Lesson Transcript


Chigusa: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Chigusa and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of InnovativeLanguage.com... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi everyone! Peter here.
Chigusa: In this Inner Circle, we're talking about…
Peter: How to Boost Motivation &Bounce Back as an Experienced Learner
Chigusa: You'll Learn...
Peter: One: Why I’m Taking an Online Class… for Motivation
Chigusa: And Two: How to Boost Your Own Motivation
Peter: All so you can master your target language and reach your goals!
Chigusa: Listeners, welcome back to the Inner Circle.
Peter: Last time, you learned about the power of having a plan...
Chigusa: ...that will guarantee your learning success…
Peter: ...more so than any app or resource you have. And the plan is what separates learners who improve and reach their goals... from learners who make no progress.
Chigusa: And Peter, you also promised 10 minutes of Russian conversation for July, right?
Peter: I did.
Chigusa: And? How did it go?
Peter: Well, I didn't hit it this time.
Chigusa: Oh no, why?
Peter: Summer, the enemy of routine. I think the people around you are taking vacations and there’s many things in flux, it gets a little harder to stick to routines and when you break your routines, right as Aristotle says, you are what you practice. So I haven't been practicing the Russian so much because tutor’s away, then I’m away, then kids are back, gotta help here, gotta do this, things, tricky, tricky.
Chigusa: Yeah, it sounds like you've been busy.
Peter: Exactly. And when you have so many things competing for your attention… I'll be honest, sometimes it's hard to stay locked and loaded and motivated with learning a language.
Chigusa: I agree. I think my own hobbies take a backseat. I have important work deadlines. But is that all for the month?
Peter: Well, not exactly. I did work on getting my motivation back… and that's the topic of today's Inner Circle.
Chigusa: How to Boost Motivation &Bounce Back as an Experienced Language Learner
Peter: Let's jump into part 1.
Chigusa: Part 1: Why Peter is Taking an Online Class… for Motivation
Peter: Now, for some of our newer listeners, you may not know, but… even though I pick one language to work on for a year…
Chigusa: ...which is Russian this year
Peter: I maintain a number of other languages that I’ve studied in the past.
Chigusa: Oh, which ones?
Peter: Japanese because… actually the kids are learning Japanese now so I’m kind of re-learning Japanese which is interesting. Then Chinese which we speak at home. And Italian, and Italian is probably the most irrelevant because it’s the one that I don't need but it’s the one that - I guess on a hierarchy scale, it’s kind of the least one that I need. I don’t have such a strong connection to Italy but it’s the one that I actually put a lot of effort into.
Chigusa: And just out of curiosity, Peter, why do you maintain these… Why not just focus on one language for the year?
Peter: Because I like to do things the hard way, Chigusa. It’s a great question. You know, I think each language has a reason. I live in Japan. My wife is Chinese. These are strong motivational reasons. And then as I mentioned, Italian, there’s no good reason for me to study Italian other than I work so hard at it that I don’t want to lose it. Maybe pride of possession.
Chigusa: Pride of possession, that's a pretty good reason! But how do you maintain them?
Peter: So, quickly, with Japanese we speak every day at home and I spend a lot of time reang. Chinese, we speak at home and I know recently the family alternates. We do Japanese at lunch and Chinese at dinner and English in between. So, with Italian though, I have a lunch with my Italian tutor every week which is - turns out this is incredible because it’s highly motivating.
I’ve always looked forward to sitting down and talking with my Italian tutor as we eat Italian food at our favorite Italian restaurant. And, the problem there is, it becomes like a routine so we often talk - we know each other so well so we’re talking about topics - we’re almost like friends now rather than a study environment, so that’s why I’ve been taking online classes. Now listeners, you may not know, but we offer classes for Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, English, and Italian and you can sign up a few times a year. So, I decided to join the Italian classes and Chigusa. It's been amazing for my motivation… and I want to tell you about that, and that has helped reinvigorate me for the Russian moving forward.
