How can learning English be more inspiring? How can you stay motivated to learn?
Learning English can be challenging and exhausting at the same time. After we’ve been studying for a while, it’s easy to feel uninspired, or even tired of studying English. So, having a way to stay motivated and excited about your studies is an important (and often overlooked) element for English-learning success. The secret to staying motivated and inspired is YOU!
What is your reason for learning English? What gets you going when the going gets tough? When you remember the reason why you want to learn English, you’ll feel motivated, you’ll stay motivated, and that will help you to challenge yourself to become fluent in English.
Step 1: Your Reason
Choose material that is meaningful to you! Most textbooks can be dull and dry, and they’re usually not much fun. They focus tremendously on grammar and language rules, and not what you can do with the language. Find topics that are interesting to you and topics that will hold your interest. This will keep you from getting bored with your studies.
It’s so important to choose materials to practice that you are comfortable with, but that are still challenging. Start with easy materials, and work your way up. You should also choose materials that are meaningful and interesting to YOU. Because textbooks aren’t very inspiring, they don’t help us stay motivated to learn. Instead of finding material that focuses on the language itself, find materials that focus on what you can do with the language.
You should see English as a tool to read about and listen to materials that you find inspiring. Maintaining diversity in the materials you choose will keep you motivated, and will help you improve your language skills at a much faster pace.
Tip: One awesome source of interesting, inspiring, and practical information you can use are TED Talks. There are HUNDREDS to choose from, and on so many different subjects! (Gabby made one too; check it out here! 🤩).
Step 2: Your Habits
Set a clear goal! Setting goals gives us motivation!
As with so many other aspects of our lives, when we have a reason to work hard towards something — a reason that is meaningful and important — we are much more likely to succeed.
Envision yourself setting a SMART goal; one that is
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, and Timely.
You have to set parameters, or limits, on your goal. Fluency is not a clear goal, because even native speakers are continually improving their fluency! We can ALWAYS learn new things about a language. So, set a clear, short-term goal that you can reach within a month’s time, for example, and really challenge yourself to accomplish it.
When your success feels more like a positive and attainable challenge, rather than a tedious chore, it will be easier to see progress each step of the way. When you keep one eye on your progress and one eye on where you want to be in language fluency, it’s easier to get excited about achieving the goals you set for yourself. The more you achieve and the closer you get to your goal, the more fun you will have learning.
Step 3: Your Privilege
Use your skills to help others! It is incredibly motivating and gratifying to be able to use your language skills to share, help, and connect with others.
A great way to start is to find people who are interested in the same things that you are interested in. You can exchange helpful information with them, all while practicing and perfecting your language skills. Keep in mind that your goal should be bigger than just learning English!
Have you wanted to use your English skills to make a difference in someone’s life or in your community? Are you hoping to use your fluency to improve your own personal, academic, or professional situations? Learning a language in order to accomplish any of these things is a huge motivator and a great way to focus your energy toward being a successful English learner. Use English as a tool to help people, and you will help yourself along the way.
Check out our helpful video below for more inspiration. Here’s to using English to connect with others and help make the world a better place!