Language learning as an adult usually starts out with excitement followed by a period of high motivation to learn the language. But there will always come a point where your excitement wanes and motivation start to be lacking. That is when you need to know how to stay motivated to learn a language when you feel like giving up.
Remember Your Motivation for Learning
Maybe you wanted to learn for professional reasons such as widening your customer base or better communicating with your current customers. Perhaps your reasons were personal such as being able to communicate with family or a new significant other. Or maybe you wanted to learn some key phrases for your vacation. Sometimes, you just need to remind yourself of why you started learning your chosen language. Other times, you need to add to your motivation or find an additional motivation if your original one is just not cutting it for you anymore. Maybe you need to join a soccer league with Latinos to force you to practice your Spanish. Maybe you need to visit Oktoberfest to meet some native German speakers. Maybe you should plan a trip to Paris to make you hunker down on your French studies. Find a new motivation or an additional one that gives you more of a sense of urgency than your original one is currently giving you. Having a deadline gives a sense of urgency to your learning.
Find New Ways to Learn the Language
Are you currently just using Duolingo or Rosetta Stone? Try signing up for language classes to help further motivate your studies. A sense of structure and knowing that once or twice a week you will be held accountable for your progress may just be the extra motivation you need. Maybe you are already taking classes and are doing what’s required, but are not pleased with your progress. Maybe try immersing yourself in the language by listening authentic songs in the language of choice. Or watch your favorite Netflix series with subtitles in the language. If you are already doing that, consider changing the audio to the language with English subtitles. Maybe you are not a TV watcher. You might consider finding events or meet-ups near you where you can interact with people in the target language. Find new and exciting ways to learn the language.
Find a Language Partner
A great way for maintaining a high motivation level is finding a language partner to help you learn. Language partners can be native speakers or fellow language learners. If you choose to meet with a fellow language learner, it is best that you both be taking a language class or be studying from the same program so you can practice the skills you are learning. Ideally, your language partner would be a native speaker who knows a lot about how their native language works or know how the language learning process works either from studying language education or by having learned another language themself. When meeting with a language partner you should plan on practicing conversation in the language. A great way to increase your personal motivation to study would be to choose a topic to cover each week. So during the week leading up to meeting with your language partner, you would study vocabulary and language structures related to the topic that you chose for that week. This gives you a deadline and a concentration for your studies that you would not otherwise have.
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