Learning languages – motivation

Motivation is essential

Learning languages is not an exception to this well known truth. Yet, the questions remain: How can we motivate people to learn languages? How can you find good motivation for yourself?

There are at least a few universal reasons for learning languages. I will mention only those, the most important ones, exactly those, which drove my education since I started studying Spanish.

Travelling broadens your mind – cliché… but true!

Spanish attractions in Malaga. Agave growing in front of the Malaga airport.

Agave in Malaga. My first Spanish experience.

The desire to visit Spain was exactly my first, strong and decisive driving force, which made me grab a Spanish course book and start studying Spanish. Of course you do not have to learn a local language to be able to enjoy your destination country, but for sure knowing it helps a lot. You cannot “feel the country” and the get the grip of the local uniqueness unless you can talk to anybody in the street. Otherwise you will limit yourself to be speaking only to your tour guide, hotel staff, and fellow-tourists, equally lost in the same place – the foreign ground. The better you speak a given language the more you get from any trip abroad.

The featured picture depicts a plant of agave. What is so exceptional about this regular plant? Basically, it doesn’t grow well in Poland where I live. It never flowers here. This is my first picture I took in Spain after my arrival to Malaga. The first surprise was darkness at 7 a.m. when normally in Poland it’s a full day in July. The second surprise was this majestic, tall flower against a background of a rising sun. It still amazes me – it’s a lifetime experience. That first day in Spain I knew that it was the language worth studying and putting away the money for.

Conclusion: set a goal, choose a country, check on any natural wonders you may find there and make your everyday a small step towards your destination.

Learning languages accelerates your brain

It’s true and what’s more important it is scientifically proven. First of all, learning languages as any other mental effort, makes you exercise your brain in a specific way. Unlike any other mental work, studying foreign languages force you to constantly compare two different worlds, interprete them, translate them, associate facts, meanings and sounds, combine words into phrases, match words with the sounds, etc.

Such intense brain training creates more synapses (connections between your nerve cells). It will improve your other skills and general mental performance!

The best time in my life was my 4th grade at the university, in 1998. I started learning Spanish that year and studied it intensively. Immediately I noticed huge improvement in my performance during regular technical classes too. All my colleagues were surprised by my performance. By now you should know the reason behind this mental leap in my abilities. Learning regularly exercised my memory to such an extent that I was absorbing any other things like a cake. A PIECE OF CAKE!

Conclusion: Do you want to get smarter? Start studying languages.

Categories: motivation | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Learning languages – motivation

  1. Agreed! I love your story about the agave tree. I think I started to find my motivation once I knew enough of the language to have a short conversation. As soon as I got over my fear of not being able to communicate, I was hungry to learn more.

    • Thanks for reaction. I like your last statement because it’s similar to my experience. There is a treshold, after which you must study. Otherwise you feel that you miss something important.

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