8 Ways To Stay Motivated When Learning A Language


So, you wanted to learn a new language? But fell short of the goal? What happened? 

Motivation is personal. Unless you have a twin (or even then), you will be differently motivated in learning a new skill. But language has that attraction that makes some of the reasons for learning a new language universal. See which of the following strategies jive with yours in staying motivated when learning a language.

1 – Have a Goal

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” — Henry David Thoreau

A goal is a realistic, measurable, time-dated target of accomplishment in the future. Stating goals in measurable terms provides strategic decision making for what to accomplish. However, goal-setting takes 10% of your efforts, but achieving takes 90% of the energy and time. A goal should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely – and clearly expressed so that the motivation to pursue does not end in frustration. Do you want to learn a new language? Sure, but set timelines and measure your progress towards this goal.

2 – Project on Rewards

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele

Brazilian football (soccer) player Pele, in his time, is probably the most famous and possibly the best-paid athlete in the world. On retirement, he has an estimated net worth of $100 million. He combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves. You may not be as rich as Pele is but very thing that you came for will not usually be the one you take away. It will be much more. Not all the goals nor rewards can be achieved, but the way to the goal, while projecting on the reward makes the trip pleasant.

3 – Be with Native English Speakers

“With grammar, you can make an impression; good or bad – you are in total control.” – Jeffrey Jitomer

As they say, first impressions last and so, better make sure you make a good impression on your first try. The best way to ensure that is to be speaking with native English speakers or hear them talk where they may be found. Make it a habit to attend discussion forums or chat with teachers and learners of English Forward. They are open to helping new learners and advance learners. Their Telegram chat channel already has reached over 60 and you will feel the warm hospitality of this community.

4 – Learn With a Buddy

“Things are never quite as scary when you have a best friend.” 

– Bill Watterson

The buddy system is a procedure in which two people, the “buddies”, operate together as a single unit so that they are able to monitor and help each other. Being together in activities, like in marathon runs or other competitive events gives a feeling of having moral support. Providing a workplace buddy ensures that your new employee has someone to talk to, which is important in the first nerve-wracking weeks of a new job. In learning with a buddy, you can keep track of your pace by looking at that of your body and thus, feel a friendly competition to push you on.

5 – Watch Movies with English Subtitles

“Using multiple senses allows more cognitive connections and associations to be made with a concept.” – Research Gate.net

Movies take you through spine-tingling excitement and make you feel as if you are in the actual outdoor escapade. Movies also offer you an avenue for learning English words, phrases and sentences in everyday settings, with correct diction (accent, inflection, intonation, and speech-sound quality) as a native English speaker would do. Hearing and seeing at the same time facilitate the learning process better than just hearing alone. And the additional personalization makes you remember more. Netflix bingeing is not so bad at all. Right?

6 – Join a Community of English Learners

“English Forward welcomes you to join their  Telegram Group to continue learning and growing.”

Telegram has grown in popularity in the secure messaging category since its launch in 2013. Telegram is a messaging app, like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger with a focus on speed and security, it’s super-fast, simple and free. Those who want to learn English would love these Telegram features as learning requires a harmonious and safe environment to make errors, to not be judged or ridiculed, and to seek and grow. Privacy, freedom, and security of Telegram make it a perfect match for learning English together with a community.

7 – Write As You Learn

“The act of writing can really help students organize their thoughts.” – an ESL teacher

Writing a journal may seem intimidating for the first time but as you grow into it, it becomes a habit. It does not really need to be as big and formal as a journal. A tiny notebook will do, or an index card 3” x 5” which you can put together with a ring after punching a hole on a corner. Carry the notebook or the index cards with you so you can look at the entries and be inspired by your growing vocabulary. According to a recent study in a forthcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science, using pen and paper, not laptops, to take notes boosts memory and the ability to retain and understand concepts.

8 – Record a Lesson Video 

“Research with adults has shown that we perceive, learn and remember best when we can both see and hear events, rather than just see or hear them.” – Living Laboratory, Museum of Science, Boston

There’s something about seeing yourself in a selfie uploaded in Facebook which makes you want to do things right. There’s an audience out there who will either like or ignore your posts. How about videos? This could prove more interesting to post and attract a wider audience. Seeing yourself in a video gives you that feeling of accomplishment, so much more if you earn appreciative comments on posting in social media.

Remember only 5% of the world speak English as a first language. When you are fully motivated to speak English like a native speaker, you would be occupying that highly acclaimed position in no time.


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