Researchers know that learning a language involves more than just words, grammar, and pronunciation. Emotions and beliefs play a huge role in your success. So what can you do to help yourself stay positive? Here are 3 strategies I encourage you to try:
1. Picture your success. Picture yourself using your language successfully. This might be on an oral exam, in a meeting, on vacation, or during your immersion. Make the image as vivid as possible. Imagine all of the details!
2. Keep a portfolio. Today schools use portfolios as a way to measure a student’s progress and learning journey. Artists use portfolios to demonstrate their abilities. You can (and should) keep a portfolio of your language learning. Take 2 minutes once a week to add something to your portfolio that you did with your language. Look back at your portfolio whenever you begin to doubt your progress! Here are some portfolio options:
● Physical paper folder
● Electronic folder (allows you to upload audio files)
● A private blog or vlog
3. Work on material you know really well. Need a quick boost to your motivation? Find something that’s easy for you to do in the language and review that material. Maybe it was a lesson from the beginning of the year. Maybe it’s language you used in a special presentation. We all want to feel good about the things we spend our time on. Spend time on something you know well. This helps associate positive emotions with your language and protects your self-esteem. This is important!