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5 Tips To Motivate Yourself While Learning A Second Language

5 Tips to Motivate Yourself

1. Schedule your time.

One of the most important factors in keeping your motivation up is developing it into a habit. Whether it be 20 minutes or 3 hours, schedule time to study every day and stick to it. Regular exposure solidifies what you learn and keeps you progressing. To make sure you stick to your routine, a great idea is to build a schedule for your day and decide that every day/Monday/weekend, you study from 6pm to 8pm. Just remember that 30 minutes a day, every day, is better than a binge 8-hour study session at the end of the week (though it’s obviously better than nothing).

2. Learn a word a day with our great Word of the Day learning tool.

Trying to learn everything at once and getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of words in your new language is not a good idea. Sometimes, even if you do learn new words, you forget them quickly because you haven’t heard them enough in context. As mentioned above, daily exposure to new words is an important factor in solidifying your target language. Our Word of the Day tool delivers you daily words and phrases, shows you how to pronounce them and use them in different contexts. Since you can get the WOTD via email, Facebook, or Twitter, this is a passive way of learning a language that fits into your existing daily social media routine. It only takes 3 minutes to review a word and practice its pronunciation, so you can do it on the way to work, in the gym, or even before you go to bed.

Click here to get the French Word of the Day for FREE!

3. Make friends!

Make friends!

If there’s a community of people who speak the language you want to learn in your city, start attending those events! Friendship is the easiest way to get comfortable with the slang, intonation, and mannerisms of a new language. The key to learning any language is speaking a lot, so try to find a native speaker who can be your conversation partner. Having friends that speak your target language means that you will find yourself in situations where you have no choice but to speak that language. But since they are your friends, you will be doing things you enjoy with them. So these situations will probably have little or no stress. These friendships will also mean that you have someone you can ask about language, culture, and so on.

4. Take a break!

Break time

If you’re having an off day or if your brain is already tired of studying, see if you can take a break and do something fun AND useful. Comic books, illustrated stories, and cartoons are a fun way to keep learning while reducing the target language text load for weary eyes. Plus, the images help you plant lasting seeds of memory, as researchers say humor opens up cognitive doors. This is a way to keep the target language active in your brain without the strain of studying a textbook.

Don’t get stuck with the same content though. When things start to bore you, move on. Change up your books, movies, anime, music, dramas, and so on when they start getting old.

5. Don’t give up!

As with any goal, there are going to be pitfalls along the way. You’d have to be incredibly determined to never have an off-day or consider giving up. And when you do it’s ok, but the important thing is to pick yourself up after this temporary setback and keep going. Knowing you’ve overcome a few obstacles is only going to make the moment you have your first conversation in another language that much sweeter. Like the French proverb says, ‘Fall down seven times, stand up eight.’

If you need more motivation, check out this list of the Top 10 Inspirational Quotes in French.

5 Benefits of Learning a New Language

5 Benefits of Learning a New Language

“To have another language is to possess a second soul.” - Charlemagne

Learning a new language is an achievement anyone can be proud of and it’s exciting and beneficial at all ages. It offers many practical, intellectual and aspirational benefits. A wave of new research shows the incredible psychological benefits of learning a second language. These benefits extend far beyond being able to order a cup of coffee abroad or ask directions to your hotel.

1. Learning a Foreign Language Boosts Brain Power

Medical studies have shown the positive effect learning a second language has on the brain. A foreign language is a whole new system with distinct rules, etymology, and meaning, which are just a few of the complexities of a language. Learning a new one puts the brain to work by recognizing this new language structure. As the brain works out meaning and makes full use of this new arsenal to express ideas, it sharpens its reading, negotiation, and problem-solving skills. The fact is, language centers in the brain actually grow in the process of learning a second language.

Boost your brain power!

2. Stave off Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Knowing a second language can postpone the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s by 4.5 years. This is significantly better than the best Alzheimer’s drugs, which can only delay symptoms by 6-12 months. Brain scans have found a noticeable difference in the brain activity of bilingual seniors. Their brains work much more efficiently, more like those of young adults. Scientists believe these seniors’ brains have more reserve brain power that helps compensate for age-related memory loss.

