I can't think of any other skill than speaking a foreign language where people (despite having no non-mental obstacle to doing so) often choose not to practice by themselves.

This doesn't apply to reading, writing, or listening in foreign languages, which people practice by themselves, and realize solo practice is absolutely essential to learning. This doesn't apply to practicing the guitar, or kung fu, or calculus, or singing, or chess. (It applies to say, 10-pin bowling, because most people don't have their own bowling alley.)

It's widely accepted that, for a wide range of disciplines, practicing by yourself is absolutely essential, to the point where it's hard to conceive how someone might learn the guitar without practicing solo.

Question: Why do people have an aversion to practicing speaking foreign languages by themselves?

I guess there's some psychological reason why people have a strong aversion to this specific task (speaking a foreign language) when it's performed alone, and not have the same aversion to listening/reading/writing in a foreign language alone, nor learning a musical instrument.

  • That's your opinion. Listening and repeating is one of the main ways to learn a language... In fact, that's what language labs in schools are all about.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 19 at 20:27

1 Answer 1


Speaking is harder than reading and writing cos it requires interaction and it's human nature to feel nervous when we do things we are not good at... I hope I can improve my german speaking skills faster but it's just not that easy.

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