5 Ways to Stay Motivated When Learning a New Language

Learning a new language is a popular New Year’s resolution, but by the time April and May have rolled around, close to 50% of people tend to have given up on their New Year’s goals. There can be many reasons for this, but the main one is usually waning motivation. When tackling something as monumental as picking up a new language, it’s impossible to avoid hitting a motivation snag where you’re not really feeling up to putting in the time and work needed to achieve proficiency. We’ve all been there! Check out these great tips to help you stay motivated in your language learning, so you can achieve those 2018 New Year’s goals!

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Find your inspiration

There’s a whole online community of language learners out there, and it’s easy to find people to inspire you to stick with it. Look up blogs, articles, or even books by bilinguals and polyglots, find videos of people speaking other languages, and allow yourself to be encouraged by their success. If they can do it, so can you! Another great way to keep yourself motivated is by creating a study area that inspires you. Hang up quotes, images and words that give you a boost of energy every time you look at them.  

Find your reasons

People choose to learn a new language for many reasons. It could be you’ve fallen in love with an Italian and want to be able to converse with his or her family, or maybe you’ve always dreamed of visiting Japan and want to add an extra layer to the experience by knowing some of the language. Whatever your reasoning—be it love, work, travel, or self-improvement—it’s good to take a step back and remember why you started studying your target tongue in the first place. Write down why you want to learn the language and keep it on hand for those days when you’re really struggling to put in the practice time.


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Find your mini-mission

Mini-missions are just really small, achievable goals which you feel you can accomplish on a daily basis. I’ve found that it helps to sit down at the beginning of the day and write down a list of mini-missions I want to accomplish. It feels great to cross them off the list once I’ve gotten them done! The same can be applied to language learning. Your mini-mission could be to learn 5 new vocabulary words, or to watch 15 minutes of a show in your target language. Keep them small and to a minimum so you don’t get overwhelmed and unmotivated.

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Find your pressure

A little bit of pressure can be a good thing when you’re learning a language because it motivates you to keep going, even when you don’t feel like it. Having a deadline, or a use-by date can be a good way to make sure you stay on track. When I was learning French, my deadline came in the form of a job interview I was going to do in French. Because I knew I’d have to do it one way or the other, I made sure to work hard at my French so I would do well. Another way to put pressure on yourself is by signing up to take a language level exam at a local institute. Once your name is on that list and you know you’re going to have to do it in a couple months, you’ll find staying motivated quite a bit easier!


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Find your passion

Do you enjoy watching movies in your spare time? Or jogging? Or cooking? Maybe you like arts and crafts, yoga, and dog walking! Whatever your passion, find a way to incorporate your target language into it so you have some fun. Find movies in the language, or listen to music or podcasts while you exercise, or find a local group of dog lovers who all speak the language you’re trying to learn. And if you’re struggling to meet locals who are native speakers, there’s a rich variety of online language sites that can put you in touch with language learners and speakers from around the globe.

What are some of the ways you stay inspired when it comes to language learning? Do you have any tips or tricks? Share them below in the comments section!