6 ways to reframe de-motivating thoughts

Try these reframes if you are feeling de-motivated in your studies!

We are all going through a lot right now. If you have been studying Spanish or have been wanting to start, this year may have thrown off your plans, opportunities, and environment for studying Spanish. This can be understandably de-motivating!

Here are 6 ways to reframe some negative thoughts you may be having about yourself or studying Spanish, and that spark of motivation can come back with a refresh of your mindset!

#1 – Negative thought: I’m not good at Spanish or learning languages. / Reframe: What am I missing in my study methods?

Ask yourself: am I getting enough of all of the elements of language in my study program? Grammar, vocabulary, speaking, listening, reading, and writing lessons and practice are essential to truly “knowing” the Spanish language.

#2 – Negative thought: She is so smart. Her brain is wired to learn languages, and mine isn’t. / Reframe: I’m going to figure out her study habits and materials, so I can give them a try!

Hey, guess what! If you’re understanding this text, then your brain IS wired to learn languages because you’ve already learned one quite well! There is a popular misconception that if you didn’t learn a language as a baby or young child, then you’ve missed your chance. However, us older-brained people have plenty of benefits over younger brains in terms of our abstract reasoning skills, metacognition skills, and a whole slew of other benefits we achieve as we age and gain more knowledge and experience. Everyone is equipped to learn a new language!

#3 – Negative thought: I give up. / Reframe: I’ll learn a new strategy! Maybe my learning style is different for spanish.

Many language programs tout a one-size-fits-all, “our way is the best way”, “research supports our teaching method” approach. While it is certainly true that there is a comprehensive body of research that points to best practices in second language learning, there is not just ONE answer for each individual Spanish student. Take your learning style into account, or maybe what works for you in math just doesn’t vibe with you in Spanish. Explore different methods to find one that “clicks”.

#4 – Negative thought: I always make mistakes. / Reframe: Mistakes show that I am taking learning risks. 

Can I try to find an environment that makes me feel more comfortable taking learning risks?

One thing that second language acquisition most definitely shows us is that your emotional state plays a large role in your ability to learn language. Find a program, group, teacher, peers, etc. that make you feel safe taking a learning risk. You might still feel some embarrassment or discomfort at times, but a healthy learning environment will help you feel some pride in taking a risk and some gratitude that your mistake led you to learn something new!

#5 – Negative thought: Learning Spanish is too hard and takes too long. / Reframe: “Knowing” Spanish is not all or nothing – I have made so much progress so far!

How do you define “knowing” a language? Maybe… you know all of the words and their meanings? You understand and use all the grammar correctly? You can talk to anyone about any subject effortlessly? If you said yes to any of these questions – think of a time when you couldn’t do those things in your native language. I don’t know the meaning of the word zeugmatography. I make grammar mistakes frequently while speaking my native tongue, and I wouldn’t be able to carry a coherent conversation about zeugmatography with a… zeugmatographist??

Does that mean I don’t know English? No! Give yourself credit knowing what you DO already know of Spanish, and look forward to gaining more and more knowledge and skills as time goes on!

#6 – Negative thought: I just don’t have enough time. / Reframe: 10 minutes per day is better than 1 hour per week!

Consistent practice is the key here. Don’t give yourself excuses for falling off your study schedule, but don’t beat yourself up about it either!

At Rae Spanish we strive to help you stay motivated and in a positive mindset for your Spanish learning. Enroll in a free one-week trial of our Spanish 1 course and consider if it’s a good approach for you!

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