I recently played To the Moon, an indie adventure RPG. What does this have to do with language learning specifically? Very little.
But, not to get too much into the story, there is something relevant to it. The game is based on the idea that if we always felt the initial motivation that we had when we first came up with an idea, we would almost certainly achieve it. Motivation fades over time as the newness of an idea wears off.
For instance, imagine that one day you decided that you wanted to learn oil painting. On the day of the first lesson, you would be very enthusiastic about the idea. Over time this level of excitement would dwindle. You might never learn because the idea never really stuck. It takes work to change or learn something new. This is what really sucks motivation away. If you could alter your mind so that the same level of motivation on the first day was what you felt every day, no problem.
Unfortunately, you can’t do that (to my knowledge). However, you can make efforts to revive your motivation throughout the process.
1. Immerse yourself in the culture
There are many way to do this, you don’t have to buy a plane ticket necessarily. Make an effort to read the news, watch the movies and TV shows, listen to the music, and try to cook the cuisine. Making an effort to get to know the culture will help you feel more connected to it, a part of it.
2. Read blogs of language learners
This is not only a great way to get tips and ideas, but the enthusiasm the other person feels about their learning may also rub off on you. Relating to the troubles and successes of someone else can revitalize your motivation. Also, language itself is an interesting concept. Learning more about how your brain handles it brings an extra level of interest to the practice.
3. Speak with a local
The truth is that it is difficult to register your progress on your own. Speaking to someone else helps you to see the progress you are actually making, and forces you to see where you need to put in extra effort. Having someone to correct you will also help you in learning to speak the language more naturally. Anyway, isn’t speaking to other people the main motivation behind your decision to learn a language?
Do you have any more tips on keeping motivation levels high while learning?