Motivation Behind Language Learning

Meet your new language coach bringing you the reasons and motivation to learn any language, as well as helping you find a starting point.

If you ask people “Why are you learning a language?” or “Why do you want to learn a language?” the answers will vary:

  • It helps when doing business,
  • To communicate with friends or family,
  • Be part of a community.
  • Whatever the reason may be, and no matter how impossible it may seem, as long as you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish and apply some intrinsic motivation, you will succeed.

What I have found most interesting is the more clear-cut a person’s reason or goal for learning a language, the more likely they are to learn successfully. Learning a language without pinpointing a specific reason is certainly possible, but without a big picture, vision or clear purpose in mind, other things get in the way and it will never be a top priority.

This is a very common problem that I see among foreigners in China who want to learn Chinese. They feel the need to learn Chinese “just because”—just because everyone else is learning it or just because they feel it will be useful one day. Such a vague goal only hinders the learning experience, causing a lack of motivation, which leads to never learning to read or speak.

Everyone learns an incredible number of new things every day. Some things are simpler and quicker to learn than others, and some are more complicated subjects that can take years of learning and practice. For certain things the required learning period is fairly short, such as using a camera, riding a bike or making scrambled eggs.

A person learns to use a camera because they want to take pictures. Why does a person spend time learning to ride a bike? Perhaps getting from one place to another more quickly than by walking is a priority. Why learn to cook scrambled eggs? Perhaps someone in the family wants to eat them for breakfast. Although it is impossible to learn to do any of these things without some sort of a learning process, the purpose is simple and crystal clear.

Let’s say, for example, that you want to complete an Ironman. You will need to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run a full marathon.

I hate to break it to you, but there is no way you can just get up off the couch today and successfully complete an Ironman Triathlon without having previously trained for it.

The same goes for learning a language. With intrinsic motivation and a clear vision, you will be able to break down your main goal into short-term goals. You do not need a 12-page plan detailing exactly how you are going to accomplish your goals. Scaling the huge, steep mountain that is language is a much more doable task when you know where to start climbing.
Plan now, and you will be successful.