Even the most committed language learner sometimes reaches a point when motivation lags. It’s just natural. But, really learning a new language takes persistence.
Put yourself in real world situations
Berlitz, for example, has developed a variety of role-playing activities based on real-world situations.
In one, you are a manager and must deal with a staff member whose office looks like it was just hit by a tornado. Tell him in your new language, to shut the drawers, pick up the trash, hang the clothing, etc. Berlitz has dozens of different scenarios. This helps you learn how to express yourself, think in the language you’re learning, and is fun too.
Make learning part of your everyday life
There are few better ways to understand a new language than to use it in everyday in situations; and, it can be fun.
For example, in your new language describe the surroundings when walking down a street; or, talk about what you’re going to do at work today or when you go home. If you can’t figure out how to say something, look it up later.
One important suggestion: speak out loud to help you feel more comfortable in speaking. Some students even speak into a voice recorder to evaluate later how they’re doing.
Remember why you decided to learn a new language
Keep your ultimate goal top-of-mind. Perhaps, write it down so you can see it when you study. This helps you to keep working to strive and achieve your objective.
Keep in mind how much you have already accomplished
It’s easy to become discouraged thinking about everything you need to learn. Instead, try thinking about what you have already accomplished. Even if you are still a beginner and can only understand or speak a few sentences, that’s still a victory. Feeling good about what you have done will help motivate you to keep going.
Write, write, write!
The primary goal of most language learning programs is to help you become verbally proficient. Writing can help you accomplish this by helping to understand sentence structure, learning vocabulary and other skills, and it is fun and interesting, particularly if you write about yourself or something that interests you.
Find someone else to talk with
Few things are more motivating than actually using your new language and conversing with others. It’s a safe bet there is someone in your community who speaks or is learning the same language as you.
One Italian learner found his local shoemaker was born and raised in Italy. When he’s not busy, the shoemaker is happy to spend an hour or so several days a week in conversation, and even offers suggestions to the learner.
You’ll have a sense of real satisfaction as your conversations improve.
None of these tips are designed to replace the proven learning methods Berlitz offers; but, they will help you along the way.