Lost motivation - 失去了动力
guolanNovember 18, 2011, 06:57 AM
I can totally empathize. I'm sure that every single Poddie can! All I can say is, it happens sometimes. Your interest will fade, but it will come back in time. I think we humans are like this with everything in life. Our interests in particular topics/people/hobbies grow, then fade, then grow again.
Actually, your Chinese is already this good, so you must be somewhat used to this cycle of "I love studying" and "Do I still have to study?" I'd say to allow yourself to do less studying when you've lost motivation, or try another style of study. Maybe pick up Calvin and Hobbes in Chinese, or use Jackie Chan's movies to study spoken Chinese. Or, make sure you're having two meals a week with friends who only speak Chinese, and be sure to learn a new usage (and write it down) each meal.Or, hire a new language tutor, and write a paragraph for each class with him, about anything at all, and ask him to rewrite each sentence for you in a manner that sounds more natural to him, then use the differences you see to create more sentences for him to approve of or correct. Or, debate with your tutor, on any subject that is interesting, yet relatively safe! Do anything that is different from what you've done in the past.
Just don't do nothing. You already know, language ability never stays static...you are either gaining the language, or you are losing the language!
Well, I take back what I said about "relatively safe"! The best progress I ever made was when a tutor challenged me to debate with him on issues that I was extremely passionate about, topics which one would usually avoid or sidestep in order to be agreeable! He would then argue passionately for whichever side of the debate I wasn't on...my Chinese progressed solely because I JUST HAD to get him to see how wrong he was and how right I was!
He remains the most effective teacher I've ever had!
You're right I have hit these walls before, but none as extended as this one, that's why I'm a bit worried. Jackie Chan... hmmmm, not the biggest fan of his movies, but i get your point :)
jennyzhuNovember 18, 2011, 06:59 AM
I think you might be lacking motivation because your Chinese is pretty advanced. I am sure you have no problem with daily life langauge. So you might want to think about what you really want to achieve next. Do you want to be able to fully function in Chinese at work or do you have academic aspirations, etc?
In any case, it's common to hit these learning plateaus and it's totally OK to take a break. But try to still find things you enjoy in Chinese. It doesn't have to be strictly learning material, could be books, movies, etc. The key is to still find joy in using the language. Also try to create "successful learning moments" for yourself. And maybe you need to throw a new challenge for yourself. What's the one thing you really want to do using Chinese, but have not?
Check out this site. They have a lot of resources on motivation for language learners.
I think you right jenny, it's all about finding that next milestone I want to hit. My previous milestone was passing the HSK Intermediate, which I did earlier this year, now I need a new goal. Maybe the advanced, but not right now...
For now I think I'm going leverage Chinesepod more than I did in the past. I previously used Chinesepod mainly for listening (on my way to and from work), and for everything else used my study books focused on HSK... I think I'm burnt out from those books at this point...
Thanks for the website, seems to have a lot of good stuff.
I never lost motivation learning English because there is such an abundance of cultural and pop cultural resources. But I can see how it's different with Chinese.
How about indulging in one of the more under-appreciated aspects of Chinese culture such as tea? The language associated with it is beautiful (and useful)!
I never thought of that... actually learning something like tea through Chinese. I think it would be very interesting, and I do like tea, especially 龙井茶.... hmmm, I think I will look at picking up a tea book to see if it sparks my interest. Thanks for the idea!
henningNovember 18, 2011, 07:19 AM
Actually, I seem to have stopped making progress years ago (I am not living in China) and recently I also do not feel very motivated.
However, on every workday morning I do about an hour of Chinese learning (a CPod lesson or two). It just became a habit. It is like brushing my teeth - I feel uncomfortable when I skip it.