this; If you were in a country where all five languages were spoken from birth, you would probably be fluent in whatever language you had the longest exposure. However, there is only one official language in our country and that is our Turkish, which is the most beautiful of all languages in my opinion.
What can be done; Go abroad a lot, talk without fear or hesitation, -if possible- get a foreign pen pal (I hope to be your pen pal!), -if you can- stay in a country where English is the official language, watch TV series in English, listen to the music, - if you are at a certain level - read a book and above all; be curious, ask, question, research.
Because our education system is theory-oriented.
You can blame the education system, not yourself. I would like you to go back and remember the English lessons you have seen. Words written five, ten, twenty, fifty times to memorize, a foreign male or female voice repeating a pattern ten times, Mr&Mrs Smith family, the rhyme "how are you today fine thanks and you fine thanks sit down"... Totally I'm not saying it's wrong or anything but it's old and slow. Not practical for the 21st century. Yes, grammar, pronunciation, punctuation, vocabulary are crucial, but they are of no value if they are only in the book. As information is processed, it gains meaning and is memorized, not by being repeated aimlessly like a parrot.
To sum it up, please see English as a tool, not an end. Because the main purpose of learning a language is to bring together people and then civilizations, to spread knowledge, sharing and to ensure development. Whatever your personal goal is (study, work, get a girlfriend/boyfriend, contribute to your professional life, or just curiosity), focus on it, stay motivated, and appreciate and reward yourself for the slightest improvement in your learning process. Make English a tool for your hobbies, not your phobia.