How to Stay Motivated While Learning a Language
Frustration is an inevitable part of language learning, as it can feel like you’re putting in a lot of effort without seeing immediate results. This is when many language learners tend to give up. Staying motivated in language learning is extremely important, but it’s easy to lose sight of our upward progress and fixate on every language learner’s dream of native fluency. Instead of quitting language learning entirely, how can you overcome this language block and continue progressing in learning your target language?
1. Allow yourself to take a break.
It may seem counterintuitive, but stepping away from flashcards and textbooks will give you time to recharge and recover from burnout. More importantly, this will help you to take the pressure off yourself to be constantly on the grind. This can be for just a few hours while you take a walk or hang out with friends, or this can be a break for a few days. Give yourself the break that you deserve and treat yourself kindly. Don’t forget to give yourself a chance to do something else that you enjoy in the meantime!
2. Get inspired by people who have successfully learned a different language
This is one of the methods that work best for me when nothing else does. I search for videos of people talking about their language journeys and the challenges that they faced. By listening to their stories and witnessing the hard work that they put in to achieve their goals, I am inspired to do the same. One of my favorite videos to go to for this purpose is this interview with Matt vs Japan. Although I am not learning Japanese, this video is particularly interesting to me because Matt is so technical and precise with language learning that he has an incredible level of fluency, and it inspires me to continue learning and doing what I can regularly to achieve my own language goals.
3. Evaluate your language learning method, goals and motivation
Adjust your expectations and remind yourself that improvement in a language comes from systematic, consistent effort over an extremely long period of time, though the bigger picture might not always be obvious at every point in our language learning paths. It’s important to remember that if you feel this language learning block, it’s a sure sign that you have definitely come a long way from where you first started. This is time to remind yourself of your main motivation for learning the language, and seek out extra motivation if needed, such as friends and a community that keeps you going. Also consider if your language learning method has become overly repetitive. For ideas on how you can make language learning fun and engaging for yourself again, check out these immersion resources here and here to learn your target language and entertain yourself at the same time.
If you are facing a language block, remember that you are not alone, and seek out additional resources to help you if you need it. Cheers to progress!
Yeap, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Riga
(Photo credits to the author)