Jump to content
Linguaholic

How do you stay motivated?


Recommended Posts

I have been studying languages for quite a while, and I always reach a point where the studies take a decline. Even with good source material, teachers, and native speakers to practice with. I understand some languages when they are spoken, but I have never obtained fluency.

I am asking for tips in order to stay focused on the journey of language. It interests me deeply, and I have the time and resources to apply any advice given. I can even keep a log of my progress for interested parties.

Hope to see some life-changing responses.  :wink:

Link to post
Share on other sites

As I posted in the other threads, Nihonggo is the only foreign language that I tried to learn.. and failed simply because I didn't have a chance to speak it. With English, it is the medium of instruction in school during my student days so I have the motivation to stick to it. But learning a language for the sake of learning, I don't think it's a good idea.

Right now, I am looking for ways to learn a little Vietnamese for our upcoming trip to Vietnam. That trip is my motivation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Honest_Abe, I'm afraid I can't offer any life changing miracles! The way I stay motivated is by striving to do more and learn faster. The better I perform, the more I am motivated to keep going. Just the achievements in themselves are motivation enough for me to keep at it. I'm not sure how you can get around hitting a plateau. You reaching that stage, does it have anything to do with you giving up?

Being in a classroom setup also spurs me on, because I have a bit of a competitive streak. So when I'm around others I want to do better. It helped me at uni that we also had an incentive that spurred us on. Each year, 2 best performers got to go to France for a few months to attend a Language University, and got to be taught by native French speakers, all expenses paid, so it was something to work towards. I'm very proud to say, I got to grab this opportunity one year :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that generally it's knowing that you'll be able to talk to people fluently in their language that motivates me. I usually feel far less motivated if I'm not doing well, but if I'm doing well, that's great motivation too. If you're learning the language just for the sake of knowing it and you're not genuinely interested in it, it will be hard to feel motivated. However, if it's just the odd dip in your performance, once you're doing better again you'll probably be up and running!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Scribendi: World-Class Editing and Proofreading

I'm kind of struggling with motivation right now because I don't really know where to start with learning more Japanese. Yes - I know there's a ton of resources online, but I find "teaching myself" hard. I don't have the time to go to a class, with a baby and a husband that works long hours it's hard to even get normal stuff around the house done some days.

I wish I had the opportunity and time to attend a physical class - something about the presence of others and physically writing stuff down, reading, having worksheets and homework - it all motivates me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that always keeps me going is setting myself a goal. So I'll practice for about an hour or two a day. I like setting goals because I'm a sucker for getting things done. I always have a day every couple of weeks where I don't want to do anything, but I just have to push through that. The next is always better. So my goals have been able to save me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest motivator for me is my boyfriend, really. I'm learning German, and he's a native German speaker from Germany, so I want to learn his language. It makes him really happy when he sees me working at learning it. And that encourages me to want to continue so that I can be as good at it as I can. Its also a fun way to bond between us; I practice what I've learned on him and he corrects any mistakes and helps me out. It makes what would otherwise be an admittedly difficult task for me into something that is fun that we can do together. We've had a lot of good laughs over silly mistakes I've made, and he also praises me thoroughly when I manage to get through learning something new. Its really fun that way.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

The biggest motivator for me is my boyfriend, really. I'm learning German, and he's a native German speaker from Germany, so I want to learn his language. It makes him really happy when he sees me working at learning it. And that encourages me to want to continue so that I can be as good at it as I can. Its also a fun way to bond between us; I practice what I've learned on him and he corrects any mistakes and helps me out. It makes what would otherwise be an admittedly difficult task for me into something that is fun that we can do together. We've had a lot of good laughs over silly mistakes I've made, and he also praises me thoroughly when I manage to get through learning something new. Its really fun that way.

I often hear that it's easier to learn a new language through your boyfriend/girlfriend! So you're very lucky there. I'm happy to hear that you guys also have a good old laugh, while at it. I have always maintained that learning a foreign language should be FUN, and clearly you're having fun while you learn. I wish you the best of luck in learning German, although  you probably don't need it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm kind of struggling with motivation right now because I don't really know where to start with learning more Japanese. Yes - I know there's a ton of resources online, but I find "teaching myself" hard. I don't have the time to go to a class, with a baby and a husband that works long hours it's hard to even get normal stuff around the house done some days.

