We always hear the expression balance is key. Whether it is a balance between professional life and personal life. Balance between your healthy diet and your cheat meals. Just like any process in life, learning a new language also has a balance. The balance between excitement and uncertainty. So how do we find that balance? How do we juggle between feeling excited with our new endeavor and having doubts on our abilities to reach our goals?
When you decide to learn a new language, you are excited and determined: If you are old school, you rush to buy that motivating notebook and your favorite pencil. If you are more tech savvy, you download the latest app to take notes, create that inspired folder and get ready to start learning. These preparations come natural to us as we embark on a new chapter. But then soon enough we encounter our first obstacle and that’s where uncertainty kicks in and the challenge to stay as motivated as day one arises. If that’s where you’re at in this moment in time, here are a few tips that could help.
- 1. New techniques:
If you feel that what you are doing is not working out for you, change it! There is not one single method for learning a language, there are plenty. So pick one, for each day or maybe each week. Change when you feel tired of one or alternate to feel fresh. Whichever pattern you follow, there’s always another one waiting. As they say: “If plan A doesn’t work, there are 25 other letters in the alphabet”. You can check the various techniques available in the other articles but just remember that there will always be more: some french radio in the morning, a french playlist for the workout session, a french production for movie night. How about language exchange? Polyglot chats or even good old repetition? The list goes on …
No pain, no gain. As they say in the fitness world. In the language world, I want to say that practice makes perfect. Repeat after me, practice makes perfect. But remember that perfect is personal. I mean, it’s your own kind of perfect. Set up a morning routine with a french program, choose french for your bedtime reading, chat with your french coworker at lunch or get some grammar done on the commute. See? The list still goes on …
- Ask for help
There is always a way. And if you can’t find one yourself, ask for help. Try your friends, or a language learning group on social media. Why not even get a tutor or a french teacher. 1-1 or in a group if you feel shy and in need of classmates to motivate you. Whatever you choose, know that every language learner juggles excitement and uncertainty. On most days, you find excitement in a correct answer to a game show or a line in a movie, on others you make a grammar mistake or a spelling error and you start to doubt again. It’s natural, all you have to do is look ahead at your objectives, keep going with discipline, change it up with new techniques and when in need ask a fellow language learner or a professional language teacher.