How can you stay motivated when learning online? In the classroom, you have a teacher to engage you in the subject and other students to socialise with. When it’s just you and your laptop, you’ll need to take charge of your experience.
Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do.
Try the following steps to make learning German (or anything else you might learn online) effective and fun.
Staying disciplined with online learning:
1. Set goals. Keep your purpose firmly in mind. Remember your main objectives, whether you want to pass an exam so that you can live and work in Germany or be able to order more than just ‘ein Bier’ when in Germany next.
2. Plan your week. Block out time for your most important activities. Tackle demanding tasks during the hours when you’re usually at peak performance.
3. Establish routines. Cutting down on daily decisions can make you more efficient. Adopt habits like spending 15 minutes doing German grammar exercises straight after lunch (or whenever would be best for you).
4. Limit distractions. Focus your attention on your studies. Keep your phone and TV turned off during ‘lesson time’ and snoozing hours.
5. Start small. Baby steps build momentum and make big projects seem less overwhelming. Break your work down into specific measurable tasks. You might spend a session learning how to conjugate verbs in the present tense or you might tackle that really difficult text sentence by sentence.
6. Perform reviews. Work on your study skills. Ongoing reviews of your materials will help you to remember what you’ve studied and will show you how much you already learned.
8. Take tests. Research shows that practice tests are one of the most effective ways to learn. My online courses have tests and exercises, most other courses do as well, and if not, there are 100s of resources to be found online which should help you test what you have learned.
9. Create priorities. Respect your limits. Scratch some other items off your to do list if possible. If, however, you’re learning German for fun, make sure you still have enough time for other important work.
Having Fun with Online Learning:
1. Connect with others. You can still enjoy a sense of community while studying online. There are many online groups for German learners. I have a Facebook group Ask Angelika and you are very welcome to join.
2. Decorate your space. If you can, have a German corner with your resources all together. Make it a cosy area with comfy seating, maybe some photos or posters or just a green plant.
3. Reward yourself. Give yourself incentives to excel. Maybe you’ll want to buy some German chocolate every time you’ll complete an assignment. Or maybe you’ll reward yourself with some enjoyable YouTube videos after your grammar sessions.
4. Play games. There are lots of websites where you can revise German vocab with games – especially at beginner’s level.
5. Take breaks. Depending on how much time you spend learning German, make sure you take breaks. There might even be a time when you want to take a break from learning German completely.
Earn a qualification online or use your time at home to deepen your knowledge about any subjects that interest you, not just German. Being able to motivate yourself will help you to persevere and succeed at online learning.
And if all else fails … ask me to give you a kick up the derrière ☺