Click here to learn how to introduce yourself in French!

Want to learn how to introduce yourself in French?
Click here to check out this FREE French video!

3. Improved First Language

As we go about our everyday lives, we rarely give a second thought to our own grammatical structure and vocabulary. However, when learning a new language, many people find they have a greater understanding of their first language. Learning a foreign language draws your focus to the mechanics of language: grammar, conjugations, and sentence structure. This makes you more aware of language, and the ways it can be structured and manipulated. These skills can make you a more effective communicator and a sharper editor and writer.

4. Boost Your Memory

We know that people who speak more than one language fluently have better memories and are more cognitively creative and mentally flexible than people who are monolingual. The more the brain is used, the better its functions work. Learning a new language structure entails becoming familiar with vocabulary and rules, and applying this memorized information to communication. This strengthens your memory because your brain’s ability to associate information with mnemonics has been boosted, and it is better at retaining information.

5. Improve Understanding of the World

A language is a doorway to a particular culture. Learning a new language enables a person to have a broader understanding of that culture. You will have access to a whole new array of film, music, and literature, and a greater understanding of the history and culture of the nation – and ultimately, a better understanding of the way the world works, including politics and international relations. You will be able to connect through books, TV, and the Internet and converse with a whole country’s worth of people, which broadens your horizons, interests, and views. A whole new world will be open to you.

Click here to learn new and unique French vocabulary and phrases with FREE Vocabulary Lists!

Open up to a while new world.

“It’s so fun that you almost forget you’re learning.”

Welcome to the new section of our blog, The Mail Bag. 

 This is where we’ll share stories from our listeners in the endeavors with French.   We hope stories from fellow students can help motivate and inspire you to begin learning French or give you that extra needed push and renewed sense of strength when you think it’s impossible to get become more proficient!

 Recently we had a contest giving away a FREE 12 month Premium membership.  Meet our winner, Holly:

“I have been studying French since high school and I have always been a bit of a Francophile. I have spent countless dollars on books, CDs, online subscriptions, etc. Although each element helps, I never really felt I could carry on anything but a basic conversation. Then I met my (French) fiancé, and after a whirlwind courtship, he whisked me away to France. The only problem in my story?

I spoke French like a child.

Although I could understand the meaning (mostly) of the French I heard, I didn’t have the confidence to jump into the conversation.

Then I discovered Frenchpod101 on iTunes; I found it so helpful that I subscribed.  I am a visual learner; I need to read what is being said to fully grasp the meaning. But obviously my conversations are verbal and training your ear is just as important for complete comprehension. Frenchpod101 combines both concepts perfectly.

There is such a variety of topics, and all are very useful. (Believe me, I know what French you really need to live in or visit France!) But what truly makes frenchpod101 different is the light and friendly presentation of the material. The hosts are not only educational but entertaining as well. I find myself laughing along with Sylvain, Celine, and Sam during every podcast; it’s so fun that you almost forget you’re learning.

The lesson notes are fantastic in combination with the audio, you have everything: not just the transcript but also grammar, vocab and cultural insights, which really help you understand the French way of life. After using the insights and tips from the website, my new French family can’t stop commenting on my progress.

Even my fiancé is impressed when I use certain real world phrases from the podcast! It really does help me sound more authentic and less like I have spent my education repeating textbook (and usually outdated) phrases.

I highly recommend frenchpod101 to add to your tool box to finally understand not only the language, but the people as well.”

This is an ongoing project, so please share your stories!  You may send these to contactus@frenchpod101.com with the subject line: “Mailbag Story”.  Our favorite stories will win one month of free premium service and be posted here to be shared with others!
Keep studying hard!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year From FrenchPod101.com!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from everyone here at FrenchPod101.com! We’re grateful to have listeners just like you, and we’re eagerly waiting for the upcoming year to learn French together!

And when the New Year comes around, be sure to make a resolution to study French with FrenchPod101.com!

Have a healthy and happy holiday season.

From Celine, Sam, Angele and the whole FrenchPod101.com Team!