One of the most essential aspects of language learning is motivation. However, maintaining motivation, especially if you are learning outside the country where the language is spoken, can be difficult.

The problem with losing motivation is that if you don’t practice for a while, your language skills start going backwards. If you are motivated, you will find all sorts of opportunities to practice and progress in your language, so that even after a few months you can be significantly ahead of your classmates who don’t have this motivation.

Here are some ideas for keeping your motivation high:

  • Set a measurable goal and write it down. Look at it often
  • Imagine what it will be like once you achieve your goal. Picture yourself speaking your language with confidence, laughing at jokes and watching movies in this language that you will master
  • Be realistic in your expectations. Don’t expect too much of yourself, but make sure you push yourself
  • Find enjoyable ways to study that don’t require too much brainpower. Study that is too difficult is study that you can’t maintain longterm
  • Practice a lot. If you practice, you will progress, and noticing yourself progress is a great way of keeping yourself motivated
  • Keep your goal in mind, and keep it fun. Centre your learning around practical activities and real communication. Learn with others. Learn in an enjoyable environment. Buy textbooks that are too easy rather than too hard, and that progress in slow, achievable, step by step chunks. Stay away from methods that promise fluency in a week/3 months, etc. These will give you unrealistic expectations and go too fast to be enjoyable. It is almost impossible for even the most motivated learner to progress through to the end of these books.