“Tell me and I forget,
teach me and I may remember,
involve me and I learn“
This quote, well known and much repeated by foreign language teachers everywhere, is attributed to the American statesmen Benjamin Franklin. And it echoes the sentiment of the 3rd century BCE Chinese philosopher Xunzi (荀子).
The point of the quote in the context of language learning is that getting in and having a go is a critical element in successful foreign language learning. Over the years I have found that those people who are most afraid of making mistakes and embarrassing themselves are the people who have most struggled to make progress in mastering a foreign language.