While our brains are flexible and adaptable as children, we tend to start having more rigid learning and relearning skills as we grow old.
There have been some extreme cases when the mother tongue or the first language is completely forgotten in adults.
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One of the reasons for forgetting a language is the trauma associated with speaking a particular language: The mind recalls the bad experiences while the language is heard or spoken.
Once a person is able to speak two or more languages, the mind has to create a mechanism to switch between those seamlessly.
Switching a language is not like forgetting, but if there is too much back and forth, the competition starts between the two languages.
Our mother tongue is tied to our deeper identity, roots, and memories.
Native language attrition (the process of losing a native, or first, language) is natural and reversible, as whatever allows us to learn languages also accommodates for making changes.
Rote repetition isn’t enough.
Coming up with mnemonics about your target word helps glue the word to your memory way more effectively. Basically, you tell yourself a funny, silly, or otherwise memorable story to associate with a particular word.
Use the 360° maximalist approach: no matter which learning tools you use, it’s crucial to practice your new language every single day.
Really, really go for it and try to use it throughout the day. Try to think in it, try to write in it, try to speak to myself even in that language.
A tutor is a dedicated person who can answer questions, explain how the language works and be an opportunity to practice speaking while you're still trying to make friends.