The saying goes, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’.
This is great advice, but before you try again, you may need to find out what else you can do instead and change your methods!
A tool like MosaLingua has only been around for a couple of years or so and there was certainly nothing like it when I was at school. Sadly, as this article title suggests, I failed my French GCSE and therefore decided at the time that languages weren’t for me!
However, I’ve been using MosaLingua for about six months now (trying again!) and I haven’t looked back. I can honestly say that I credit this application with 90% of my success in becoming a Spanish speaker, in terms of the tool or resource I’ve used the most.
A reminder I have 252 words and phrases to revise!
After using the app for only a month, I thought back to my time at school in England, when I was studying for my French GCSE.
I then Googled, ‘Spanish GCSE exams’ out of interest, to find a recent test I could complete. I wanted a rough indicator of my level at that point and I found a reading exam paper that required you to answer some multiple-choice questions. The text was Spanish and the paper was the higher level.
I got every single question right.
I’d only used the app for a month, so comparing it to the five years of studying French at secondary school, it really was that change of method I’d been looking for.
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After failing GCSE French, the desire to speak another language always stayed with me and for many years I promised myself that I’d learn one before my 30th birthday. Perhaps not so overjoyed at reaching the ripe old age of 30, I am proud to say I made the target I set myself. (You can see James speaking Spanish on his 30th birthday here: Did I do it? My fluent before 30 challenge)
Looking back, I have no doubt that I’d have passed my French GCSE with flying colours if something like MosaLingua was available to me then. Furthermore, because it’s a far more rewarding and enjoyable way to learn a language, I’d like to think I’d have continued French at AS Level too.
After years of being frustrated by the fact, I now no longer mind that French was the only subject I failed at school. It’s made the achievement of teaching myself Spanish that much sweeter, by trying again.
Looking ahead, I intend to see what I can achieve with my new motivation to learn languages. Using MosaLingua as my core tool, I think I’ll try Italian or German next, followed by Portuguese and finally French to make a full circle. Will I be able to speak six languages in a few years? Who knows. The fact is, I now have the confidence to believe it’s possible.
And that’s certainly not something I had after failing my French GCSE.
You can see the other methods and resources James recommends here: My language learning methods
Jim – great story and, I would imagine, resonates with most people who studied languages at O level or GCSE. Interestingly, at Grammar School, the emphasis was on spoken language, not written. And when you think about it, the emphasis on use of a foreign language should be 'spoken'. Because we're communicators. You don't go into a Bakery and pass them a note for a baguette or a tortilla! Great story, great app. Well done you…S.