When learning a language you have two primary challenges internally:
- How to get motivated
- How to stay motivated
Motivation is a very important aspect of language learning. It is your why for putting in the effort, time and attention.
There are two types of motivation you can utilize:
- Internal motivation: your own drive, the satisfaction, your own reasons.
- External motivation: Outside rewards, pay, resume, jobs, grades, etc.
It is important that you have aspects of both types of motivation in your efforts.
It is very common for people to start learning Arabic with high motivation. Then, once they encounter a barrage of endless mistakes, vocabulary, irregularities, confused pronunciation – their motivation is destroyed.
Once your motivation is threatened, here are some strategies to defend and counter attack:
Reevaluate your Why: remember your goals, and why you are studying the language. Feel those reasons, and let that begin to fuel a fire again. Concentrate on it, and fan the flame. It is ok if you fall down, just don’t stay down.
Recall the Scope of your Efforts: Your purpose is not to memorize a grammar book, or a huge dictionary. Your purpose is not to be a professional language student. Remember what the scope of your language studies are. Don’t fall into language creep, a never ending abyss of dissatisfaction. Recall scope, and redirect your efforts at that destination.
Look back to look forward: appreciate where you have come from. Remember that you are not in the same place you started, though it may feel like that. You have mentally moved to a different location on the language mountain that is your goal. Think back prior to your studies, and realize how far you’ve come. Feel that, and let that feeling kindle the motivation flame.
Don’t Despair over small things: Broken plurals? Case endings? Forgot a masdar? Stange new word? Don’t let small stuff take you down. Put them all in their own place, and focus on your primary objectives and motivations.
Go Micro: Step by step, you can continue to make progress. Take your goals and break them into smaller tasks… then break them into smaller tasks again. Do this until the tasks are easily accomplished. Then start attacking the smaller attacks with gusto. Likely, the tasks won’t be able to hold up against the full force of your efforts, and you will succeed.
Meditate and Assess your Feelings: The feelings that come once motivation begins waning and weakening can be very beneficial. In fact, you can use this time to regroup and come back stronger than ever. But take some time to probe the feelings and analyze what they are telling you. What are they telling you about your scope, your desires, your needs? Once you have moved into the feelings, decide your course of action.
Attitude Determines Altitude: Realize that your attitude will determine a lot of your success in language learning. Decide which attitude you want, and then make it so.
Choose your courses of Action: After accepting and appreciating your feelings, you can choose courses of actions for the various language activities at your command. Choose which activities and goals you want to redouble your efforts in, which to lessen efforts, where to change attitudes, and what things to abandon. Coming back more organized than ever, you are now stronger. You may have fallen down many times, but if you get back up – you can make it happen.
Fall seven times and stand up eight