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How to Stay Motivated to Learn English

In this episode you will learn how to stay motivated to learn English. The tips in this video will keep you on track so that you can reach your learning goals.

Episode Transcript

Hello my friends, and welcome back to the English with Neil Podcast, where you will build your vocabulary, and improve your listening skills through American English. My name is Neil Humphrey, and the topic of this episode is "How to stay motivated to learn English." If you're learning English by yourself right now, I know how difficult it is because I studied Japanese pretty much from the beginning by myself, and I know how lonely it is. I know at times you feel like you want to give up; sometimes you feel like "Uh you, know maybe learning English just isn't for me." "Maybe I'll learn it next year or in five years." So I know your pain, I understand your frustration. I understand that sometimes you just don't feel like studying, some days are just like that. But in this episode, I'd like to give you three tips to help you stay motivated when learning English. Okay, let's get into tip number one.

Tip number one is to "Celebrate the small wins." What is a win? A win is any time you make just a little bit of progress in English. A win can be learning a new word; a win can be watching something on YouTube and understanding it. A win can be when you're with your friends and you're able to use that new word in English. That is a win! Celebrate the small wins, whatever that looks like for you. It can be buying yourself ice cream; it can be taking a walk; it can be buying something for yourself; whatever it is, what that's going to do is it's gonna motivate you to get another win, and another win, and another win. You see, what that does, so anytime you have a small win, celebrate it! Be proud of yourself and say, "Man, I did a good job, I did a good job, I learned a new word. I was able to use that word today!" Celebrate the small wins and that is going to keep you motivated.


Okay, number two is to "Keep a journal of your progress." Now, we have a saying in English - I think it's more of a business saying - and it is: "if it can't be measured, it can't be managed." So, what that means is if you cannot measure something, how do you know if it's getting better or worse. If you're learning new words every day and you're keeping a journal, a journal is like a diary. If you're keeping a journal of your words, you can see in one week: "Wow, I learned five new words," and that shows that you're improving. But let's say you learn these five words, but you have no way to check. You know, if you fully understood those words or not, you know, how you're using those words you're never going to know. So, the best way to stay motivated is to keep a journal. Anytime you have a win, write it down. Anytime you learn a new word, write it down. Anytime you learn something new, anything new, write it down. And every single week, you look at that list and say "Wow, I learned all these new words! I learned all these new phrases! I was able to understand just a five minute piece of someone's YouTube video." Okay? So "if it can't be measured, it can't be managed." So, remember, to keep yourself motivated, keep a journal of your progress.

Okay, and tip number three; I think this is the biggest tip. This is number one for me. "Don't compare yourself to others." I want to repeat that, when you're learning English, "Don't compare yourself to others." It is very easy now, in the times that we live in, to go on social media, to go on Instagram, to go on Facebook, to go on Twitter, YouTube, TikTok. It's so easy to look at other people and compare yourself to them. You can be on the right track. You can be doing everything right, 100 right, you're making good progress, but for some reason, you may look at someone's Instagram post and go, "man, I'm not doing a good job." "Man, I should just quit." "I feel like giving up." It's so easy to do that now. But I want to remind you that everyone is on a different journey. Your journey is not their journey. My journey is not your journey. Everyone's journey is different. Some people learn faster, some people learn slower. It doesn't matter, we're all on our own journeys. So don't compare yourself to others. All right, everyone, so I'm gonna finish up this episode, but one more time, how to stay motivated to learn English. Number one: celebrate the small wins. Number two: keep a journal of your progress; and number three: don't compare yourself to others. All right, everyone, I hope this video helped you. If you liked this video, please consider subscribing to the channel, and I look forward to talking to you in the next episode. Okay, everyone, take care and talk to you soon. Peace!


give up (phrasal verb)

-stop doing something

"Learning the piano is too hard. I want to give up."

"My father will give up smoking because he wants to be healthier."


A win (noun) - a successful result.

“The Golden State Warriors got a huge win over the Chicago Bulls.”

“I was able to order pizza on the phone in English. That was a big win for me!”


proud of yourself (phrasal verb / first person: "myself")

-to be satisfied with your own accomplishments

"You should be proud of yourself. You studied hard and got a perfect score on your test."

"I am proud of myself because I passed the job interview!"

manage (verb) - to be in charge. To control something

“I have to manage my time better.”

“The boss has to manage her employees.”


journal (noun) - a dairy.

“I like to write in my journal every day.”

“I use a journal to write down new vocabulary.”

journey (noun)

-to go from one place to another

"The men took a long journey from California to New York."

"Studying abroad in Europe for a year is going to be a fun journey. I'm excited!"

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