Learning a language is no easy feat*. It can change you in so many ways if you let it. It can show you life from another perspective, it can make you less judgemental, more analytical, the list goes on.
Physically, your mouth changes its habits to accommodate for new sounds and ways of speaking, and you begin to understand others a lot more.
There is no way of knowing how difficult you will find it until you try.
I can guarantee you one thing though. No question your teacher asks will ever be as difficult as, ‘why am I doing this?’ if/when you begin to lose momentum and motivation, and you can’t remember the answer.
The moral of the story? The decision to learn a language properly is not one to be taken lightly, especially if you are paying a lot of money for it.
Here are the two main types of motivation, along with important questions to ask yourself and recommendations. Take a look and decide where you stand.
Internal / Intrinsic
This is when you have the [tooltip title=”Motivation.”]get-go[/tooltip] and motivation to do it yourself. Maybe you want to practise for your holiday or you want to move abroad and talk to the locals.
External / Extrinsic
This is when you are required to do it. This could be for work or school, for example.
It’s never black or white, one or the other. Every person will fall on a spectrum between the two. How about you?
1. Whose idea was it for you to start learning a language?
B) your boss’
C) a family member’s
2. Why do you need your new language?
A) for work / a promotion
B) to communicate with friends/locals
C) for official visa reasons
D) no reason, it’s just for fun
3. How far into the future do you see yourself using your new language?
A) one year or less
B) 2-5 years
C) 5-10 years
D) for the rest of my life
4. How much of the language do you want to learn?
A) just the basics (CEFR A1-A2)
B) enough to work/live in the country comfortably (CEFR B1)
C) I want to be at upper-intermediate / advanced level (CEFR B2-C1)
D) higher than advanced (proficient) (CEFR C2)
5. When do you expect to practise in your free time?
A) just to do the homework my teacher gives me
B) I already use my new language a lot in my day-to-day life
C) just whenever I happen to need it
D) whenever I am required to
6. Which skill is most important to you?
7. Where do your weaknesses lie?
D) gathering and organising ideas (planning)
8. What is your biggest worry about learning a language?
A) not being understood
B) being interrupted before you finish talking
C) you may offend someone
9. Do you have somebody to practise with?
A) yes, but it would be weird because we always talk in my language
B) yes, that’s no problem
C) yes, but only for a few hours per week
10. Realistically, how long do you think it will take to reach your goal?
A) a few lessons
B) a few months (max 12)
C) maybe up to three years
d) I’m in it for life
Even though there are no right or wrong answers here, you should begin to see a pattern. Do you have the right motivation? If not, what can you do to get this motivation? Once you have a clear goal in mind, you’re set.
A teacher can learn a lot about a student just from asking these questions and can often adapt their style and lessons to optimise your learning and progress, but they need to have something to work with.
Here at SpeechRevision, we can help you progress regardless, but if you complete your profile and specify your goals, we can adapt our feedback to meet your individual needs.