Lesson Transcript

Are you studying a language but starting to lose motivation?
In this video, we’re gonna talk about The Halfway Point &How to Keep Going with Language Learning
After 6 months to a year of studying a language, you might be feeling like you’re losing a little bit of steam. Maybe you started out strong and now you’re feeling a bit low. Maybe you aren't seeing the results you wanted or you think your efforts aren’t paying off. But the reason for that might not have anything to do with your studies. It might be more an issue about your reviewing and your goal setting.
One – Why You Should Review Your Past Language Goals
When you set goals, do you ever go back to review your progress? It can be a reminder of how far you’ve come and help you keep your motivation up.
Let’s say you started learning a language, and you’ve been at it for a few months. In month 1, you’re excited and motivated. In month 2, you’re still going at it, but maybe the motivation is not as strong, and you wanna make sure that you don’t fall off, unfortunately, as most people do. So, you work hard to keep at it. By month 3, you’re kind of on autopilot and learning with whatever has been working for you. That sounds like a good place to be, cruising on autopilot.
Well, it may seem like a good place to be, but the problem is, by month 4, 5, or 6… if you’ve been coasting along for too long and haven’t had any significant improvements, you may start wondering if you’re actually learning or if you’ll ever master the language.
You might start losing motivation. And worse, you might even quit. If you're learning by yourself, it’s hard, and if you’re not tracking your progress, by month 4 or 5, you might realize that the textbook you’ve been using isn’t helping you increase your fluency. You might think you’re going nowhere. So the reason to review is to check your progress. Maybe you can speak none of your target language in month 1, but at the end of month 3, you can speak 3 minutes, so that’s some progress. And if you’re at 8 minutes now, for example, then you can definitely say that you’ve improved since the start.
It’s good for motivation, just knowing that you got a return on your time investment. So, reviewing is good for progress and motivation. Also, it’s natural to lose motivation with anything you’re trying to learn or do. So it’s something you need to keep up, something you need to keep in mind. What do you do when your motivation dips?
You can stop, take some time to review and reflect. Is your motivation dipping? Are you studying less? Do you feel like you’re not making progress? And if you say yes to these questions, then you can work on boosting your motivation to help you keep going. How do you boost your motivation? Well, do you remember anchor points? Anchor points are things that connect you or anchor you to your goal, such as a language class or a program. It could even be relatives or friends who speak the language, TV shows in that language you like, or an upcoming trip to the target country. All of these things - in one way or another - keep you anchored to your language learning goal.
So, if you’re watching a TV show in your target language, then it’s natural for you to want to understand it better and your desire to learn goes up. If you’re taking language classes where a teacher expects homework from you, that’s another connection to the language. So, you do the homework, you attend classes, you learn more. Ultimately, if you wanna boost your motivation and keep going, you should get more anchor points. But how do you do that? Let’s jump into the 2nd part.
Two – How to Review your Progress &Maintain Motivation
How do you review your progress? First, you always set small measurable goals and always track results.
The study resource you’re using can be used for your review as well. It’s easy to get demotivated and think that you’ve learned nothing, but if you’re using a textbook, for example, you can set a number of pages and that can be a really good motivator, something to reach for. Making sure you’re getting through and then testing yourself on material is a little harder if you’re not actually using your textbook though, so make sure that you actually stick to the plan you set for yourself. Again, the tool you’re using is not so important but just make sure whatever you use, you measure it and track your progress.
Reviewing is as simple as looking at your past goals and results. You can also do it the old school way and look through your notebooks - see how much you’ve written out.
In fact, we have something called the Dean's Date with our Premium PLUS plan, where our Premium PLUS users send in all of their work they’ve completed with their teacher — the writings, the recordings, the assignments — and you can see it all - everything that you’ve done. Then, you can see your actual results of your 3 months of work. Everything you’ve accomplished is in one place.
Do you ever run out of motivation? Of course you do occasionally. And it’s natural for everyone’s motivation to dip after some time.
Then, if you lose motivation, how do you keep going? Just as we talked about earlier, add more anchor points — more connections to the language, whether that means enrolling in in-person classes at a real language school, planning trips, or signing up for a test. Those anchor points help you stay motivated. Your main ones need to be things that will keep you interested in your target language or the people in your life connected to it. These are the things that will keep you motivated.
But it's also important to remember, whether you’re struggling or you’re progressing rapidly, that you have to keep your learning adaptive. As humans, we are adaptive. We adapt to environments, and this is the same thing. Your language learning path has to adapt as you progress. If you’re progressing faster, there’s a way to adapt. If you’re progressing slower, there’s also a way to adapt.
Three – How You Can Keep Going Past the Halfway Point
If you've been studying the language for a few months, it’s normal to start losing steam. If you’re not losing steam and you’re progressing, then great job! And maybe you can share some of your tips with us because it’s one of the hardest things ever - to stay motivated long term. If you are starting to lose steam, remember that this happens with any goal. It can happen to anyone at any time, so you need to learn how to adapt to it.
By being aware that these dips are natural and that they happen, you can expect them. So, when one does come around, you’ll know how to boost your motivation and know how to keep yourself going. Here’s what you do when a dip does come around.
One: Review your learning progress.
If you’ve been setting small measurable goals every month, then this won’t be a problem. The goal here is to see how far you’ve come and this will help maintain motivation. If you can see that you learned 50 words in January, 50 in February, 100 in March, and so on, then you have measurable progress, and this lets you know that you’re improving - even when you don’t feel like you are.
Second: If you’re a Premium PLUS student, you can also participate in the Dean’s Date and submit your work on the deadline.
Be sure to ask your Premium PLUS teacher about it.
Third: If you’re a Premium or a Premium PLUS user, you can also check your Dashboard and see how many flashcards you’ve studied and how many lessons you’ve completed.
We track your progress for you. But of course, it’s best to set goals like learn 50 words, or speak 1 minute of conversation, because completing a lesson may not mean that you’ve mastered everything inside. So, if you’ve not been setting goals and tracking them, now is the time to start.
Otherwise, do you know much of the language you can speak? Or how many words you’ve learned? If you don’t know, then you’ll feel like you’re floating around and not learning anything. So be sure to set small, measurable monthly goals.
Fourth: Create more anchor points to boost your motivation.
Anchor points are connections to the language that keep you anchored to the language and your goal. It could be friends or relatives who speak the language, TV shows in that language you like, an upcoming trip to the target country, language classes, or language programs. All of these things - in one way or another - keep you anchored to your language learning goal. So, if you started learning a language because your relative speaks it, that motivation may not last forever. It may help you in month 1 or month 2, but by month 4, 5, or 6, your motivation might wear off. But you can decide to enroll in a class or start watching a TV show in that language. That would give you some new reasons to keep going to the language. In a way, you give yourself more reasons to learn. A lot of the time, the reasons why we start something are not often the reasons why we continue them, so don't be afraid to adjust your motivations as you go along.
If you have reached a language milestone and are starting to feel a little less motivated, just take a look at these tips. Thorough review, setting anchor points, and reviewing your study methods will all help you keep going in your studies.
For more strategies on how to keep studying, just check out our complete language learning program. Sign up for your free lifetime account by clicking on the link in the description. Get tons of resources to have you speaking in your target language. And if you enjoyed these tips, hit the "like" button, share the video with anyone who's trying to learn a new language, and subscribe to our channel. We release new videos every week! I'll see you next time. Bye!