Is discipline the most important thing for learning a new language?

You know how everyone says to learn a language you must be organised and self-disciplined?

Well this little chicken says that’s great if it helps you, and I really am sure it helps most people. That’s why I put some useful resources on getting organised in Preparing to Learn.

But guess what? I’m not one of those people. I really don’t like routine. As soon as I start planning and setting out targets I find I’m desperate to try something else…

That’s what I often found working with kids who had been excluded from school. Do the boring stuff then you get a reward? Forget it! The promised fun never happens… so let’s have it first! Many times we had a deal: we did the ‘rewarding’ stuff before the work… and then with  the ‘itch’ scratched, so to speak, the pupil settled down to the task as required.

I’m just the same with the dreaded housework. It’s three times as irritating when all I can think about is the other stuff I’d love to be doing. Once I’ve had a good dose of fun, the tasks are actually quite a pleasant change!

What you really should be doing

If you hate routine and your heart sinks at the thought of regular boring language learning tasks, don’t worry! It’s absolutely possible to choose things you really enjoy, and work chaotically like me and still learn loads! It’s just so exciting to find the words for what you want to say about yourself and your ideas…whatever is important to you… and then  say them to someone in your target language and actually be understood, and have genuinely interesting conversations! What you really should be doing is learning what you want to learn.

Be persistent

If you love learning your target language, you’ll do well with whatever method really suits you. If you don’t…you just haven’t found what’s right for you. Keep looking!


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