We all juggle many things in our daily lives, and this can make it challenging to stay motivated when learning something new, for instance, taking up a new language such as Chinese.
We often have many things on our list to complete and attend to every day. Therefore, additional tasks like learning Chinese usually take a back seat. This may be understandable, but it is not a worthy reason to do so. We should not drop things to learn a new language. However, staying motivated can make you place a higher priority on learning the Chinese language.
The issue is, how do you stay motivated? After all, you will always have something else that you claim to be “more important” to do.
Here are four practical tips that you can apply to motivate yourself to learn the Chinese language.
1. Do not be afraid of making mistakes
Mistakes are not your enemy. It is normal to make mistakes, and you can learn from them. Another important thing is how you view mistakes.
Your mindset plays a much more significant role in your daily life than you realise. This is best exemplified when learning the Chinese language, which is a foreign language that also has a reputation of being one of the most difficult languages to learn.
The way you should approach language learning should be like learning how to speak.
Have you ever noticed how kids do not care much about making mistakes? They will butcher their native language if they can, and that is okay. It is normal to make mistakes and learning from them is a good way to improve one’s learning progress. Therefore, being afraid to make mistakes will only set you back tremendously.
If you are not afraid to make mistakes, you will rarely find yourself unmotivated to learn. You will be open to making mistakes and learning from them. This serves as a stepping stone for you to achieve fluency in the Chinese language.
While it may not be possible to cultivate such a mindset overnight, it is possible to work on it and achievable over the course of a few weeks.
2. Do not just study the language
A common mistake made by novice language learners is that they focus too much on learning the language and less about the history, culture, and the people behind it.
Thus, put down your Chinese language textbook for now and try to learn more about Chinese culture instead. You will realise that you will learn just as much about Chinese or even more than what your books have to offer, by learning about the Chinese culture. This includes Chinese cuisine and architecture.
The reason being, you do not only learn the language but also the people behind it. In a way, this makes the language come alive and interesting.
Speaking of making a language interesting to learn, getting a friend’s help is an effective method. They do not have to learn the Chinese language with you, but merely be present to motivate and cheer you up whenever you feel tired to continue working on your Chinese.
3. Make time to learn Chinese everyday
It does not matter if you take five minutes, fifteen minutes, or even an hour to learn the Chinese language every day. What is important is that you make time to do so and ensure that you stick to your routine daily.
It is important to set aside the same exact amount of time to learn the Chinese language each day. This is because you will never be able to make time for it if you are just adjusting your schedule constantly.
4. Enrol in a Chinese Language Class
There is no best way to learn the Chinese language. However, enrolling in a Chinese class can greatly benefit you. You will be surrounded by like-minded individuals who have similar language learning goals as yourself. This way, you will be highly motivated to attend class and learn the Chinese language as the environment is conducive for learning.