5 Methods to Stay Motivated When Learning a Language
Do you want to get fluent in your target language really bad but have trouble keeping motivated from time to time? Do you sometimes feel like hitting a wall and don’t know what to do next?
Motivation is the key to success in learning a new language. But it can also be a common barrier faced by many language learners. Noticing you are lacking motivation and trying to find help already make you steps ahead. Remember, momentary loss of motivation does not have to be the end of your language learning journey. Knowing how to bounce back when you feel unmotivated is already halfway to success.
In this article, we have concluded several of the best practices to help you stay motivated when learning a new language. Let’s take a look!
Remember why you get started
First and foremost: remember why you get started. Find a solid, definable reason why you want to study the language right from the start.
This reason should be your go-to place when you feel unmotivated. It should be clearly thought and written down in the first place. It can be some encouraging words written on the first page of your language book, in your target language.
Maybe you want to travel, or you are looking for new career opportunities, or perhaps you are dating someone abroad… A specific goal will help you maintain a stable, interactive motivation in language learning. For example, if you learn a language simply because you’ve always wanted to speak it, your cause will likely be lost along the way. In this case, you should imagine a concrete success situation and how good you will feel when you achieve it. Imagine being to that country you’ve always wanted to go to and being able to interact with people there without any problem.
Make language learning an enjoyable experience
Do you sometimes find learning grammar and memorizing vocabulary quite boring? While these are unavoidable steps to reach fluency in your target language, language learning does not have to be tedious all the time. Make use of the plenty of resources on the internet to make your language learning an enjoyable experience. Here are some common ways to learn a new language while enjoying it:
Watch foreign TV shows and movies
How can you submerge yourself in the culture and make learning a language more enjoyable? You can start by watching foreign TV shows or movies. If you want to challenge yourself a bit more, say goodbye to dubbed movies and series and watch them in the original version or with subtitles in your target language. There are also YouTubers and a vast number of options and platforms through which you can learn the language in a fun way without realizing it.
Similarly, if you like anime or cartoons, you can also try adding subtitles in your target language. This way, you will stay entertained watching shows and movies you would watch anyways. Mix this learning variant with other classic ones such as the books and exercises on paper. Everything together will enhance your learning to a great extent.
Listen to music in your target language
There are scientific studies showing that singing in a foreign language can significantly improve learning how to speak it. So if you like singing or music, try to sing in the language you are learning. You will not only enjoy the music, but also improve your listening and pronunciation skills. You may also pick up some slang words and idioms as you emerge in the music.
Frankly, this method might not help you instantly in reading and grammar but will keep you engaged in your target language. This might lead you to immerse yourself further into the culture, which will, in turn, help improve your overall language skills.
Combine language learning with your hobby
Incorporating your target language into your hobbies also helps you keep motivated in language learning. The key is that it does not feel like part of a lesson plan.
So let’s say you like soccer and are learning French; try watching a match with french commentators. If you feel like making YouTube videos, try recording in your target language. You may find that you actually speak better than you think, which will in turn motivate you to learn more!
Choose the right language learning tools
Using a right language learning tool is also essential to staying motivated in language learning. If you feel unmotivated for a long time, maybe consider changing your main learning tool.
Get a fresh start
Your main language learning tools, more often than not, is your textbook, video lessons, or apps you are using for most of the language learning time. Some of them might be quite old and not very engaging. So to stay on track, you can try to get a new textbook and language aid.
Getting a new text book, buying a new course, or simply changing a new notebook seems to tell you: “hey, let’s get a new start!” What’s more motivating than trying something new?
Use an engaging app like LingoDeer
While getting started all over again can encourage you from time to time, the best way is still find a tool that is engaging and encouraging. If you start looking, you’ll see there are tons of resources out there, and it can be pretty overwhelming to pick the right one, especially since you will need one that is dynamic and keeps you motivated and on track. So it’s worth noting that you should put some effort into finding the right tool in the beginning.
