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Learning a foreign language is an exciting way to enter a new way of life; being able to see into the lives of others is a wonderful experience, and a new-found appreciation for learning new things becomes so much easier. The language study process can be demanding at times and requires a deliberate set of actions in order to be successful. For this post, the aim will be to discuss how to continually be motivated when you set out to learn a foreign language.
Don’t look for too many external sources of inspirations
The motivation for learning a language should be an internal impulse. The reason for learning should be as a result of you deciding this is something you want to achieve, for whatever meaningful reasons and aspirations. From this perspective as a student, you will be on your way to succeeding. There is nothing wrong with being inspired by a success story, an idol, a culture or just the intention of learning something new, after all, the aim should be wanting to acquire language skills.
Create a routine, integrate practice time into your schedule
It is critical to maintaining a routine, every day something must be added to reinforce learning and language skills. Language practice is key, and it allows for increased confidence in being able to speak the language. With assistance from trained professionals, a personalised training schedule can be created for you to be able to learn the best way possible. Persistence will be very important to gain language skills and it takes just as much if not more persistence to be able to keep and practice that knowledge gained.
Have fun with it, incorporate things that interest you
Always try to maintain a positive and fun attitude towards learning a language. Include activities such as viewing music videos and watching movie trailers; do a search for your favourite films in the chosen language, you may never know how exciting that can be to see something familiar being expressed in a new language. Learning languages in environments you can relate to can help the learning process. Language skills are gained based on applying them to real-world situations and more specifically to what you can relate to the best. Incorporating others into your process is also another way of adding some fun in language study. Learning languages with real people in actual scenarios allow for direct contact with understanding and then learning from others who are native speakers.
Set targets to work towards
In making a plan to do anything, it is important to set goals or targets that you want to arrive at and possible timelines where applicable. Language study, some would say definitely needs some planning and scheduling to learn the right way and within a timeline you have available. The important thing is to set achievable targets, make them small, and then keep building as your language study improves. An example of setting small targets could be, being able to have a conversation about food or learning to play a game in that language. Make these targets as specific to your preferences as you can, this will encourage how you practice and how much more you want to learn.
Don’t make mistakes stop the learning process
We are sometimes easily demotivated when things go wrong or when mistakes are made. But there should be no shame in making mistakes as there is more to gain the next time. In studying a language be prepared and open to errors, you will actually learn faster that way, as you will be practising and understanding components of the new language. It may be a good idea to make a note of some of these mistakes in order to track your progress. Allow these mistakes to motivate you to learn, meaning you will aim to correct yourself and in some cases be able to benefit from spaced repetition. Language learners have always been faced with this task of trial and error, seek the right help and the rest will fall into place.
Always acknowledge successes for motivational a boost
It is a very good feeling when you are able to congratulate yourself on being successful at something and meeting your goals. Just the same you should feel proud of being successful at targeting a language and then being able to set a schedule, sticking to it and finally being competent in speaking and writing that language. In praising yourself it is a reminder of how satisfying it can be to work hard at studying. It can be said that learning a language is in a way its own prize.
This listing should be a great guide to follow when you need a reminder why you chose to learn a foreign language. It can be difficult to maintain strong levels of motivation with language study, no one said it would be easy. You may even question what your reason was for learning but remember why it was so enticing to think about trying in the first place; it was something that appealed to you as a new adventure. The skill that you will acquire will be there for a lifetime as long as you continue practising and enjoying whichever language or languages you may choose to study.