I think one of the most important factors in how successful you will be when learning a language is motivation. Motivated students usually do better and learn faster. If you aren’t motivated, you won’t learn as much. However, even the best of us find it difficult to stay motivated all the time! Here are some suggestions to motivate yourself.
1. Make it fun
Find something that you enjoy. Do you like reading? Then read a book in English. Do you like music? Listen to English songs. Most of us like talking to friends so can you find an English friend or somebody else who wants to practise their English with you? Chat online in English. Follow English speakers on Twitter or Instagram. Watch a film. Whatever you like, try to do it in English!
2. Remember the reasons
Why are you learning English? Do you need it for work or studies? Do you have an exam coming up? Do you want to understand English films better? Remind yourself of the reasons you want to learn and think about the advantages of knowing English. This might help you to be more motivated.
3. Be realistic
Take your time. Don’t compare yourself with other people. Be kind to yourself. Learning a language is hard and it takes a long time, so be realistic about your goals. If you put too much pressure on yourself, that can be demotivating.
4. You're not alone
Are you trying to learn on your own? Working with other people might help you to stay motivated. Join a class if you can or find a friend to study with. If you can’t find a friend to meet with, what about an online language partner? Join a Facebook group or visit italki.com. Duolingo rewards you if you study every day and you can even compete with friends.
5. Little and often
I find it easier to study a little and often. It's easier to make myself study for a few minutes every day than it is to find the time and motivation to sit down for two hours. I think you probably learn better and remember more too.
Also, it helps to have a routine. Study for fifteen minutes when you get home, for example, or read something in English every morning on the bus. A routine helps you to get into the habit of studying and it can stop you from putting it off until later.
7. Set goals
For example, try to learn ten new words a day, or read three pages of your book, or study one grammar point every day. Make a plan for your studies. When you have done it, you feel good and that helps you to feel more motivated.
8. Avoid distractions
Do you need to put your phone away before you study?! Can you really concentrate if you're listening to music at the same time? (I know some people can but I can't.) Don’t look at your emails or Facebook or Instagram first!
9. Reward yourself
Give yourself small rewards like a cup of tea after half an hour of study, and bigger rewards like buying yourself something nice after you pass your exam.
10. Try something new
Try to find a new way to study that you haven't tried before. Find a language partner, watch a film, explore YouTube, find a new app or listen to a song. Look at my other tips for ideas that you haven't tried yet.
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