Chigusa: Wow, I'm actually surprised to hear that joining a class boosts your motivation. How does that work?
Peter: So, Chigusa, when I say class, what do you think of? How old are you?
Chigusa: Like elementary?
Peter: If your parents said to you - when you were an elementary school student - hey Chigusa, what do you want to do today? You can go to school. You can watch TV. You can go play with your friends. What would you choose?
Chigusa: Play with my friends.
Peter: Yeah, so your motivation for going to elementary school is quite low. You’re forced to go and it’s every day and it’s quite a different environment. But with my Italian class, I'm in a class with people who are highly motivated. It’s their time and their money that they’re spending to join this class. So the environment is so different than what we think of with the elementary school class or the high school class… where everyone there is not highly motivated so the teacher is highly motivated. And it’s really quite interesting because it’s become an anchor point for me- and this is something we've talked about in previous inner circles. An anchor point is simply a connection to a language…
Chigusa: ...right, and the more you have, the greater your motivation gets
Peter: Exactly. For example, remember I mentioned meeting my tutor for lunch - it’s highly motivational for me. I love my Wednesday lunch. I never miss that. I will plan my day around that. There are times I have taken - I should've taken other meetings but I’ve not moved that lunch because it’s highly motivational to me, it’s something I really look forward to and… another one could be your goal for learning a language. For me that’s one anchor point. Now, a few other examples of anchor points: you might have a relative that speaks the language, you might be interested in an actor, singer, someone from the language you’re learning, so these are all things that keep you tied to the language - anchor you down. Think of the anchor holding you so - that anchor holding the boat while the waves are rough and you think of those rough waves as someone trying to break your motivation, or just life. Like you get busy so it’s hard to stay and stick to what you have set as a goal.
Chigusa: And I know that your favorite anchor point is going to restaurants where staff speak that language.
Peter: Yeah for me it’s really fun. I don’t know how fun it is for them. You’re right. If we go back to this class right now, it’s these small things that help you decide to spend your valuable time each day learning and they're critical to achieving your goal. So with this class, every week I have something to look forward to, and it’s really been amazing even though it’s been hard to connect with my tutor at the cafe recently. I've been able to take part in this Italian class and it’s kept me really motivated to learn languages.
Chigusa: I think it's also super motivational to learn in a class… with others.
Peter: Definitely. If you're learning alone, the motivation comes very much internally... but once you start involving other people - they can become very powerful anchor points and your motivation can skyrocket because you see why they’re learning and you also see how they’re progressing - so it can activate that competition inside of you, like “oh I want to get better.” Or you can see how hard someone else is working. You can appreciate how far they’re coming. Sometimes it’s hard to see the progress in yourself. A teacher can tell you “good job” but the way we see ourselves is different than we see other people. But if you see other people progressing, then you can see and understand that you’re probably progressing too because you're in the same group.
Chigusa: But here's a question for you, Peter. I know that you're maintaining Italian, but if you're working on Russian this year, how does this class help with Russian?
Peter: So, we just covered anchor points as one way to boost your motivation. There's another powerful strategy that works too, and it's... getting small wins.
Chigusa: Small wins?
Peter: Here's an example. Let's say you're busy with work this month…. but you also have to make a dentist appointment for yourself, take the kids for a checkup, get a new computer, mail some packages, do your taxes. It's…. quite a lot on your plate, no?
Chigusa: It is...
Peter: One or two of these things are manageable, but because there's a lot…
Chigusa: Yeah, it becomes too much to handle…
Peter: And it's very hard to take action. But eventually, you're going to have to take action. So, you'll do the first and easiest thing, which is probably… I don’t know what’s easy on that list but let’s just say... take the kids for a health check. And once that is done, you actually feel a lot better… you get that satisfaction of checking that off your list and the rest of the things start falling into place. But you need that first bite out of that proverbial elephant. How do you eat an elephant - one bite at a time. You gotta have that first bite.
