Remember the time when you first picked up that English handbook? How amazing everything was and how proud you were of yourself that you can introduce yourself in English? Then, you would learn more and more every day, happy to study and discover new things. You would always squeeze in some time to revise the previous lesson, because you believed it would pay off soon. However, time passes and for some reason, you are not that enthusiastic about English anymore. You don’t feel like revising or learning new stuff – in fact you would rather be sleeping or watching Netflix. You are feeling guilty about this lack of motivation, and thinking “Maybe English is not for me? I will never be good enough anyway.”
Please be aware that it all is COMPLETELY NORMAL. There is nothing wrong with you. It’s simply because when you first started, English was something new and attractive to you. After a while, you have discovered that this shot of dopamine isn’t just there anymore, because in fact learning languages isn’t always a piece of cake, nor it is always thrilling. It is just the way things are – sometimes language students need to go through tedious stuff to eventually achieve outstanding results.
However, if you are reading this article, you probably do not want to give up learning. In fact, you are holding on to it and looking for ways to feel inspired again – therefore English must be really important to you. In such case, here are some tips for you how to get that “English love” back:
Watch, listen and read English for pleasure.
Don’t focus on learning every time you watch a movie, read a book or listen to an English song or podcast. Don’t check up every new word. Just enjoy it, put on your native language subtitles or find a translation and enjoy the content. English is not only about learning it, it is also about simply enjoying it. Looking up every word in a dictionary all the time or being frustrated about not being able to understand everything is an effective way to kill your language learning curiosity. By being hooked on English-language media, you slowly discover that day by day, your desire to learn English is growing.
Don’t be hard on yourself
The problem of lack of motivation and enthusiasm usually doesn’t occur with so-called “lazy students”. It’s actually the other way around – it is often the problem of ambitious students. They often give up, realizing how much time is needed to reach their goal of fluency, or being discouraged by the mistakes the make. If you belong to this group, remember – language learning requires time and dedication. It doesn’t happen overnight – you need to be patient, open-minded and kind to yourself. Celebrate every progress, even a small one. Don’t expect yourself to be perfect, even once you reach the fluency level! Even native speakers make mistakes in their mother tongue, and advanced students might forget a word or dispute over a basic grammar point. The point is – you never stop learning, so there is no point in being harsh to yourself.
Find a friend who speaks English
There is probably no bigger motivation than finding yourself an English-speaking friend. If you live in an English-speaking country, then this task is relatively easy – even a short trip to a shop might prove useful. If you don’t have this kind of opportunity, try finding an English speaker online – there are many apps and websites which provide such opportunity. You can try visiting websites/forums dedicated to your hobby and find English-speaking people with the same interests. Try to check local events in your area – there might be a Tandem meetup for people for want to practice their English. If you are a student, maybe you can volunteer to welcome exchange students? Or if you work in a company, suggest that one English-speaking colleague that you can show him around if needed. Try to seize every opportunity!
Do not wait for motivation
You might find this contradictory to all the things written above. But really, when you think about, it is almost impossible to stay excited before every single lesson. We get bored with things. Therefore, sometimes you shouldn’t think a lot. Just sit at your desk, grab a drink, open your notes and start studying. Additionally, it’s good to adjust your surroundings to your goal – clean your desk beforehand, remove any distractions and make sure the light is just right. You can put on some nice instrumental music in the background, or maybe no music at all – depending on what works best for you. Action leads to motivation – give it a chance to see for yourself.
Find yourself a suitable teacher.
A competent English teacher can trigger your motivation by giving you learning materials according to your interests. On top of that, they can prepare a personalized course based on your learning ability and shortcomings. By observing you, they will see what motivates you and how can they further help you improving. In addition, if you are in good terms with your teacher, you can consider them your English friend, which overlaps with point 3. All things considered, a good teacher means a good feedback you can use to work on your English skills.
Motivation is really important in the process of language learning. It is the drive that leads you to great achievements and to success. Lack of motivation might even make you want to give up studying. If you want to be motivated starting from now on, do not hesitate to try a trial, one-on-one lesson with one of italki English teachers. Learning English online has never been easier, as you are a few clicks away from receiving quality English tutoring from our experienced teachers. Furthermore, you can decide when and where would you like to learn. Our teachers will make sure your studying process is steady, effective and inspiring!
See you around!