My Ability to Tolerate Ambiguity
Arriving in a new languaculture drops you straight into a sea of ambiguity. From the street signs to the body language of the people surrounding you, everything is new, strange, and mostly unintelligible. This barrage of information that you don’t know how to process is what we call “ambiguity.” And it can be a real source of stress, especially when it dominates your experience of the community that you live in.
We all have different levels of tolerance to ambiguity. Part of it is personality type (nature) and part of it is experience (nurture). Understanding this personality trait can help you understand frustrations you may experience in language learning. Not only that, but you can plan for and use strategies to help you navigate life with less frustration.
In fact, Brown suggests that people who have high General Ambiguity Tolerance, but low Language-Related Tolerance, can apply their high general ambiguity tolerance to their language learning. But even if you have a low tolerance for any ambiguity, there are many strategies you can apply to your learning program that can lower the levels of ambiguity and help you manage stress.
So let’s get started!
Take the test, and then we can talk about how to adjust your learning plan to meet your individual needs.
Source of Questionnaire: Breaking the Language Barrier, by H.D. Brown (Yarmouth, Maine: Intercultural Press, 1991, pp. 162-165)
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