Language learning and emotions

If you feel a strong emotional connection with a language you’re learning, it helps a lot with your motivation. The connection might be with the language itself, the people who speak it, a country where it’s spoken, or some aspect of the culture associated with it, such as literature, food, music, etc.

Many language learners find it difficult to maintain their motivation to learn and their enthusiasm for their chosen foreign language(s). As a result, they might find it difficult to keep studying a language regularly over the long period of time needed to become proficient in it.

However if you fall in love with the language and/or the associated culture, you will probably want to spend as much time with it as possible and will find ways to overcome any challenges you’re faced with. When learning vocabulary it helps if you can find ways to connect the words with your experiences so that you’ll feel more attached to them.

I feel a strong emotional connection to Welsh, Irish and Scottish Gaelic, for example, and this stems to a large extent from my liking for traditional music and songs from Wales, Ireland and Scotland.  In fact I started listen to songs in Irish and Scottish Gaelic long before I began studying the languages.

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