Learning languages is not easy. It takes a lot of time, dedication, and regular practise. Sometimes things are hard to understand and it can take a long time to remember and apply them correctly. Often things can be very frustrating. Spending much time on it, not feeling like progressing, getting frustrated etc. can make you feel burned out after a while. In the worst case people just stop learning the language and never pick it up again.
I feel like I’m currently heading towards a language learning burnout myself. Why? Let’s see…
- I don’t feel very motivated anymore.
- I’ve been doing the bare minimum for a few weeks.
- I started not doing my homework for my language classes (or only few parts and like either the day before or right before class).
- Sometimes I really have to force myself to do something.
- I’m frustrated because I feel like I’m not progressing at all.
It’s actually not surprising in my current situation. I just have way too many things to do, not enough time to focus on anything, not enought time to just enjoy the process of language learning. My current situation is like this:
- I’m currently learning 3 languages at the same time. I wanted to focus on Japanese only for a while, but I thought since I have the chance to go to free Spanish and French courses, I should just use this chance. And I kind of need the certificates but now I found out that I probably won’t get them on time when I actually need them.
- I thought I had enough time for 3 languages and in the first 1-2 months it was fine and I could do quite a bit. But now things are getting worse.
- There’s always a lot of stuff to do for my classes. I can’t progress at my own pace. Especially when they want us to submit homework. It also means I can’t do many other things that might be more fun.
- I have a lot more other work to do now, compared to 1-2 months ago. A lot of this work is also very important for my future, so I definitely have to focus on this.
- Usually language classes help me a lot. The courses now are not bad and do help, but sometimes they can be very frustrating.
- We do a lot of boring stuff in class and it just makes me feel really tired when I’m just thinking about doing it.
- I feel like my Spanish is getting worse instead of getting better.
- I want to take the JLPT N4 in December but I haven’t done much in the last few months.
The best solution would be to quit Spanish and French and just focus on Japanese again. But I kind of need the certificates, so I don’t want to quit when I’m almost at the end of the courses anyway. It’s only 3 more weeks until the final exams and then it’s over.
Another problem for me is that just focusing on only one language can be a bit boring sometimes and I like some variation. Also when I’m frustrated with one language I can do something in another language.
So I probably won’t drop these languages immediately but I will definitely restructure my studies in 3 weeks:
- Main focus on Japanese with the goal to take the N4 in December.
- Secondary focus on Spanish. But instead of doing boring exercises I will mostly read (short stories for beginners, for level A2/B1).
- Not sure what to do with French yet. I will probably take a break or maybe I will also just read a bit.
There are a lot of things that I’ve learned during the last few months and that will hopefully help me in the future with my learning:
- It’s important to find interesting material to keep you motivated. Nothing is worse than doing boring stuff.
- Streaks are not important. I still have my Duolingo streak from day 1 but I lost a lot of streaks in other apps and I’m planning on purposely breaking my longest Memrise streak (the one in the app) soon so I will have less pressure there.
- Doing fun stuff can really help find more motivation. Listening to songs, watching videos etc. I need to include these things much more.
- Not doing much on some days is okay. Taking a break is okay.
Can’t wait until the 3 weeks are over and I can finally stucture my language learning studies completely according to what I want.