Even though this is not Lindsay's average October of falling leaves and dropping temperatures, we took a deep dive into the season to discuss how you can get motivated for learning a language in autumn/fall.
Listen to our podcast episode 67
Plus, we've got some absolute evergreen tips mixed in for you to help anyone learning a language by themselves. Learning a language by yourself is not always easy, and motivation is a huge challenge. There are so many interesting and exciting ways to get going, so here are some of our best:
1) Fix little things into your routine, and the big things will feel like a treat
Little tip: Try our sponsor Clozemaster as your new app addiction. Get it done in the morning, and you'll be set for the day.
2) It’s back to TV season! Watch a nature documentary or a new series in your target language
In the summer holidays, you'd rather play outside than watch TV in the evening, but now it's time to grab your spot on the couch and get comfortable with a brand new series. Nature documentaries are my secret tip for relaxed watching.
3) Find something you love
It could be music, it could be a pronunciation challenge, it could be anything. In fact you have to love the language you are learning - it's just not enough to think "this will be useful for my career". Follow your own preferences and learning styles, and you won't be short of motivation.
4) Plan an imaginary trip to your destination, complete with bookings and tourist trips
The days are a little grey at this time of year, so why not plan your ultimate getaway in your target language and your target language country? Find out what the place is like in autumn, and even read online reviews in another language.
5) Follow Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
The hierarchy of needs is a concept you might know from psychology, but Lindsay suggests you can also apply it to your language learning. What are the fundamentals that you need to take care of before you can soar in language? Think about what comes first for you and you'll get to build your language pyramid.
6) Set up an indoor space for your study
It's time to build a learning retreat in your home! Got somewhere dedicated to reading or resting, and make some study tea?
7) Use the Hawthorne Effect - external factors
Being motivated is not just internal, but it goes beyond how you are feeling on any particular day. So consider setting up your environment to help you stay with your project and succeed at it. Can you share your goals with someone, or set up your desk to help you study so you're at your #bestself
8) Adopt Dweck's Growth Mindset
Adopting a growth mindset has been proven to contribute to both learning success and happiness in scientific studies. In fact, it is absolutely invaluable for adult learners - add the word "yet" to every statement that limits your ability in your mind and you'll find new motivation to move forward.
9) Use the many events in this season to keep yourself motivated
This season is full of exciting events all over the world, so why not use them to..
- set yourself mini language goals or deadlines to fire up your studies
- shop for seasonal stationery and supplies
- cook a seasonal recipe from your target country
- learn relevant vocab
10) Research what’s going on in your target country
From German Erntedank to Día de los muertos in Mexico, the season brings colour and excitement, new topics, and interesting articles to read in your target language. Keep your eyes open and find out how people celebrate in another culture.
Words in the Wild: Equality and Tea
I've been out in the wild, seeing and discussing words in the English language, and in this episode I presented the best of them to Lindsay to discuss what they can reveal about us and about society.
First, we discussed social justice words. What really IS mansplaining? Is it just a word to describe any occasion when a man explains something to a woman? Or is there more to it?
What do you think of the social justice words like hepeating, mansplaining, manel, and the responding #notallmen and broflakes?
And our second word in the wild was tea - short and sweet, but is this even translateable?