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How to Stay Motivated for Every Language Lesson

by Madeleine Lee

It’s check-in time. How’s your study routine going? If you’re learning on your own, when was the last time you tackled a new chapter? To take it a step further: When was the last time you felt the spark that inspired you to take up a new language in the first place? 

Staying motivated throughout your language learning journey is its own practice and accomplishment. The right mindset can help you stay engaged while learning and applying concepts more efficiently. We’ve compiled a list of tips to keep you jazzed and hungry for more! 

Review your roadmap 

Some learners have formal roadmaps from the very beginning of their journey; others do what they have to do to reach their one penultimate goal. When structuring your language learning journey, it’s up to you which path you choose. What matters most is that you make it to the finish line—and take the time to look back at everything you’ve accomplished. 

Remember when you were learning the alphabet? Or struggling through the weather? Learning anything for the first time can be tedious, but it’s amazing how quickly learners are able to pick up new vocabulary and improvise in conversation. 

When you feel like you’re hitting a wall, outlining the progress you’ve made can be just the thing you need to move on to the next lesson. And when you look to the future, see if a shift in your roadmap will help things along by changing up your goals or study routine

Celebrate every milestone 

You’ve got 99 reasons to be stressed, but language learning isn’t one of them. Keep things fun by celebrating every win, both big and small. Here’s a handy list of milestones we like to track: 

Weekly milestonesMajor milestones
Sticking to your weekly study schedule Conversing with a native speaker
Finishing a lessonFinishing an entire unit 
Incorporating additional review sessions to make sure old material sticks Understanding an entire foreign film without dubbing or subtitles 
Acing your end-of-chapter quizFinishing a book written in the language you’re learning

Take yourself out for dinner at the end of a unit, or treat yourself to a jaunt around the park after finishing that lesson you’ve been putting off. You don’t have to throw yourself a party after every goal you meet, but acknowledging the hard work you’ve put in has proven psychological benefits that will keep you motivated in the long term. 

Get to know the culture 

No matter what your long term goal is, it’s safe to assume that you’re learning a language to better connect with people. To boost your motivation, put the grammar rules aside and get inspired by the culture that makes your new language so interesting! 

Start by exploring what you love—movies, books, sports, podcasts—in another language. Read a chapter each week or follow sports commentary while you watch a game. Any activity that requires active listening or reading is a valuable immersive experience. Not only is it fun, but it will improve your comprehension and speaking skills and lead to interesting conversations!

Taking a virtual vacation is also a great way to engage with culture. Choose a country where your new language is spoken, and dive into the history behind its biggest cities and major landmarks. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn and how much that historical context can help your understanding of the country’s language. 

Limit distractions 

We’ll end this list with a tip that you can apply to any learning process—recognize your distractions and do your best to rid them from your workspace. We recommend: 

  • Setting your to-do list before you start
  • Clearing off your desk or table
  • Putting your phone on “Do not disturb” mode
  • Wearing headphones to minimize external noise 

Frequent distractions can really derail your progress. Study sessions that take longer than they should can be frustrating, and interruptions can keep you from retaining key information. If you can stick to the above, you’ll find it easier to stay engaged and interested in learning a language. 

Stay the course

Finding the motivation to carry on with your language learning studies is easier than you think! It helps to embrace structure and discipline, but it’s just as important that you embrace fun opportunities to supplement your study routine. From celebrating a milestone to hosting a movie marathon in your new language, you have the power to reignite the spark that inspired you in the first place. You’ll be speaking with confidence in no time! 

Rosetta Stone can help you reach your goals, no matter where you are in your language learning journey. Start today at www.rosettastone.com.

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