Dear John,
How can I learn something in which I am not interested? For instance, I’ve lost interest in learning French. Help!

I tutor and teach languages. Unfortunately a lot of people think it would be “really cool” to learn French.

But once these students learn how difficult it can be, many lose interest.

Imagine getting tested, put on the spot, or feeling uncomfortable while learning French – it’ll happen. Imagine putting effort into practicing a bit on your own time or studying. These efforts are competing with other tasks going on in your day.

The thing I do as a teacher is to motivate my students from within. Internal motivation, or the natural desire for a outcome, far exceeds external factors.  So in this case, I try to get students to love French culture, listen to French music, or have them dream about one day visiting France.

These thoughts and end goals get people to think about the big picture. It’s better than “learn French because you need language credits for your degree!!” Or “learn French or else your employer won’t give you that raise!!”

Once my students get to have fun chatting in French or get to practice using their French in real situations – that’s when all their hard work starts to pay off.  That’s when what you’re teaching isn’t just some vocabulary box on page 63. It’s real meaning. The same stuff that forges friendships, completes business transactions, and helps society run. Language is a huge component in our everyday lives, but many people don’t value being bilingual.

So my answer to your question? Reevaluate why you’re learning something. Create a few small, realistic goals and some sort of end point. I can’t force you to love something, you’ve gotta try and find interest somewhere. You can start by making your subject matter fun or at least relevant to your everyday life.

Good luck!

Question asked and modified from Quora.

John Elkhoury

Founder, FrenchCrazy

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