stay motivated English learning

How to stay motivated when you are learning English

When you first started learning English, you probably felt extremely determined and motivated. You thought ‘yes, I can do this’ and you practised regularly.

However, as time goes on, it’s easy to lose that motivation. Don’t worry, that’s totally normal and really easy to fix!

I’m going to give you 3 simple suggestions for getting your motivation back. You need to do them in this order:

1. Remember (and write down) your ‘why’

What I mean by that why did you decide to learn English? Will it get you a better position at work so that you earn more money? Will it help you communicate with loved ones living in an English-speaking country? Will it enable you to travel to your dream destination?

Now write down your answer at the top of your English notebook. Start your sentence like this “Speaking better English will change my life because……”

Did you know……people who are clear on the reasons behind their goals are far more likely to succeed in achieving them, especially if they have written them down. So grab your pen and do that one now 🙂

2. Set realistic, specific goals

Don’t just say ‘I want to improve my English’. That won’t get you anywhere. Think about exactly what you need for the type of communication you are going to have. Then write yourself a list of your goals broken down into manageable steps. That will stop you feeling overwhelmed and it will keep you on track.

  1. Improve my English
  2. Learn 10 phrases to use at the train station or on a train
  3. Learn 5 ways I can give opinions in meetings at work

Can you see how 2 and 3 are much more realistic and specific than number 1? I have a whole blog post here on setting realistic English goals so have a read of that one to help you decide exactly what’s important to you.

3. Schedule a time and way to achieve those goals

Let me tell you a fact, if you don’t put it in your calendar, it will not happen! It took me a long time to believe that fact but it’s true I promise.

When is a good time for you? Sunday mornings, Tuesday evenings? Choose a slot each week when you can practise and then put it on your calendar. It needs to be as important as that trip to the cinema or your weekly gym visit 🙂

Write on your calendar which goal you will be working on that day and how you are going to achieve it. For example, if your goal is ‘learn 10 new words related to money’, your calendar would maybe look like this:

  • Monday 7pm / Listen to financial podcast and write down 10 new money words
  • Saturday 10am / Write sentences with new money words

Another thing worth considering is what type of learner you are. Usually we have a preference between 4 different learning styles and, if you know which one works for you, you can choose a ‘how’ that will speed up your learning process.

Why those 3 techniques work

When we just have one huge goal (Learn English) we feel overwhelmed and we don’t know where to start.

Being clear about why (writing down our reason), what (our exact personal, specific goals), when (putting it on our calendar) and how (the tasks that will help us achieve our goal) makes it feel much more manageable and attainable!

Share your thoughts: Let me know YOUR ‘why’ and ‘how’ by leaving me a comment in the comments section below!

I hope you are feeling motivated now – You CAN improve your English!!

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Nicki is a Cambridge qualified, experienced English teacher for foreign learners. She loves helping English learners to learn real English and communicate with confidence!

3 thoughts on “How to stay motivated when you are learning English

  1. I just love English and learning it daily is a religious routine for me. The way you purposed is not only useful for learning English but for all you want to achieve in life. Thank you!

    1. Yes Juan! If you can build it into your daily routine so it’s as normal as brushing your teeth, that’s even better!
      And I agree that these strategies are useful for any type of goal 🙂
      Thanks for your comment!

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