A lot of content could be written on the topic of how to learn a second language (and in fact, this is a matter on which scholars have debated for years). It’s necessary to remark that we’re all different. Considering each person’s uniqueness, we arrive to the conclusion that there is not a “one size fits all” method for learning a foreign language.

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However, there are certain guidelines that have proven successful no matter what. But disserting on these, would give us material sufficient to write several posts. And it’s not our intention to do that here right now.

Providing guidelines on how to learn a second language is a complex task. But we would like to zoom into the core of this and deliver just one point. Just one? Yeah, only one. We consider this point key because those that have embraced it, are successfully learning and those that don’t, are not.

The above sounds like a bold statement. And we’ll add even more; if you have been trying to learn a second language for some time and haven’t been getting anywhere, please read on. Chances are that you have been failing in this single point.

Concentrating all our attention on a sole spot may seem as an attempt on our part to over simplify things. But, this is not so. Although it’s just one point, it’s a compound one. And each one of us react differently to it.

And the point is…

We firmly believe you can’t learn a second language if you’re not motivated. Motivation will be what fuel is to an engine and what wind is for sails.

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Now, motivation comes in many shapes and forms. And it will be impossible to tell you how to become motivated. That’s your homework. But what we do want to emphasis is its importance.

Who would have thought that the key to open the second language door lies within yourself?

Aesop’s fable: “The tortoise and the hare”

All of us have heard Aesop’ fable, “The tortoise and the hare”. The hare had it all in its favor. But the attitude of the proud coney made it suffer defeat. It had all the resources and recourses but it took everything for granted.

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Its anatomy, the stats, common sense, all pointed to the hare as the winner, but… well, you know the story! Slow and steady wins the race.

Unmotivated students

I’ve seen students start a course to learn a language. They have time to practice, courses to follow and money to spend on tutors and travels. People around them constantly encourage them to learn the language. Family and friends are persistently motivating them to learn. But, yet, with all these advantages, they don’t learn the language they’re aiming for.

Motivated students

On the other hand, I’ve seen students with everything against them. Resources are less than minimum, exposure to the language is scarce, and still they triumph. They find a way around all these difficulties. And they are rewarded for their persistence.

The difference between the former and the latter

For the former, motivation, resources and persistence are on the outside. For the latter, motivation, resources and persistence come from within.

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And what about you?

It’s all about you. Learning a second language is possible if you want to. Everybody has difficulties to overcome when trying to reach goals. But your inner drive can make the difference.

You may be struggling to find motivation. Or you may have been trying to incorporate in your daily life the work needed to learn a second language. Do yourself a favor and check out this post by clicking here. It will help you to smoothly transition into becoming a learning language machine.

This site that you’re in right now is for people learning Italian but the advice we’ll give in the post we’ve just suggested is useful for students of any language.

Don’t blame anybody or anything else. The key that unlocks the door for learning that second language is within you.

Categories: Motivation

16 Comments

Vera · December 4, 2017 at 5:58 PM

What a nice article! I totally agree. A tortoise can overrun a hare if it is motivated and concentrated, and have abilities, of course.
With no language ability it’d be difficult for both. But luckily, there are very few people totally devoid of them. True, some are given more, some less, but everybody can realize their potential in case they want.

    Henry · December 8, 2017 at 11:40 PM

    Hello, Vera! You’re right! Very few people are totally devoid of the ability to learn a second language. In fact, I believe that most people who think they don’t have the capacity are just under estimating the enormous potential of the human brain. In most cases, people who think they can’t, just need more exposure.
    And I totally agree with you, some are given more, some less. Two children can be born in Italy, and one may be more verbally fluent than the other, but in normal conditions, both will speak Italian. Exposure will make them speak. Ability will make them excel in some areas more than others.
    Thank you very much for bringing up this point. I greatly appreciate your insight on this matter.

Laureen · May 26, 2019 at 4:10 AM

Hello, thanks for writing this blog. It’s very educational. My first language is Thai and I learned English as my third in high school. A few years ago, I attempted to learn Spanish and French. However that didn’t work. I’ve been feeling stuck with languages and seeing barely any progress after graduating and starting to work. Thanks for the breakdown of information here. I recognize it’s a great truth, resources are limited and we must make proper use of them.

