Let's face it, we all happen to have moments when learning a foreign language seems like an endless challenge and looking at goals that are still so far away makes the motivation to continue plummet. Many English learners find themselves in this situation, which can slow down and make progress difficult. When the initial enthusiasm wears off and learning difficulties begin to take over, one can enter a spiral of discouragement. Finding the will to persevere becomes fundamental and, fortunately, it is possible to banish the lack of stimulation by putting into practice some tactics to make the study interesting and enjoyable. This article provides some tips to stay motivated while learning English. The suggestions that follow are designed to help keep track of your goals and provide a kit of techniques to use to regain inspiration whenever you feel a decline in motivation.
The main cause of loss of motivation is loss of focus on the ultimate goal. Young people should see the enormous benefits that English offers for their future, rather than limiting themselves to studying it just because it is a subject covered in the school curriculum.
It becomes helpful to ask yourself questions like: “Why am I doing this? How would my future be different if I could speak English fluently?”
The ability to travel seamlessly, relocate abroad, advance your career and hold successful positions within an organization are just a few examples of possible goals.
Each of us may have different ambitions, but if you feel a loss of motivation, it can be useful to start the exercises by taking a few moments to imagine a future situation in which the goal has been achieved.
This will allow you to approach studying from a new perspective and evaluate other opportunities to make progress, such as taking summer English courses or enrolling in courses taught by native teachers.
Exploring non-traditional study techniques can help you stay motivated when school lessons and exercises start to get boring. An effective and easy way to learn a second language is passive study through film and music. By doing so, you are exposed to dialects, idioms and linguistic nuances through English-language films, television programs and music, improving your listening skills and expanding your vocabulary.
Furthermore, a holiday in English can offer an authentic immersive experience in contact with native speakers, especially if the stay is with a host family. The effectiveness of these alternative approaches lies in their ability to overcome the lack of stimulation by changing the way one is exposed to language. They break up the monotony of conventional study materials by making learning English enjoyable and challenging. So, when motivation wanes, it's worth exploring these options, either by starting to inquire about summer English courses in the area or by starting to plan an English-speaking stay.
When engaging in the study of a new language, some students make the mistake of setting high expectations for themselves and engaging in extended sessions without taking breaks. However, some days can be busier than others and you may feel exhausted, less productive, or simply focused on other activities. It's vital to know that skipping a day isn't a failure, and being flexible is key to boosting productivity and making the experience more enjoyable.
Therefore, it's not the end of the world if you can't find the time for English, you can always get back to work another time, perhaps with a new energy and a new sense of initiative. Taking a break is a great way to recharge, and can also serve as a reminder of goals and achievements. When taking a week or two of vacation, it should be the same, unless the purpose of the vacation is to immerse yourself in the language, such as on an English stay.
The secret is to constantly return to the initial goals and develop a rhythm that conforms to your lifestyle, avoiding being too rigid with your daily routine.
Knowing your level of English means evaluating your own development and the areas that still need to be improved. However, that doesn't mean focusing only on your shortcomings, such as mistakes, careless accent, or limited vocabulary.
Students tend to think their level is probably awful, but this perception is just their approach to themselves. Instead, they should look full circle, emphasizing achievements rather than shortcomings. While they still have a long way to go, they are already on the right track and their results show that there is room for growth and success. As a result, adopting a more optimistic outlook, regaining confidence and having the patience to move forward is crucial.
Furthermore, comparisons should not be made with native speakers, who have been in contact with their native language since birth. You can become fluent and get close to their way of speaking, but without being excessively hard on yourself and impatient. Rather it is useful to adopt an immersive study method such as an English holiday, to simulate the learning conditions of a native speaker.
Sometimes the loss of motivation appears simply out of boredom or because you don't have enough will. In these cases, sharing the experience with a friend, such as signing up for summer English courses to attend during the holidays, can help make the study sessions lighter. Together we can support and encourage each other and there are several studies that demonstrate how some individual activities that may seem tiring turn into pleasant activities if done in company.
Not only that, because you can also look for a partner to start a language exchange with. Learning English and teaching your own language allows you to see studying from another angle and to have the perception that you are not only studying but also teaching. Study or conversation sessions will become less repetitive and you will have much more incentive to improve with your study and achieve your goals.