Read This Before You Start Learning a New Language: Motivation

It’s probably not surprising at all that motivation plays a large role in language learning, but it’s still important to talk about especially when you’re looking to learn a new language. Your motivation for learning a language needs to evolve into a passion. You’re letting this new foreign element into your daily life.

Normani - Motivation (Lyrics) - YouTube

So… Where does motivation come from?

Motivation is a vision, an end goal, a small success. Motivation is not “I have to” but instead “I choose to”. When you focus on the benefits of your actions, resistance will melt away.

I choose to study my target languages every day because I see a future where I am living in those countries and using the language daily. I don’t have to study every day, but language learning has become such a passion of mine that immerising myself in my target language is enjoyable. I love coming out of each study session knowing I am better at the language than I was prior.

What should my motivation look like?

Motivation is personal. Ask yourself, why exactly do you want to learn X language? It could be as simple as: Do you want to challenge yourself to learn something new? Just watch for burn out because there is technically no end goal in this example.

Some good examples of motivation:

  1. You could be motivated to learn French because your relatives live there.
  2. You just took a job in Japan and you don’t speak, read, or write any Japanese.
  3. You’re studying to be a translator and you need to know X languages.
  4. You love languages and you love learning about the different nuances.
  5. If you learn Spanish for work, you could get a pay increase of $1.50 per hour.

For example, I choose to learn Italian because I want to go to grad school in Italy for Computer Science and then hopefully continue to live there after my studies. Learning Italian will help me make new friends, understand the culture, and not look like a standard American, something that can have a negative connotation to it, unfortunetely. My motivation stems from my end goal of living and going to school in Italy.

Keeping motivation as you continue your studies will be a later blog post. First, you must understand what your initial drive is; what makes you want to learn X language.

So, what’s your motivation? Let me know below in the comments! And thank you for reading. 🙂

Published by Elizabeth

Language learner - avid coffee drinker - and IT consultant

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