LingoDeer is a fantastic language learning app that focuses on giving you an engaging learning experience. Unlike most apps, LingoDeer does not focus on getting you through a list and list of vocabulary and grammar explanations; instead, it walks you through fun and engaging ways to memorize them. It keeps you motivated throughout the learning journey while teaching in a systematic and comprehensive way. Give it a try today!
Record your progress
One thing that drags you down when learning a new language is not being able to see what you’ve achieved. Learning a new language is a long journey. It can take months from knowing nothing to creating 1 single sentence. And it can take even more time to write a nice paragraph. So if you can visualize your progress, like by writing down every activity you’ve done related to language learning, and look back at these small victories on a regular basis, I’m sure you’ll feel more confident and rewarded, and thus have the motivation to move forward.
A good language learning tool should also help you visualize your learning progress. You can take that into consideration when choosing a learning resource. Is it clearly separated into modules, chunks, or units? Are there any reward system to keep you learning? For example, if you are using LingoDeer app, the day streak and xp system is designed to let you log in and learn a bit every day. So even if you feel unmotivated that day, doing a single exercise to keep your streak going will keep you move forward. You might find your motivation back after doing a lesson.
Put your target language into use
To visualize your progress will be your motivation itself, but to see this, you need to put what you’ve learned into use. Because the ultimate reason you learn a language is being able to use it. In practicing and utilizing your target language in real life can help you better sense what you already know and don’t know and thus maintain your language learning motivation.
Here are several ways to do that:
Incorporate language learning into your daily life
Try recreate a language immersion experience in your everyday routine. For example, you can do this by starting to write in your target language. This can be making a shopping list in the language you are learning, adding language extensions for your browser, journaling in your target language, or switching your phone’s settings to French.
At first, you might not see the value of this technique, but eventually, you will subconsciously learn a large amount of vocabulary without any effort.
Find a PenPal
Downloading a language chat app like HelloTalk or getting a PenPal to practice your writing is a great way to motivate yourself. Through a friendly cultural exchange, you can not only improve your vocabulary, but also see how they are used in real life. There are hundreds of apps and websites where you can do this and don’t be afraid to correct each other, it might seem rude, but that is what language learning is all about.
Travel is another great way to regain language learning motivation. While traveling may not be the best choice for everyone, it’s always a good option to consider. Even if you don’t get to practice your target language a lot, having a first contact with its speakers will undoubtedly make you want to improve for the next time you travel.
Join a language learning community
Nothing is more rewarding than having a conversation in the foreign language you are learning. When you feel stuck, try talking to someone in your target language, you will be surprised about your progress and how much you can communicate. You can only do this if you actively look for ways to speak your target language.
Meet People Who Are Learning Your Target Language
You can also try finding someone willing to learn a new language with you or someone already learning it but at your same level. The ideal place to see this is through language exchange groups.
Language exchange groups can be found on places like discourd, Meetup, HelloTalk, Reddit, university boards, or even in one of those bars and cafes designed for language exchanges. These are especially fun since you only need to order a drink and start chatting.
Read language learning blogs
Believe it or not, there are probably more language learning blogs than you think. LingoDeer blog provides you with interesting, latest language and culture related contents. And there are much much more blogs with all kinds of language learning contents out there waiting for you. From travel, studying abroad, to polyglot and romance, you can definitely find someone who are logging their language learning experience that interests you. Try finding them out on platforms like WordPress or Medium and I’m sure you can regain motivation by relating to someone else’s learning experiences.
Follow language learning influencers
Similarly, you can follow influencers on YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok who constantly post on language learning. Hear how they learn a new language and take away some useful tricks and methods to your own learning. Some of them also have live learning-together sessions where you can join their language community to study together! You may find language learning a lot more fun when you do it together with a community.
Despite what is often thought that learning a foreign language is within everyone’s reach, yet not everyone learns the same way and therefore. While language learning sure requires discipline, motivation also plays an important rule when you find things get hard and want to quit. Hope you have find something useful in this article that inspires you to keep progressing in learning languages.
If you have other methods we missed, share with us in the comments!