Chigusa: So, that's what the Italian classes did for you.
Peter: They don’t help me with my Russian per se but, you know, going into an intermediate class and speaking Italian for an hour and learning with your classmates… you get a glimpse of yourself - I get a glimpse of myself, “wow Russian can be here too but I got to stick with it.” And the classes are a small win for me. And I feel I have that under control….and then I can focus on the next one
Chigusa: ...and it gets easier to focus on the rest.
Peter: Easier is a relative word. But yes it helps you push forward to that next thing. But you need that first small win. And having that language learning success each week with Italian, I'm also getting back into my Russian routine.
Chigusa; So it's like, if you get one thing right, the rest start falling in line.
Peter: Exactly. When you’re overwhelmed, you don’t really feel in control, right?
Chigusa: Right…
Peter: But if you get that small win, you get the motivation… you feel in control, and the rest of your goals become more manageable. So, while I didn't hit my Russian goal... You can say I spent this month working on my motivation… I kept other parts of my routine constant, I maintained my Italian… and then because of that, I was able to come back to my Russian. So, how do we apply this to one language? And I think you take the same principles, and again it doesn't have to be a language learning win. Learning a language is one thing on your daily list but if you can get up at 630 which is a goal you set for yourself rather than 730, maybe inside of there, you can find the time to learn your language. Maybe by missing your class, you're demovated but you can spend some time on the train - you’re normally reading a newspaper - listen to a podcast that’s related to your language. You can always get back on track, but you gotta start with that small win.
Chigusa: Sounds good to me. So what can our listeners take away from this?
Peter: Let's jump into part 2.
Chigusa: Part 2: How to Boost Your Own Motivation
Peter: Listeners, if you're losing motivation…
Chigusa: Or… if you'd like to boost your motivation with language learning…
Peter: There are a few things you can do.
Chigusa: First, you can create more anchor points. And an anchor point is simply a connection to a language…
Peter: For example, having friends or relatives that speak the language, purchasing a textbook or a program, enrolling in a class, or even watching shows in your target language.
Chigusa: The more you add, the more connections you have to the language…
Peter: ...and the more motivated you are to learn the language.
Chigusa: Second, add a human element.
Peter: One of the most powerful anchor points you can have is... another person to learn from or interact with.
Chigusa: Which is why it deserves its own mention...
Peter: And which is why I'm attending classes and why I'm using our Premium Plus Teacher almost every day now.
Chigusa: So, if you're a Premium PLUS user, be sure to interact with your teacher.
Peter: And if you’re interested in our live classes for Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Italian and English…
Chigusa: Stay tuned. We’ll be opening them up in early September
Peter: Third: Get some small wins under your belt.
Chigusa: This is a powerful tactic if you're struggling to get started or bounce back.
Peter: The trick is to do the easiest thing possible. Our free users start with the word of the day. Try it and stick with that for 7 days.
Chigusa: You can also follow our recommended pathway and do 1 or 2 lessons a day… and stick with that for a week.
Peter: And if you can stick with the word of the day or the lessons…
Chigusa: ... you'll start feeling like you have this under control and that you can do more…
Peter: And your motivation will increase. Listeners, this is also why we ask you to set small, measurable, monthly goals.
Chigusa: Once you hit a few small goals, your motivation will naturally go up…
Peter: …. You'll want to aim higher… and you'll be on your way to language mastery.
Chigusa: Speaking of goals, Peter, what's your next goal?
Peter: I will go for 12 minutes of Russian conversation.
Chigusa: Great! Deadline?
Peter: August 31st.
Chigusa: Sounds good. Listeners, how about you?
Peter: What's your small, measurable monthly goal? And what's the deadline?
Chigusa: Let us know.
Peter: Email us at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com.
Chigusa: And stay tuned for the next Inner Circle.


Chigusa: Well, that's going to do it for this special Inner Circle lesson!
Peter: Bye everyone!
Chigusa: Thank you for listening, and we'll see you next time.