Why Is It Hard to Commit to Language Learning?
Have you ever wondered if it was possible to trick yourself into enjoying one of the many foreign language learning programs? It may be easy to say you want to learn another language, but when you start trying to learn to speak a new language, it can grow challenging fast. And it doesn’t help that many people who start learning a new language often give up before reaching fluency.
If you’re one of the many people who want to learn another language, but you feel like you’ll probably fail, then you need a few strategies to ensure you stick with it. Here are a few tips to stay motivated while learning a second language.
What Is Your Inspiration?
There are a lot of reasons to learn a second language? Many people come to language learning thinking, “it would be cool to speak Spanish,” for instance. And they’re right. It is cool. It’s a useful tool that can open the doors to jobs, experiences, cultures, and even love. But being cool alone isn’t enough to keep you coming back to the books when your frustrations grow.
Instead, pick a language you want to learn and find a reason behind wanting to learn that language. Every time you approach your next lesson, remind yourself why you’re doing this. This will help you stay focused as you move towards success through more challenging lessons.
Focus on the Positive
It can be easy to beat yourself up if you’re not successful. And if you only see failure, it’s hard to stay motivated. If you want to know how to learn Spanish or any other language easily, then try changing up your tactics. Use different words to describe your progress. Instead of saying, “I can only speak a little Spanish,” say, “I can order food in Spanish.” Focus on what you can do and always in a positive light. Changing how you look at your progress will inspire you to learn more.
Set Reasonable Goals
People often set unrealistic goals. While it’s great to want to accomplish complex challenges, setting up goals you cannot reach will hurt you. If you’re starting out learning a language, you need to have small goals you can achieve along the way toward your long-term goal. If you’re starting out learning Russian, try aiming to greet someone after a week, being able to have small talk in a month, and so on. Setting goals you can accomplish will make you feel successful and inspire you to continue learning your target language.
What Interests You?
Are you into sports? Movies? Food? Do you enjoy fine dining and wine? Culture? Remember that a language doesn’t exist by itself. It is the glue that binds culture together. If you want to learn French, and you love film, why not focus on watching movies in French? Read film critiques or have discussions about French cinema. This makes learning a second language personal. If you can focus on your interests in your target language, it will motivate you.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Learning a language is not a competition. Having friends that are bilingual or watching YouTube videos with polyglots can be very motivating if you’re in the right mood. However, if you’re struggling to learn a second language, then watching someone who can effortlessly speak nine languages may create problems. Beating yourself up because you’ll “never be as good as them” will only interfere with your success. You need to take the right approach.
Look at other bilingual people as sources of inspiration and vital resources. As you learn a new language, it can be beneficial to talk to people who have been in your place. Learn how they overcame the obstacles you are facing to become fluent. See them as a role model. Understand that if people can become multilingual, you can learn a second language too.
Pick the Right Method
We all have had classes in high school that frustrated us. Whether it was the subject or the teacher’s style, we all felt like we simply couldn’t learn fast enough. Some subjects come quickly to us; other subjects don’t. But failing to learn a language rapidly may have more to do with how you’re choosing to learn the language. Some people do well in the classroom setting. Others do better with free apps. And some people learn a language just by watching and rewatching movies constantly.
If you’re looking for a quick way to learn Spanish, for instance, then you need to find the best language learning program that suits you. If you’re stuck in one that’s not working, don’t be afraid to change it up. And don’t be scared to mix and match strategies. What matters is your success.
There is plenty of strategies you can use to reward your efforts along the way. You should pick something language specific to help reinforce the skills you’ve learned as a way to enjoy the payoff of your hard work. If you’re starting out learning a language, try picking a restaurant or bakery that speaks your target language. After several successful lessons, go there and order a pastry using only the language you’ve learned.
As your skills become more and more developed, continue to push for greater and greater rewards that will keep you motivated while allowing you to use the skills you’ve learned. If you want to be fluent, then set up a trip to your target language’s native country. This is a great way to make sure you stick to your plan and continue to work hard until the departure date arrives.
You MUST Stay Disciplined
As simple as this sounds, maintaining discipline can be very challenging when learning a language. You’re going to want to see results. And results do happen. However, they only occur by regularly working towards a specific goal. This means that if you’re going to succeed, you have to try and set time aside every day to work on developing your language skills.
You don’t need to give up hours and hours of your free time every day to do it either. In fact, in as little as 30 mins a day, you can work towards fluency. The more you do something, the easier it is to keep doing it. So stay focused and keep coming back to your language lessons. Once you’re used to the change, it’ll be easy to keep working at it.
Learning a Language Should Be Fun and Easy
There’s no way to “fake motivation.” Your mind will know whether or not you’re interested in what you’re studying. Treat learning a language like an adventure. Fluency is an experience that changes the way you see the world and how you’re able to communicate with others.
This doesn’t mean that learning a new language won’t take effort. You’ll have to study often and use your target language as much as possible to make it stick. However, if you stay motivated and work hard, you will quickly discover that learning a second language is an enjoyable experience.