Overcome fear in adult language learning

How to Conquer Fear in Adult Language Learning

Welcome to Language on Mission (LOM), where we believe that learning a new language is a journey that can start at any age. If you’re one of the two-thirds of American adults who cannot speak another language, don’t worry—you’re not alone. While we’ve traditionally focused on child language learning, we’ve evolved to offer specialized adult language learning programs designed to help adults become bilingual while empowering their children to do the same. In this blog post, we’ll explore a common hurdle many adults face when embarking on the journey, which is embarrassment and fear in adult language learning.

Learning a new language as an adult can be a daunting but rewarding experience. Whether you’re doing it for personal growth, career advancement, or simply to connect with others in their native tongue, the journey is filled with challenges. One of the most significant obstacles adults face is fear and embarrassment.

At LOM, we understand the unique struggles of adult language learners. Our adult Spanish and Mandarin programs not only equip you with the skills you need but also provide a supportive community to help you overcome your fears. Let’s explore why fear exists and how you can conquer it on your journey to becoming bilingual.

Why Do You Have a Fear?

Before we dive into strategies for overcoming fear in adult language learning, it’s essential to understand why you have this fear in the first place. Fear often stems from a fear of judgment or making mistakes. You might be concerned about embarrassing yourself in front of others or not meeting your own expectations.

However, acknowledging your motivation for learning a new language can help ease these fears. Are you doing it to connect with your heritage, improve your career prospects, or simply enrich your life? Knowing your “why” can provide the necessary motivation to overcome fear.

Personal Story of Overcoming Fear in Adult Language Learning from a Student:

“My ability to speak Spanish began when I participated in a study-abroad trip in college, though the journey certainly had its ups and downs. I was enthusiastic about learning but experienced anxiety when called upon in class. I distinctly remember breaking out in a cold sweat when we reviewed how to say large numbers in Spanish. I prayed that the teacher wouldn’t call on me (because I knew I didn’t know the answer), but she did anyway! I fumbled through my incorrect answer, feeling embarrassed and wishing I had more time to think.

That level of fear was sharply contrasted by my experience with my host family during that same study-abroad trip. I lived in a home with a mom and her pre-teen daughter. They were so friendly and warm towards me that I felt comfortable trying (and many times failing) to expand what I attempted to say in Spanish. I learned SO much through those relationships, knowing they would gently correct me. They cared more about me as a person than about my ability to speak Spanish.

Even today, I learn best from the security I feel in my relationships with Spanish-speaking friends. Their kind corrections stay in my mind much longer than anything I read or learn about online.”

Embrace Imperfection

Making mistakes is often a fear in adult language learning. But here’s a secret: making mistakes is an integral part of the learning process. No one becomes fluent without stumbling along the way. Embrace your flaws and remember that they are stepping stones toward fluency.

At LOM, our experienced, loving teachers understand that every learner is unique. They view their connections with students as a ministry and demonstrate personal care for each one. Learning from supportive teachers can boost your confidence and help you accept your flaws as part of the journey.

Personal Story from a Language on Mission Student:

“The only history I have of speaking Spanish is from two classes I took in high school. I will never forget the feeling of trying to speak the language in class, feeling so embarrassed and my teacher even laughing at me one time. I felt so defeated and I figured I just would never learn it.

Then enter Charleston Bilingual Academy and the community around it. The more and more people I met who could speak Spanish and were so loving and patient when I asked them questions about the language, the more I gained confidence that maybe I could learn it. Once I started LOM I learned that other people are just like me, messing up words pretty badly, but trying again and slowly making improvements. All with a loving, caring, gentle teacher along the way guiding us. It has taken me three LOM courses to let go (of the majority) of my nerves because I have decided the feeling I get when I can communicate and connect with people who only speak Spanish completely outweighs that of being embarrassed while I am learning.”

Progress Over Perfection

It’s natural to want to sound like a local speaker as quickly as possible, but learning a new language is a gradual process. Don’t rush it. Focus on progress over perfection and overcome fear in adult language learning. Start by building a strong foundation with the basics.

LOM offers interactive adult language learning programs that encourage you to naturally absorb a new language through music, games, and engaging connections with new friends. With flexible scheduling, you can learn at your own pace, from wherever you have an internet connection.

Small Steps Lead to Big Success

Begin your language learning journey in our specialized adult language learning program with easy words and phrases. These foundational elements will help you gain confidence and build your vocabulary gradually. As you become comfortable with these basics, you’ll be more prepared to tackle more complex language concepts.

In our adult language learning programs, we provide extra resources to keep the learning going outside of class. This reinforces what you learn during your 25-minute Zoom classes, ensuring that you make steady progress.

Engage Your Senses

To truly understand and speak a new language, engage your senses. Listen to native speakers, immerse yourself in conversations, and practice responding. Hearing, knowing, and responding are essential steps in the language acquisition process.

Our adult language learning programs at LOM encourage active participation, helping you develop the skills needed to communicate effectively. You’ll gain an appreciation for different cultures along with the language.

Confidence is Key

Positive self-talk is crucial in conquering fear and embarrassment in adult language learning. Believe in yourself and your ability to learn a new language. Remember that every mistake is an opportunity for growth. Surround yourself with a supportive community that uplifts and encourages you.

At LOM, our mission is to equip you with language skills so you can engage and love the world in a deep and meaningful way. We believe that you are capable of achieving this, and our teachers are here to guide you every step of the way.

Consistency is King

Practice makes perfect in adult language learning, and consistency is king. Dedicate time each day to practice your language skills. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll become. Repetition is a powerful tool for language learners.

Our adult language learning programs offer flexible scheduling, allowing you to learn at times that suit you. You can even pay per class without a monthly commitment, so you have the flexibility to start and stop anytime.

Embrace the Learning Curve

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; they’re part of the learning curve in adult language learning. In fact, embracing mistakes and learning from them is one of the quickest ways to improve your language skills. The more you stumble, the stronger you become.

As you embark on your adult language learning journey with LOM, remember that our teachers are here to support you. They have years of experience and bring their unique gifts to teaching languages. Their quality is what keeps families coming back to LOM.


Learning a new language as an adult is a fulfilling endeavor that not only benefits you but also sets an example for the younger generation. At Language on Mission, we’ve expanded our offerings to provide specialized adult language learning programs that not only help you become bilingual but also empower your children to do the same.

Fear and embarrassment are natural parts of the language learning process, but with the right mindset and support, you can overcome these obstacles. Embrace your flaws, take your time, start with the basics, engage your senses, be positive, practice consistently, and don’t worry about making mistakes to conquer your fear in adult language learning.

Your journey to becoming bilingual begins with a single step. Start your adventure with LOM today and join over 50% of the world’s population who are bilingual or multilingual. Language is all about connection and community, and we’re here to help you make those connections.

Language on Mission – Helping you Conquer your Fear in Adult Language Learning

Ready to conquer your fear and embarrassment in adult language learning? Join us at Language on Mission and embark on a journey of personal and cultural enrichment through language. Try your first class for just $7 and take that first step towards becoming bilingual. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with others and enrich your life through language learning.

Remember, you’re not just learning for yourself; you’re setting an example for future generations and opening doors to new opportunities.

Meet our Author, Adam Schwind, a proud parent of three children utilizing Language On Mission, is the Founder of Spark Digital Group, a digital marketing agency in Charleston, SC