7 Ways To Encourage Yourself When Studying A Foreign Language.


Determination is a tricky thing, isn’t it? If you are among the brave souls attempting to learn a foreign language on your own you’ll be sure to run out of motivation some time. Here’s a collection of my best tricks to help you finish what you started.

  • Keep track of your progress.

Make a chart or get a calendar. Mark you chart each time you finish a session or have studied for a set amount of time. Put your chart in a place you can’t avoid. Make a commitment to check your chart every day. This seems to be a pointless, but it’s incredible how much it helps your motivation.

  • You shouldn’t overdo it.

Learning a new language is not a sprint, it is a marathon. If you start out full of fresh energy it is essential not to burn it all at once. Limit your learning time to one lesson or 1 hour a day. After you’ve achieved your daily goal – Stop. That way you conserve motivation and energy for the following day. Portion your energy to last. This allows you to look forward to your next lesson and finish the race strong.

  • Get assistance.

Online or off-line there are groups who share your goal. Join an online forum or find some similarly minded people in your community. You’ll find that there are other people who are going through what you’re dealing with. Some will even have been through it. Your reinforcement group will keep you going when you intend to give up. Not to mention all the good advice, moral support and fun you will have.

  • Visualize your reason.

Get real clear on why you are studying a foreign language. Make a picture in your head of what will change in your life when you achieve your objective. What will it get you in the end. Great travel experiences, a promotion, new friends or something different? Find a photo in a magazine or over the internet to represent your objective. Make sure you look at it everyday. Place it on your bathroom mirror, place it on your desktop or hang it by your bed. Don’t forget to look at it everyday.

  • Get a goal buddy.

Keeping your enthusiasm by yourself is tough. If you find someone with a similar objective take the opportunity to ask if they want to partner with you. This can work even if you don’t share the exact same goals. Just encourage and push one another to succeed. Having a person to answer to and who answers to you takes your determination to a completely new level.

  • The 1 minute strategy.

You know those days when you simply can’t find a glimmer of motivation. Try a 60 seconds effort. That’s right. You can find the energy for just one minute, can’t you. You simply get started with the intention of working for 60 seconds. After you start, just keep going. This works like magic.

  • Establish mini goals.

There’s a simple trick to doing this right. Remember the moment when you quit something before you reached your objective. How long did you work on it before you quit? Your tiny objective is to keep going half as long. When you get there give yourself a reward. Go see a movie, eat a special meal and pat yourself on the back. Then decide on your next mini goal. This will guarantee that you never hit your quitting point.

  • Plan your rewards.

Split your goals into smaller goals. If your learning language plan is 30 lessons long you can plan a reward after every fifth lesson you finish. Write down a strategy and determine what the reward will be after each smaller goal is achieved. Rewards can be anything you want, small or big. Make your reward a small celebration!

  • Find a coach.

Mastering a foreign language by yourself can be a lonely venture. Even if it is just once a month a session with a language teacher or tutor will boost your motivation big time. This will also show you that your skills are improving and that your development is real. Take a look at your local newspaper or college for adds. Nothing is better than finding a native speaker of your foreign language who is willing to teach you.