Language Learning Trick: Find and Use your Motivation to Learn a Language

Motivation: The key ingredient is the driving force.

As anyone studying or teaching foreign languages knows, motivation is really the most important ingredient. If the motivation to learn does not exist, no amount of fancy materials, technology and all-star methods are going to make someone learn.

Motivation is a driving force and can be summed up as that which arouses one to act to achieve a desired goal and elicits, controls and sustains goal-directed behaviors.

An eagerness, a motivation to learn, is totally necessary. This driving force to learn a foreign language can come from a wide variety of sources, which could perhaps be boiled down to needs and desires. If you need to speak a language to complete a task you want to carry out, chances are you will be more motivated to learn and, thus, more successful. If there is a desire of some sort, perhaps to engage in conversation with friends or communicate with a romantic partner, the motivation will push you to learn faster than anything else. Sometimes, the motivation is not as precise as the above examples, and may be just the need to make a good grade in a course you are taking.

Know your motivations and remind yourself of them.

Knowing your motivation and using it to keep you focused and working hard is really the key to learning a language, the single most important aspect of the whole shebang. The process of knowing nothing to being able to communicate is usually a lengthy one, and requires considerable work and patience. Frustrations and obstables arise at times, and motivation can help overcome these hurdles.

I suggest a good dose of self-assessment regularly along the language learning path, to get in touch with what motivation is currently the strongest (there can, naturally, be multiple motivations for learning a language) and holding onto that, perhaps even writing it down and putting it somewhere you will be reminded of it. If you're more techy, perhaps setting a periodic reminder on your favorite mobile device would be a better fit.

Keep the flow and build momentum: learn something today.

Regardless of the details of how you remind yourself why you are learning a language and what your motivation is, this is truly a key factor in engaging your attention and focus to the task at hand. It can be the difference between putting off a learning session for tomorrow and deciding to go for it right now. As so often happens in life, once we start to do something, once that momentum has begun, we often find ourselves enjoying what we do rather than procrastinating! I know because this is a daily process for me, and if I can just manage to convince myself to take the first step in beginning the day's language learning session, I soon find myself immersed in the process and enjoying it very much - and feeling very rewarded when the session is done.

Remind yourself of the spark that motivates you and remember that this may change over time, so revisit your motivations often, get to know them and use them to your advantage to get the learning flow happening on a daily basis.