Keeping Motivated With Your Foreign Language Studies

When learning a language it can be difficult to motivate yourself to study regularly and cover your planned material. While gains in fluency and vocabulary may come slowly, regular study will improve your language acquisition. Several methods exist for improving and maintaining your motivation to study and learn.

1) Make a Schedule and Stick to It

Sitting down to start your work can be the most difficult part of language learning. By establishing a routine you bypass this decision by making your learning a natural part of your day. Make sure that your routine is realistic. It may be helpful to start small, for example with fifteen minutes of each evening set aside for vocabulary or grammar work. You can then gradually increase this as you become used to the schedule.

2) Set Realistic, Attainable Goals

Don't make the mistake of attempting to do too much too fast. By aiming too high you will become demotivated when you do not set your goals. Instead set a series of small goals so that you will have a feeling of accomplishment even if you do not meet every single goal you have set.

3) Remove All Distractions

Make sure that there is nothing in your immediate environment that will distract you from your study. Pets and children should be occupied in another room. Have water or your beverage of choice ready beside you as well as all the paper, pens or computer equipment you may need.

4) Acknowledge Small Successes

Make sure that you achieve a small success every day. Even if you have only learned one new word that is a concrete development that you can be proud of. Once a week look back over your progress so far and acknowledge that you have accomplished something and have progressed towards your overall goals.

5) Reward Yourself For Meeting Your Goals

Rewards can be powerful motivational tools. Give yourself a treat when you have reached a particular milestone, for example 50 words of new vocabulary or two hours of work. Even if it is just a small token such as a favourite chocolate bar it will help you to associate your studies with measurable gains and rewards.

6) Make Your Studies Fun

Learning a language does not have to be tedious. The best way to make learning fun is to have a partner who is also learning the language. As you socialise you can attempt to communicate in the foreign language, supporting and helping each other. Your studies are then an avenue to fun activities with a good friend, meaning that they are something to look forward to rather than something to put off.

7) Consider A Language Class

As they have a set schedule, language classes are great for those who find they are easily distracted when studying at home. The social support and peer learning of a language class also help with your language acquisition. The drive to impress your classmates is a good motivator for competitive types.