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Ways To Stay Motivated When Learning New Langauges?


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An excuse I often hear why people don't try hard enough to learn new langauges — it's too hard.

Wrong.

Nothing is too hard. A positive attitude and a good reason why you need to get something hard would make a huge difference. And actually one great way to stay motivated when learning a new language is having a good reason why you are learning it. For example if someone wants to read the bible in it's original form in Greek or another language then they wouldn't give up that easily [if they thought learning Greek was hard].

Got more tips? How can one stay motivated when learning a new language that may seem be hard to learn?

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I suppose the people who give up too easily don't really have a reason for learning a new language in the first place. I mean, like you say, it's absolutely crucial to have a reason for embarking on this journey, otherwise you run the risk of losing interest and stopping altogether. I think one of the things that people could look to for motivation is the prize at the end of it all, which ties in with the reason for learning in the first place. People ought to think what it is they're hoping to achieve and how they'll benefit from it. Also, they have to remember that we all learn at different paces and should refrain from gauging their progress against someone else's as they can very easily become very demotivated otherwise. I've known people to have their confidence knocked by this sort of thing and although I can see why it happens, it's also silly LOL 

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In my opinion, I think it takes determination to stick to a language and complete the learning process. The best idea would be to have something that motivates you to learn; like music in the target language and movies; these help a great deal in language learning.

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One of the reasons for not being able to learn a new language is not having time. A learner always find difficult to manage time for learning a new language. When I am learning a new language, I find hard to study the language. After working all day long, I find difficult to stay focused in the new language.

Another difficulty is practice. If you don't practice, you will never learn.

The only to to remain motivated to learn the language is by having a purpose of learning.

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Money is always a good motivator for most people. Working in customer service speaking a foreign language pays way higher than if you were to speak the usual English language, so I think the lure of earning more money is one good way to motivate someone to learn a other language.

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Before I decided to finally take language classes, I used to self-study on my own. And for a month, I managed to get an entire lesson in. Like you said, having a good reason to learn a language is a HUGE motivator. It could be for someone you like, a future career opportunity, or, in my case, simply being able to watch a damn show without English subs. I used to set aside at least an hour a day to learn a topic, so I highly recommend a schedule as well. 

I never tried these myself, but also give yourself an incentive to learn a language, too. Treat yourself if you can memorize "x" amount of words in a week or if you are finally able to grasp that one concept you've been struggling with. Or have study dates if you know anyone else who is trying to learn the language as well. When you actually have to plan to meet up to do something (which entails showering and getting dressed...), I think that'll give you the extra push you need, even if you a lazy ass like me haha.

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I tend to lose motivation if I have no one to practice with. I find that by not putting into practice what I am learning, I tend to get discouraged and will eventually stop studying for a while. Having done this several times, I finally decided to have my husband learn with me so we can practice together, but I suggest finding someone who already speaks the language fluently to practice with. 

 

Also, have fun with the learning process. I don't know about anyone else, but when I try to seriously study a language I get burned out way too easily. 

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I you are not driven by results I guess you will never accomplish anything. Research shows that the biggest motivation for people is not even money, is overcoming challenges. The best motivation for me was simply turning on the german internet radio, listening to the news a simply realizing that I was understanding everything. It was an amazing moment of realization. I guess that's the thing that should drive you, the results you are seeing or feeling. 

I guess the ultimate accomplishment is to actually go to a foreign country and speak the language with the locals, this is the ultimate reward in itself.  I know that after I gave an online presentation to some clients using my second language I was ecstatic. This is the feeling that should drive you.

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Anything could be as hard as you will find it. I  have found out that for me is hard as hell to perform stand up comedy do hip hop vocals, since I pretty much suck at giving out quick thinking, but for some other people it would be as easy as walking across an alleyway.  Also I found out that learning  japanese grammar is hard regardless of what you do, but the speech is easy enough.

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I think having a bigger motivation other than just learning itself can help a lot too. If, for example, you plan on using your learned language to one day live in the country of its origin then you could use that as a constant motivation and having your eye on that bigger goal can give you more of a reason not to get tired of learning the language. I don't know how well that would work for everyone but that works for me at least. 

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On 6/25/2016 at 5:19 AM, John Snort said:

Got more tips? How can one stay motivated when learning a new language that may seem be hard to learn?

I stay motivated by trying to talk to people in the language, and making myself watch some shows on a foreign network so that I can get it down. When I started watching Telemundo network, I heard many things that I learned, and that made me so excited because I knew I was learning. 

There have been many shows that I have skipped threw, but was really interested in. Now I know a lot, and can keep up most of the time.

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I have a wall with pictures to remind me why I'm learning a language and the places I want to go.   In the middle of the wall of pictures is an elephant to remind myself of the quote that you eat an elephant one bite at a time instead of all at once.  So I should approach learning a language like eating an elephant.  Between the constant reminder of why I want to learn a language and my love of k-dramas and music, I do alright to keep motivated.  I think the best approach is to tackle a language a little at a time instead trying to learn it in a week. 

Having said that, I have a friend who saved up for a tutor for a month and focused on learning as much as he could in a month.  After that month he was proficient enough that he could self correct as he learned from books and audio.  From time to time, he hires a tutor to correct him or goes to events to practice speaking only that language.  So that's another approach to learning a language.  I think everyone needs a plan that fits their personality with an end goal.  

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Something that has helped me in the past with both languages and other skills is to set myself manageable tasks. I would give myself a bite-sized chunk per day if that was all that I could handle, but at least I knew I would accomplish one small thing.

For instance, if you are having a stressful day with work, or the kids need a lot of help with homework, or whatever else may be causing you to lack motivation or interest in your language studies, try one of these bite-sized chunks per day:

 

1. Look up one new word in the dictionary and learn it.

You could even flip the dictionary open at random to make it as stress-free as possible to choose the word.

2. Buy yourself something new for language learning.

This is fun because you get a prize for learning. :) Maybe you could buy something like a new movie or book in that language. Read/watch a little. It's a small start.

3. Send one text/IM in that language to your friend or language partner.

If they don't know the language, send it in that language and then in English. This forces you to translate, and it lets them know you are thinking about them -- in two languages! :D

4. Plan a language-inspired outing.

You don't have to go that day, but look up some options for a day when you feel better. Maybe you could sit in on one class at a university as a guest. Or you could go to a foreign film festival. Or you could arrange a day to watch a foreign movie at home with a friend.

 

Just a few ideas. I hope some are helpful to someone.

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On 6/24/2016 at 5:49 AM, John Snort said:

Got more tips? How can one stay motivated when learning a new language that may seem be hard to learn?

I like the methodology of learning a language by doing something that one would be interested in advance already. For example, if you like computers, you can learn an operating system in the desired language to learn by using programs displaying all the menus and dialog boxes in it. 

If you like other subjects like music, you can try to learn to play an instrument reading manuals in the language you want to master. This combines what interests you and what you wish to achieve, gracefully; a combination that is usually successful for maintaining motivation.

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