Sat, 08 Jul 2017 14:21:07 +0000
By Geralde Vincent-Bancroft
Language learning is often started with high level of enthusiasm. But it withers over time. The reason is just because the level of learners’ motivation fizzles away.
There are two types of motivation and these are called internal and external.
You are internally motivated when the reason why you learn a new language is just because you experience a high level of satisfaction when making progress and see how you improve with your efforts.
External satisfaction, as the name suggests, is when the reason of your learning is conditioned by the pursuit of external factors such as grades or better position at work if the condition is met.
External motivation can be powerful in propelling the student towards accomplishment, but it can be extremely stressful and take away the enjoyment factor out of the equation. In the same way, internal motivation can decrease when we start facing set backs in our language journey.
So, how can we prevent dissatisfaction from happening at the risk of quitting altogether?
1- First it is important to set realistic goals.
Imagine yourself one or two years from where you start, think of the achievements you want to obtain and start implementing ways which will help you get there. Be specific and break-down every element which will help you to succeed.
Plan for the week ahead and try to accomplish what you set out to do. Be realistic about the time you can dedicate to your language activity.
2- Know WHY you’re learning the language
You must determine the reason why you’re learning a language. For example if you are a Doctor and you’re studying your second language in order to communicate with foreign patients, study specific vocabulary and sentences that will help you achieve your goal faster, The more specific you are, the more measurable your achievement will be, and this will keep your motivation going.
3- Divide your learning material in small pieces.
I always insist that a ” language Spree ” [ studying big chunks of your language course in a go ] will not help you. At the contrary, try to find 10-15 minutes twice a day and your success will be guaranteed.
Remember, learning a language is not a 60 metres sprint, it’s more like a marathon; pace yourself.
4- Language learning accountability.
We already talked about personal accountability by writing down the weekly goals. You should go back to them at the end of the week and analyse how much of them you’ve achieved and make adjustments, in other words fine tune your method, to improve the following week’s outcome.
Try to find a language buddy with whom to share your accomplishments. It will be a healthy competition and will benefit both.
Publish your goals on Social Media and keep updating your posts with your progress. That will establish an extra layer of accountability which will prove difficult to avoid, if you’re like me.
5- Take a break
Sometimes we feel like we’re living in a roller coaster and are subject to pressures from everywhere. It’s perfectly OK to take one or two weeks off formal studies as long as we go back into the wagon straight away. If you still want to keep in touch with your second language do leisurely activities like listening to songs when exercising or to and from work, watch a few videos on YouTube.
6- Don’t give up
Learning is a process of trial and error and you should not be discouraged when things are not going as planned.
Never compare yourself to others and remember fluency takes time.
Before you go GRAB your MOTIVATION cheat sheet
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