I wish I had the opportunity and time to attend a physical class - something about the presence of others and physically writing stuff down, reading, having worksheets and homework - it all motivates me.

It looks to me like you have no focus hence the motivation is not strong. First, why do you need to learn Nihonggo? Second, what are the secondary reasons for learning the language? If learning Nihonggo is just for added knowledge, your objective is weak hence the motivation is also weak. Just my thoughts, no offense.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks to me like you have no focus hence the motivation is not strong. First, why do you need to learn Nihonggo? Second, what are the secondary reasons for learning the language? If learning Nihonggo is just for added knowledge, your objective is weak hence the motivation is also weak. Just my thoughts, no offense.

No offense taken! I'm actually living in Japan right now, because my husband is here for work. So as a result I would like to learn it to a decent conversational level. It's hard when I have to go shopping for groceries, for instance, and I am stuck looking for something for a long time because I don't know how to explain to the staff what I am looking for. So that's my motivation. I want to feel comfortable in my surroundings by being competent at the language.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Probably the reason why you always get bored whenever you try to study a specific language is because you lack the willingness to acquire new language. If you have passion for something, no matter how difficult the lessons are, no matter how tedious they seem to you, you would still try your best and pursue it until you become fluent in it. Ask yourself again if this is what you want or not. Because if it's not, I am sorry to say but it would never work effectively on your end.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Wow, I feel sorry for you and hope that you do get your mojo back. I'm lucky enough never to have had that happen to me. But I'm hopeful that you'll regain your drive and passion, you just need to regroup and start over. Maybe a mini break away from the lessons would help in re-energising you?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really just have to remind myself a LOT to do it. I usually set an alarm for every day to remind myself, and to motivate myself, I usually remind myself why I WANTED to learn the language in the first place, and tell myself if I want this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I always remind myself of the main goal why I wanted to learn a new language. I got two reasons or goals, the first one is to advance my career and the second one is to help make my future travel plan more convenient when it comes to talking to native speakers. I think the first reason is what motivates me for now although just like anyone else I also feel the lack of interest or movitation

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the biggest errors people often make is the fact that they learn languages they will never need. Sure, I'd love to learn Japanese, but I don't plan to go to Asia anytime soon. However, I do plan to do my residency in Germany and this is why I focus on learning Deutsch/German. I know for sure that if I don't learn it, no hospital will ever hire me. This way, by keeping my eyes on the final prize, I don't have any problems with staying motivated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you use Duolingo and is a somewhat competitive person, try to use the friends feature. I personally dislike the app, but it's grown on me thanks to the feature. I can be quite competitive from time to time so competition keeps me motivated. If it wasn't for my competitive nature I would have deleted the app days ago. It doesn't have to be Duolingo though, if you can find similar applications or websites that have similar features, I'd say go for it. It really keeps you going.

Link to post
Share on other sites

First let me say that there is no such thing as "wrong" motivation. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa. So don't be discouraged if someone tells you your reasons aren't sufficient to get you through.

Second - motivation, time and resources. If you don't have them, you won't succeed. For time and resources, I don't think many will argue - you either have them or you don't. So that leaves motivation. After studying several languages to a high level, I strongly believe that it's the same thing. When you decide to learn a language, do you have what it takes to struggle through thousands of hours and persevere? If you do, then you will never need to worry about temporary lapses in motivation. If you don't, barring some sort of life changing event like finding a bf in your target language, no pep talk in the world is going to increase your desire enough to get there.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one way to stay motivated is to continue to immerse yourself into the culture through which the language you're trying to learn from originated. I mean, someone mentioned about learning Nihongo. I am likewise inclined to learn that language. Although I don't have much time at my disposal, the willingness and drive to learn are still there. By constantly watching Japanese animations, live action dramas and movies, I continue to be interested in the language. What I need now is to really allot enough time for formal learning.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Think about the fact, that one day you will know a language that other people don`t know. That, in itself, is a huge advantage in society, and the more languages you know, the better. You can also land really good jobs if you know more then your native language, so it is really important to stay motivated and go through with it when learning.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ohhh a tough one!

