Motivation and Strategy in Language Learning
Since the commercialization of the Internet in mid-1990, it has contributed significant changes in our lives and has even had a revolutionary impact on commerce and culture, including the way we see our world. Communications become easier. Social networking, discussion forums, and online shopping sites are rising.
The way people learn languages is also changed. Compared to the past, it is much easier to learn any languages nowadays, including the language that you cannot find the book in your local bookstore or language that you cannot find the speaker in your neighborhood.
MotivationNo one could deny that motivation is on top of everything. Your motivation to live keeps you alive and your motivation to learn a language keeps you progressing. You also need motivation in language learning. However, wrong motivation may discourage you instead of supporting your learning progress. Therefore, take some time to think profoundly about your motivation of learning languages, or your motivation of learning a particular language.
Your motivation leads you to your goals. The motivations could be a job requirement, moving abroad, exploring your heritage, to be closer to your loved one, so on and so forth. The following list shows a deeper explanation of several examples of motivation.
1. Job requirementAn example of a foreign language as a job requirement is English. English is still a high-demand foreign language not only for students but also for job seekers. Although English is not the only international language, it is considered the most used language anywhere even on the Internet. Therefore, multinational companies may require English as a primary foreign language and/or another foreign language as the complementary. With the high dominance of English globally, English may still maintain its position as the most important global language of business.
2. Move AbroadSeeking a better life overseas or instability within the country, such as economic or political turmoil, maybe two of many reasons to move abroad. The challenges of living abroad are primarily concerned about the language and culture, apart from bureaucracy or others.
If English is not the native language of the host country, it may still be useful in tackling basic chores; however, knowing the local language is more than necessary to understand the local culture and lifestyle, as well as to build a deeper relationship with those who do not speak any language but their language.
3. Heritage ExplorationThe evolutions in transportation system offer great flexibility to move from one place to another. However, moving from one place to another, or in other words “migration and emigration”, has happened even since the colonialism era.
One example is the existence of Chinese communities around the world. The Chinese emigration has established overseas Chinese communities outside of China, regardless of whether they retain their Chinese heritage or no. Therefore, learning the Chinese language may give the opportunity for the overseas Chinese to learn about their Chinese heritage.
StrategyImagine yourself living in the country of your target language and think about how much time with the language you would have by living there. To live in the country of your target language is indeed good for your language learning; however, we need to bear in mind that not everyone could have the time or financial support to do such thing.
If you do not have such a chance, you may create a foreign atmosphere at home. You may begin by surrounding yourself with songs or movies, as well as labeling objects in the target language. It may seem odd in the beginning but this is one way to spend more time with the target language. The more time you spend with the language, the more comfortable you would be with the language.
1. Utilize the InternetThanks to the Internet, language learning is no longer boring and difficult. Nowadays, you can learn any language you want on the Internet, even the language that you cannot find the speaker in your neighborhood or the country you are living.
Skype and Google Hangout are two examples of programs that you can use to communicate with people around the world. You may utilize these tools to conduct a language class with native speakers or to share learning experiences with fellow language learners.
There are also abundant language learning websites – Busuu, Italki, Livemocha, and Verbling to name a few.
2. Join local communitiesLocal language communities may also help you to spend much time with your target language. The advantage of joining local language communities is the ability to interact in real life and the flexibility to engage in real life activities together, which online society cannot offer.
One example may be Esperanto language community. Esperanto is an artificial language, means that no country and no one adopts Esperanto as the main language although there are Esperanto speakers who learn the language from their Esperanto-speaking parents since childhood. Nowadays, Esperanto communities exist around the world.
What is your motivation and strategy in language learning? Thanks for reading. Feel free to share this article if you like. If you have any opinions, please leave a comment. I love reading them.