Learning a new language can be hard. You will probably feel like you should give up more often than you care to admit, you will have good days followed by bad days and you will feel discouraged. However, just like life, any process has its ups and downs and you should not be tempted to give up if you hit a wall.
We have made a list of some online resources to help you stay inspired. Take a look at these links and this list of advice and we promise you will end up feeling as motivated as you were when you first decided to learn a new language!
1. Watch Ted Talks
This does not only apply to language learning but if you need an energy boost and extra motivation, dedicate 5-15 minutes to watching one or a few TED talks. You’ll find one on pretty much any topic that strikes your fancy and there are several that are dedicated to language. For example, this one is held by famous entrepreneur Jay Walker who explains why two billion people around the world are trying to learn English.
And if you need to convince yourself that mastering several languages is important, watch this one called ‘How Language Transformed Humanity’.
2. Read Fluent in 3 Months
We have mentioned this website already, but Fluent in 3 Months just happens to be one of the best online resources for anyone learning a new language. Use their forum if you wish to ask specific questions or just browse their blog to stock up on inspiring stories and learning hacks. For example, start with their recent post entitled ‘Why Learn A Foreign Language’ – we are sure it is just what you need!
3. Read articles on Medium
Medium is also a great platform where inspiring people share their stories. Search for language learning and you will find dozens of articles on that topic. There is even one that compares practicing yoga to learning languages! Curious? Click this way! In case you’re wondering how you can use Twitter to improve your language skills, read this one.
4. Ask your questions on Quora
Sometimes the frustration that results from learning a new language are caused by the fact that you feel like you have reached a dead end. It might be because some grammatical subtlety you have yet to grasp or you might need some tips regarding how to improve a specific set of skills.
No matter how simple, complicated or random your question is, feel free to ask it on Quora! First of all, there is no need to remind you of the greatness of the power of the crowd, and second of all, most Quora users are inspiring individuals that might well provide you with more than just their answer to your question. You’ll find the section dedicated to learning languages here.
5. Give language exchange a try
Language exchange is the best way to prevent yourself from giving up. Think about it: if you decide to stop, you will not only be letting yourself down, but also your language exchange partner! If you have yet to find the perfect partner or want more information, we have written about this already and here are all our tips.
6. Watch movies and listen to songs in your target language
Sometimes all you need to get back on the horse is a gentle push. Instead of picking up your grammar book, just press play and listen to music with lyrics in your target language or watch a good local movie!
You will find some interesting songs and movies here:
7. Reward yourself
Do not forget to reward yourself for your hard work! Right now, you might be a little bit disappointed because your current level is not living up to your expectations but think of how far you have come already.
Reward yourself by doing something you truly love. You can also link the reward to your language learning process, for example by going out to eat at a restaurant that serves food from a Spanish-speaking country if you are currently learning Spanish.
8. Formulate your learning goals in a positive way
Instead of focusing on the fact that you have to improve your French before the next semester starts or that you must learn how to speak fluent Spanish, how about saying:
‘I will work on my Spanish so I can watch the next Pedro Almodóvar movie without subtitles’, or ‘I am brushing up my French to make the most of my upcoming summer vacation on the French seaside’. These sound better, right? Remember that learning is a mental process and requires the right mindset.
9. Allow yourself to take breaks
There will be days when you’ll wish you could do just about anything other than working on your language skills. While you shouldn’t let yourself slowly drift away from your goals, make sure you take breaks from time to time. Allow for your newly acquired knowledge to settle a little bit and relax!
10. Keep track of your progress
The best way to keep on learning is to set goals for yourself and take note once you have achieved this milestones. If you remember trying to read a news article and not understanding any of it when you first started learning, try to give it another go several weeks or months later. This will make you realize that you are moving forward. Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate each victory, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
Now may we suggest you bookmark this very page? Next time you are questioning your language learning process and need motivation, just go through this text again and get ready to reach your goals!
If you’re feeling inspired, head over to our website and sign up for your week trial. You’ll be surprised how motivated you’ll feel!