Well, I can't really say what could work for you, but I'll share what works for me.

I have three sources of "Mojo" (great word you've chosen Lushlala :D):

  1. I make it my routine - it's the first thing I do in the morning. I don't read my emails, no FB,...no nothing! Just study at least 1 hour. If I have the time I'll study for up to 4-5 hours. I'm done for the day after that. Here is a common excuse for this strategy - I don't have the time! - well make the time. If I have to be up by 8 then I wake up at 7 to study. Make the time, make it your ritual. If you make slow (or) fast progress it really pumps you with positive energy for the day, or at least me :D
  2. Positive reinforcement - honestly nothing gets me more pumped up with learning a language than actually talking the language. Let's say I meet a Japanese and I practice with her/him for a bit. If I did good then I'm like "sweet, I'm the right path here, gotta keep it up and try even harder!", if not then I'm like "darn it, I suck I gotta step up my game". I prefer the positive one, but talking to people is a big drive for me. If you don't get to practice for extended periods of time then I find it really hard to build up my Mojo. That's when #1 is really important. You stick with it because that's what you do.
  3. It's on my bucket list - I've committed to learn Chinese and Japanese fluently. I made it harder on myself - I need to learn these on my own. No classes. I'm a very dedicated person - when I decide something then I do it no matter what. Probably that's why I don't make many decisions! :D
  4. Sorry I know I said 3 sources, but there is one more. Learning languages is hard. A lot of people give up on the way. That makes sticking with it that much rewarding. To succeed where others have failed usually has that kind of an impact on humans. And if I can then help others on top of that...? Well, then it was twice as much worth it!

I guess I'd recommend think about your reason for learning in the first place - what's your ultimate goal? Job, significant other, fun? Figure out your goal and focus on it. Decide how much time you wanna invest into this goal and make that time into a daily routine.

Also you might want to ask yourself if the language you're studying is right the language for you. I did study a couple languages a little bit for fun in past, but I didn't feel excited by them so I dropped them. What I mean is maybe you wanna study a language you're more passionate about.

Hope this was a bit useful to you buddy!

Richard

Link to post
Share on other sites

Motivation is great but even more important is turning your language practice into a habit so that it becomes automatic. Motivation is what gets you started and habit is what keeps you going. Just do it everyday in small doses and youll form the habit. Duolingo helped a lot because i wanted to maintain mu streak!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I always remind myself of the main goal why I wanted to learn a new language. I got two reasons or goals, the first one is to advance my career and the second one is to help make my future travel plan more convenient when it comes to talking to native speakers. I think the first reason is what motivates me for now although just like anyone else I also feel the lack of interest or movitation

cool

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think sometimes we can push too hard and then burn ourselves out.  Then we end up not wanting to keep going.

I personally think the best way to stay focused is set aside a certain amount of time each day or every other day.  Make that your language learning time and don't skip it.  After a bit it will become a habit and then you will make great strides in your progress.

Link to post
Share on other sites

How I stay motivated, here are my tips:

1. I make language learning a part of my everyday life. I really don't have the goal to master a language so fluently. But I try to make learning it a part of my routine. Even just ten minutes of learning a day can help. Then at the weekends, I brush up on what words I have learned. Adding these words up, they can become a huge amount in no time.

2. I reward myself. Say I memorised 100 words this week, I can get myself that large Starbucks coffee jelly frappe I've been wanting! Yum!

3. I teach other people. My family loves it when they learn new words from me! So I share my knowledge to them, and their want to learn more keeps me motivated to also learn more!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now I am still struggling to stay motivated,  I've some bad days in which I just wish to go to bed and forget about studying dutch, but I know I'm just a few weeks away from my exam and i need to do everything I can in order to pass it.  Right now my main problem with Dutch is I can't yet express myself so well,but I now understand what I read and at some extent what I hear.  I'm not nervous at all (neurological malfunction?) but I am not 100% sure I'll do so well.  So right now my motivation is not to let down those who trust I will pass this test, by not passing it I'd be letting a l people down...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...