Language-Learning Rewards for Yourself
If anyone has ever taken language classes, you might have been in an environment where it was meant for fun-learning to keep you interested. Rewards may have even been given to motivate you.
For example, in highschool, our French teacher used to toss us candy whenever we answered a question correctly. (Such a treat since food was never allowed in classes, and this class was the exception.)
But what if you're on your own, learning online, and you don't exactly have anyone around to throw candy at you?
Rewards are still important to give yourself. Here are some of my favourite examples:
Cook yourself something from the region where your language is spoken. If you've made it through a skill or reached a milestone, cook -- or even go out for dinner -- enjoying the cuisine of where your language is spoken.
Buy yourself a small trinket or decoration to display where you're doing most of your language learning. (I display Ukrainian items around my office.)
Go on a Google-map holiday, and "drive" down a street in a country or region where your language is spoken. Even a ten-minute holiday can be fun. :)
If you're on Twitter or Instagram, find someone who is speaking your target language, and tweet to them something nice in your new language. The kindness you may get back in your target language can be rewarding! In other words, reward yourself with a new friend or contact.
Keep a Gratitude Journal, but only use your target language to express yourself. Each night, write three things that you're grateful for. After some time, the feeling of the things that please you most are right there, and in your target language!
More beverages and food. If you drink wine, enjoy a glass from the country where your language is spoken as a treat. If a certain dessert is made where your language is spoken, indulge after accomplishing a goal.
Purchase a new song or album in the language you are learning.
Many other rewards have nothing to do with language, such as pampering yourself with a hot bath, a good book with scented candles around, or out enjoying a picnic with someone special -- or by yourself! But make sure you do these things as recognition that you've worked hard at your language-studies, and what you're doing is a reward for that hard work.
When I learn Japanese, I take a freshly baked cookie and cut it into 6 pieces. Every time I successfully understand a bit of grammar, memorized a word or phrase, etc.. I eat a piece. It keeps me motivated, because ain't nothing better than freshly baked cookies :)
Great post! I especially like 1#.
I have been to a few Mexican restaurants (of course just for educational reasons not for stuffing my face...maybe :) ) The coolest one I have ever went to was an Aztec/Mexican restaurant.
Last week I tried making a Spanish banana dessert after doing my Spanish routine, but it turned out horrible. I can’t cook at all LOL
I’ll just stick with the restaurants.
Such a great encouraging post! Thanks so much, those are really good ideas. After I started learning Japanese, I've found that Japanese food is actually really nice and not just loads of raw fish...tho my family seems to disagree with my sudden swerve in tastes when I cook XD
The idea of a gratitude journal in the target language is such an incredible and good idea : D
Love the idea of the gratitude journal, and I will definitely be trying that out! Thank you for the suggestions & have a great day or night :)
When I'm reading a tricky book in French, I read alongside an audio book.
Even so, I find it challenging to do this. So, I'll open a bag of chips or some other junk food. If I want to mindlessly snack, I've got to do something productive, not sit and mindlessly stream Netflix. (Same rules apply: if I want to stream Netflix and snack in the evening, I'd better be watching a movie produced in France.)
Personally I reward myself by watching vines and stupid videos. I'll say to myself "If I learn two skills in Spanish today I can watch "what the...part 8" on youtube"
Thank you for this. With regards to #5, I've just started journalling in my target language and it is indeed very reinforcing. Next step is to go more granular and approach it from a gratitude standpoint.
Wonderful post! I'm inspired to do all of what you suggested when the going gets tough. ;) Thank you.
Reward #1 für mich.
I had a go at reibekuche earlier
(a refugee from a previous language).