I figured mid-February is the perfect time to write this post. New Year has us all inspired and motivated to lose weight, stop eating ready meals and maybe even learn a language. So we order a shiny new grammar book, buy a language CD, invest in a big expensive yellow box (I’m talking about you, Rosetta Stone) or even sign up to a free website. Either way we are ambitious, motivated and keen. Still feeling that way now? Then stop reading! Go carry on learning, you’re doing good kid! As for the rest of us? Let’s re-motivate ourselves and find out how to stay motivated learning a language…
Remember why you started.
What made you start learning in the first place? Friendship? Love? Family? Self-improvement? Travel? Work? The reasons for learning a language are varied and often personal. Remember your reason. Use it to motivate you to keep going, keep learning and keep improving.
Once you’ve reminded yourself why, use a site like FutureMe to send yourself an e-mail at some point in the future with these reasons on it. You never know, you could make your day on 12th June or the 27th August!
Record yourself speaking your language.
Right now. Do it. Go. No books, no rehearsal. You don’t have to put it on YouTube or show it to anybody. Keep it tucked away on a hard drive and make a note in your diary to check it in 6 months time.You’ll be amazed at how much you’ve improved. If you’re really brave, you could even attach it to that e-mail you’re going to send.
Be inspired by others.
The online language learning community is growing. So many people are uploading amazing and inspiring videos of themselves speaking multiply languages. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a polyglot (that’s someone who can speak many languages!) then Richard Simcott, Tim Doner and Alex Rawlings are a great place to start for some inspiration.
Make a vision board.
Make your space inspiring. Pick up a cork board from a charity shop or a pound shop and cover it with images, words, photos…anything that is linked to your goal and inspires you to get there. Now put that vision board somewhere you will see it everyday. Tah-dah! Instant inspiration. (Thanks go to my friends at Khameleon Kompany for this idea!)
Find a pen pal or Skype buddy.
Having a regular Skype buddy can be the kick up the bum some of us need to keep practising. If you can’t devote a set time to someone per week, how about a pen pal instead? Sites like italki and Penpalworld can get you started but there is an emerging number of sites offering this service. I’m hoping to blog about this in more detail soon so stay tuned!
Find something you enjoy in the language.
What do you do in your spare time? Film addict? Try this to get you watching films in your target language.
Remember only 5% of the world speak English as a first language.
Well, 5.52% but 5% makes for a prettier heading. That means there’s a lot of people out there that right now we can’t communicate with. Keep learning languages!