How To Stay Motivated Learning A Language
Motivation is an important element of the language learning process. In this busy world it’s hard to keep a consistent level of excitement in learning a new language. Certain parts of every language can be a stumbling block, If you feel like giving up, it doesn’t mean that it’s time to quit. It might just mean that it’s time to take a closer look at what motivates you.
I will try and give you some tips on how to stay motivated when learning a foreign language. Hope you’ll find them useful!
- Remember why you started.
What made you start learning in the first place? Friendship? Love? Family? Self-improvement? Travel? Work? The reasons for learning a language are varied and often personal. Remember your reason. Use it to motivate you to keep going, keep learning and keep improving.
- Be clear about your goals.
Defining your language learning goals is another important element of staying motivated and focused on whatever it is you’re trying to achieve. What does success look like for you? Try to visualize it. Write it down and come back to it regularly to keep the mental image of success fresh in your head. Every time your motivation decreases slightly, remind yourself of what achieving your goals looks and feels like.
- Don’t aim for mastery.
They say that the perfect is the enemy of the good. This is doubly true when it comes to language learning. The language learner who progresses the most is usually the one who takes the most risks, makes the most mistakes, fails the most often - but doesn’t give up. Communicating is messy, creative work, and you’ll hold yourself back if you strive for perfection. There’s no need to drill yourself until you’re exhausted. Do your best and move on. Give yourself permission to be “good enough”.
- Talk to people.
While it can be scary talking to people in a foreign language, it can also be exhilarating to put what you’ve learned into practice! Languages exist because humans are driven to communicate. What better way to apply what you’re learning than by talking to an actual human being? No matter your level, you’ll progress more quickly - and be more motivated to keep learning - if you find a patient conversation partner, either in person or online. You’ll find that most native speakers are thrilled to speak their language with you.
- Don’t compare yourself to other people.
Instead of comparing yourself to other language learners, compare your current level to your level in the past, for example last month or last year. That way, you will be able to see the extent of progress you’ve made and boost your motivation. Always comparing yourself to other people can have the opposite effect.
- Make language learning part of your routine.
You don’t want learning a language to become a chore. There’s nothing less motivating than learning something just because you feel you have to. The key is to transform your thinking about learning so that you don’t see it as an addition to your day but as an intrinsic part of your day. There are various things that you can do to help make language learning part of your routine:
- Read for 20 minutes on the train/bus to school or work.
- Listen to a podcast or anything in your target language for 5-10 minutes you are walking.
- Work in your textbook when you find yourself free at random times of the day
- Write a page in you notebook just before going to bed.
- Chat with a family member or a friend (it better be a native speaker) in your target language whenever you get the chance to do so.
- Don’t Give Up.
There is a Japanese proverb which neatly reflects another major component of language-learning success “Fall down seven times, get up eight”.
The proverb reminds us to have a holistic and realistic view of the learning process.
see this Learning language and time management .
Always remember that without a real desire to learn, you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle.