How to fix the biggest problem with language learning

How to fix the biggest problem with language learning

by Jakob Straub

Updated August 4, 2023

Staying motivated is the biggest problem with learning a second language. Motivation is an important factor determining the failure or success of any complex task, and it is arguably the most important one when it comes to the goal of language learning. In the following, we’re going to talk briefly about what exactly motivation is and then give you tips on how to stay motivated as well as best practises for language learning.

How you can stay motivated when learning a language

What is motivation?

Effort alone does not indicate motivation: you can sit through a language learning class without being motivated–and probably without result. Motivation is a combination of making an attempt, having the desire to achieve your goal and experiencing contentment in the task. In other words: you want to learn the language, you have a go at it and it makes you feel good. In this cycle, your motivation stays up, making you more likely to achieve your goal compared to an unmotivated learner.

It’s important to understand that motivation is dynamic, fluctuating and impacted by various factors. In class, someone else’s motivation might be contagious and a good teacher will motivate you, while a study session by yourself when you’re already exhausted can leave you deflated.

Studies show a connection between a strong motivation and a high level of language learning success. Researchers speak of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

The first is integrative and refers to people who want to learn a language to communicate better with family or friends, want to teach their children or have a cultural, cognitive or social connection to the language they want to learn.

The second is instrumental: practical language learning reasons such as improving career opportunities, university entrance requirements or needing to pass a test are extrinsic motivations. As a highly motivated learner, you’ll probably have a mix of the two.

How Lingoda will keep you motivated

The Lingoda methodology is suited for all types of language learners, beginners and advanced alike. Thanks to language immersion with speaking practice and situational training, you’ll gain language skills for immediate application outside of the classroom.

Your rotating teachers will keep you excited about your language learning goals and expose you to native speaker accents and real life conditions. The sentences, activities and topics with which you’ll engage all build towards meaningful communication and fluency.

Lingoda Sprint

The Lingoda Language Sprint lets you learn a language intensively and speak confidently in just three months. It is not only for highly motivated learners, but will also keep you motivated and will make you want to keep learning English, Business English, German, French or Spanish.

How? You select your desired language and intensity and start learning in small online classes available 24/7. Certified teachers, proven curriculum and high intensity with other motivated learners keep your eyes on the goal. On top of that, Lingoda will not only challenge, but reward you: you can earn 50% cashback or class credits with the Sprint and have a double pay-off.

  • Sprint: Intensive two months of learning with 15 classes per month and the chance to get 50% cashback or 40 class credits that are of an even higher value.
  • Super Sprint: A highly intensive learning period of two months with 30 classes per month and the opportunity of 50% cashback or 75 class credits that are of an even higher value!

Best practises for language learning motivation

Follow these tips for learning a language and stay motivated:

  • Don’t put it off: Stop procrastinating and get started on your language learning goals, the time is now! Rid yourself of excuses and negative self talk. Once you’ve started, your motivation will climb even more. 
  • Motivational mix: Make sure to go over your reasons for learning a language and intrinsically and extrinsically to maximise the effect. In any Lingoda classes, our expert teachers will also make sure you’re motivated and keep going.
  • Form a habit: A language learning routine can become a habit after sufficient repetition and thus a motivation in itself. Lingoda classes are designed with habit-forming in mind.
  • Hold yourself accountable: Share your learning goals with someone who will hold you accountable and check in with your progress.
  • Learn smarter: Discover which study tricks and learning methods work best for you and maximise your effort there instead of simply cramming vocabulary into your head, hoping it’ll stick.
  • Make a plan: Formulate milestones in your language learning plan towards your goal of fluency. Celebrate each achievement and keep your sight on the next milestone rather than the far off goal. 
  • Apply what you’ve learned: Using the skills you’ve already acquired will boost your motivation and confidence while helping you actively retain your knowledge.
  • Do what you enjoy: Find activities or things in the language you want to learn which you actually enjoy, such as watching movies, chatting with others or talking to family members.
  • Learn from mistakes: Don’t beat yourself up when something goes wrong. Each mistake is an opportunity to learn.
  • Visualise your goal: Remind yourself of what motivates you, then visualise how it’ll be once you’ve achieved your goal to keep up the excitement of learning.

Are you still struggling with language learning motivation? We’ve compiled more trips on how to stay motivated when learning a new language for you!

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