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6 Ways To Stay Motivated When Learning a Language

Getting started on a new language is so exciting.

You imagine travelling to a country where it’s spoken, chatting fluently with people you meet along the way, ordering meals in restaurants with no trouble, joking with strangers, reading local newspapers, watching films in the cinema without subtitles, maybe even studying or working in that country.

… And then you get a few weeks, months or even years into your studies and you think, hmm, this is pretty difficult, actually. I’m not learning as fast as I hoped. I’m not sure I’ll ever be perfect at speaking this language.

… And THEN, perhaps, you start to lose interest. You’re not as excited about it as you were at first. You don’t practise as much. Maybe you even forget the things you’ve learned and your progress slips backwards.

Uh-oh. Sounds like you need some fresh motivation!

Here are six ways to get excited about learning a language all over again.

 

Remind Yourself Why You Started

 

What was it that first inspired you to take up this particular language? Perhaps you wanted to read books by your favourite author in their native language? Perhaps you have a lot of friends or colleagues from a particular country and you wanted to join in all their conversations? Perhaps your dream job means you need this language? Go back to that goal and remind yourself why it’s so important to you!

 

Reflect On How Far You’ve Come

 

If you’ve been learning a language for a while, having someone correct your grammar, or realising you can’t follow every conversation around you, can feel really demotivating. Instead of focussing on how far you have to go, look at everything you’ve learned so far. Becoming fluent in any language is a life-long commitment, so don’t get down because you’re aren’t there yet. Celebrate the progress you’ve made instead!

 

Set Realistic Targets

 

One of the worst things you can do when you start any new project, including learning a language, is challenging yourself to do far too much in too short a time. If you make it impossible for yourself, you will fail, and then you’ll give up! Instead, figure out how much you can realistically achieve, if you really try, in the time you have. Then set goals and keep working towards them.

 

Track Your Progress

 

To-do lists are always depressing. If you haven’t crossed everything off at the end of the day, you will always feel disappointed in yourself, even if you’ve managed to achieve loads of other things! That’s why, when you’re feeling demotivated, it can help to switch from a ‘to-do’ list to a ‘done’ list.

At the end of the day, write down all the things you’ve achieved today that help towards your language learning goals, no matter how small they are. This helps motivate you to do even more tomorrow, so that you have an even longer list of achievements to write down.

Use Language Learning as a Reward

 

 

Language learning shouldn’t be a chore – it should be something you look forward to! If you’re starting to dread your practise time, find ways to turn it into a reward for yourself.

For example, set aside an interesting podcast in your target language that you’re only allowed to listen to in the gym, or save the stack of new vocabulary flashcards to practise with in your coffee break at work. That way, you coach your brain into looking forward to these things as a reward, not a punishment.

Try Something Different

 

 

Sometimes, all it takes to get you excited again about learning a language is to try something new! Fed up of doing comprehension exercises by yourself? Find an interesting YouTube series, or sign up to a language-exchange website that lets you chat with a real person instead. It’s so important to change things around now and again, to stop you getting bored!

Interested in trying out an awesome language class to get you motivated and using your new language skills for real? Check out www.Eurocentres.com