At least I’m enjoying the ride!
Learning a language takes hundreds of hours of practice. Depending on who you ask it takes 600 to 1000 hours to reach fluency in Spanish.
So how in the world are you supposed to stay motivated for that long?? That takes years, right?
1 – It’s really important to be aware and to accept the fact that it is a lifelong commitment, pretty much like anything else that you do. For example, if you play the piano, it’s not like one day you wake up and say “ok, I’m really good now so I don’t ever need to play the piano again.” No, you keep playing and you keep getting better! There’s always something new to learn :)
2 – Know why you’re doing it. Your answer could be for a very specific purpose such as travel or work or it could simply be because you enjoy it.
People ask me all the time why I’m studying Italian instead of French, considering that half my family speaks French and my Mom and other family members live in France. Well, I’m not that into French. Italy in general and anything Italian has always had my attention, since I was a little girl. The language is beautiful and it draws me in. This is a language that I feel I could study for the rest of my life and stay committed to. That’s why I chose Italian!
3 – Enjoy it. If studying Spanish feels like a chore to you, you’re not going to last long unless you’re forced to do it for work or something along those lines. Finding ways to practice that are fun for you (maybe music or movies or learning grammar rules excite you) is key for the long term.
4 – Focus on the journey, not the destination. Learning a language is a long journey and if you get too focused on being bilingual, all you’re going to think about is how you’re not there yet. Treasure every new word you learn, every time you self-correct with a mistake you’ve been making for years, every time that something comes out of your mouth with little effort. It’s so exciting when these things happen!!! Treasure those little moments!!
5 – The last thing I will leave you with is the homework of the week. This week we asked our students to pick a topic of conversation and to record themselves talking about it for 3 – 10 minutes (depending on the level). We asked you to do this January and we will ask you again this fall. I would recommend recording yourself once at least every 6 months, so that you can compare the recordings. It’s very easy to forget how far you’ve come and this is proof baby!
Que tengan un buen fin de semana chicos :)