In a letter to his son, Albert Einstein once wrote that you learn the most “when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes.”
Learning is really that simple. When you are enjoying what you are learning, you are most likely to learn it.
If you aren’t interested in art, it’s going to be difficult to learn the french words for “canvas” (la toile), “paintbrush” (pinceau), and “oil paintings” (peintures à l’huile). And even if you do commit them to memory, it won’t be long before they slip away. But if you love painting, not only will you be excited you learn these words, you will remember them a lot better after you have learned them.
The same goes for grammar. If you are excited to read an article in French, you will be more motivated to learn and understand the grammar. Whereas if you lose interest, why force yourself to “crack the code” and learn the new expressions?
Sometimes the language itself is enough to motivate you to learn, especially at the beginning stages. However, sometimes we learn the language best when we are using the language to engage in something we love.
Immerse yourself in what excites you:
- Teach yourself a skill in your target language
- Read about something that interests you in your target language
- Watch a movie or television show that you like in your target language
Don’t learn the language, do what you love IN the language. Enjoy yourself so much that you don’t notice the time passing, and your language skills will be better for it.