Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are the components of the SWOT analysis. It is a well-known tool used in business to support effective decision-making. Can we apply this to learning English? I am sure you can. Let's start this journey from the point of view that an individual chooses to learn a second language post-high-school age.
The SWOT analysis lists the pro and cons of why you should or shouldn't pursue learning the language. Even if there are threats or weaknesses, i.e. challenges, you are aware of them in advance and that can help to overcome some hurdles. As shown in the picture some of the items appear in both categories. A strength, for sure, is your motivation and mindset. If you are learning voluntary than it is a great attribute to the process. In this case, it does not matter what the reason is why you embark on this journey, whether you need it for your work, or like the sound of the language or want to communicate easier whilst travelling. If are you forced to take English lessons motivation can become a weakness or threat. The environment weakness refers to the fact that you either not in-country or cannot use the language daily. I will not dwell too long on the opportunities of speaking more than one language in business, tourism, or other professions. It is a no-brainer. Concerning the threats let me just say one thing about stress, your mind can only absorb a certain amount of information, so to acquire a language, there is a need for repetition, contextualizing, and persistence, meaning that too many distractions do not fare well with any learning. I added also some self-reflection for teachers into the mix. A teacher who does not connect with you and cannot tap into your way of learning can be detrimental to progress. There is a fine balance between being encouraged and your motivation. If you have a choice and if it does not feel right you probably should consider switching the teacher, but only if you are sure it is not your input hindering progress. If the teacher gets it right I know from experience that it has a long-lasting influence. Don't you remember at least one teacher or mentor in high-school or university who you think back at fondly? Their wisdom or enthusiasm was what made you learn and not forget. Age, though proven the younger you are the easier it is to learn a language is no excuse, and shouldn't stop you. If it doesn't result in career improvement, at least you train your brain avoiding potential memory problems later in life. Above all, it also contributes to your general knowledge and cultural awareness. We may look up to business people and the way they make strategic decisions. I agree that it is good business to consider all options and consequences before embarking on the execution, but it is not privy to business only. Most of us already weigh our options, but we don't label the process. Be confident and never stop learning a new language the positives seriously outweigh the negatives. Do make your SWOT analysis and improve your English!