Blessings

-Laureen

    Henry · September 28, 2019 at 1:00 AM

    Hi Laureen. Thank you very much for stopping by and I’m glad you have interest in learning languages. Yeah, I know that after starting to work, there isn’t as much time as before graduation. But taking advantage of the resources we have and appreciating them can make a huge difference. Please continue coming back for more useful posts. 🙂

MissusB · May 26, 2019 at 4:14 AM

Hello there! Your article is indeed motivating. Some students don’t really take advantage on what’s already spoonfed to them. Learning a second language is really difficult but with a lot of tools,mentoring and other resources, it will be easy. It is always up to the person how they can improve themselves. 

The story of the Turtle and the Hare is a good comparison. It goes to depending in ourselves to achieve goals. In this case, learning a different language. Globalisation includes learning another language different from the mother tongue. It helps in communication especially in business dealing.

Thanks for sharing your insights. I hope a lot of students out there will read this so they can evaluate themselves whether they are a turtle or a hare. 

    Henry · September 29, 2019 at 4:47 PM

    Hi! Yeah, I like the way you have said it: Globalization most of the time implies learning another language different from our mother tongue. And there are so many resources out there. Let’s take advantage of them.

mdparvez67 · May 26, 2019 at 4:27 AM

Hello friend, I have read your entire article very carefully. And I have gotten some insights from your experience. Our mindset before starting to learn a language seems to be very important. If we’re aware of our limitations but also of the things the favorably affect us, then we’ll concentrate our efforts and lose no time! I appreciate your unique approach. 

    Henry · September 29, 2019 at 4:58 PM

    Hi! Thank you for your kind words. I hope this perspective may be useful for you and all those learning a new language. All the best!

Jose Reyes · May 26, 2019 at 4:30 AM

What’s up, Henry?

What an excellent article you have written! I really liked the tortoise and the hare analogy. When you’re great, good, or talented at something, be grateful for what it took you to be where you are because it’s the journey that separates winners from quitters.

Many ask how others learnt a second language. But in many cases those that ask, don’t have enough passion to learn what they’re suppose to be loving. Change your thoughts and change the way things end up in your life!

    Henry · September 29, 2019 at 5:57 PM

    Hi José Reyes. You make two great statements here. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts.

    I agree with you. Quitters don’t realize that winners also encountered adversities. And our thoughts are powerful, so we must be careful about them.

Jasper Zamora · July 9, 2020 at 4:57 AM

Hey there,

as a Filipino, I already know two since we’re mostly bilinguals. I’m having difficulty learning my third (Japanese).

I’m motivated to learn this third language. I love everything that’s Japanese (movies, TV shows, music and anime). Hopefully, I find the right program for me. I’ll definitely try your product. Thanks for this suggestion.

    Jonathan Henry · July 10, 2020 at 12:16 AM

    Hi, I’m glad to hear you’re motivated to learn your third language. All the best.

Ismeglamour · July 9, 2020 at 5:07 AM

The major reason why many fail in one particular field is the fact they forget to grab the key factor that affects success in that particular field…

When it comes to learning a new language: passion, drive and motivation… especially motivation, must be put in check as without it there would be no success in that learning process.

    Jonathan Henry · July 10, 2020 at 1:03 AM

    Hi, 

    Passion, drive and motivation… Those are all good to have when learning a second language. Thanks for your comment.

Brendaliz · July 11, 2020 at 6:47 PM

Hello!

The story of The Tortoise and the Hare is a GREAT analogy to compare to learning a second language. Motivation is a KEY ELEMENT in learning or obtaining anything you do.

I know that even being from a Spanish background, I still could not learn it in school and I CAN NOT emphasize enough that I WISH I had been a lot more motivated to apply myself in my studies.

Maybe I’ll definitely reconsider this and pick it up again.

Thank you!

    Jonathan Henry · July 11, 2020 at 9:06 PM

    Hola Brenda,

    I encourage you to pick up Spanish. It’s a good way to connect with your roots.

    Te deseo lo mejor en este viaje. Gracias por tu comentario.

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