Exploring everything new, finding something interesting every day, and discovering every inch and corner of the world has just become the new way of life in this 21st century. Every day we encounter so many different cultures without even realizing it. The car that you are driving, the phone that you are using, the song that you are listening to while going to work, all of it comes from different cultures. Language is the gateway to know about different cultures, different people, and different ways of living. As language and culture are so closely interlinked there are more than enough reasons for students to learn a new language. ArctikCircle with its different language courses is for everyone who is curious, intrigued, and enthused to dive into the world of languages.
Motivation to learn a new language literally lies everywhere around us, like an Italian painting you saw and can never forget, lyrics of a French song you don’t even know but end up humming for an entire day, it’s melodies that are playing in your head on repeat or a Russian movie you fell in love with. All of this makes you more curious about that culture, and what better way to know more about the culture than to learn the language. Motivation is not a pill that we take at once, but it comes in small morsels like these.
John Schumann, a renowned professor at the University of California specializes in why we learn new languages and their neurobiology. In 2009, he published, “The Interactional Instinct: The Evolution and Acquisition of Language, wherein he has mentioned two major instincts that motivate students to learn a new language. Firstly, Integrative motivations make the student take up a new language because of the curiosity to get to know, interact with the people belonging to that culture or people speaking that language. Secondly, Instrumental Motivation is learning a new language for more pragmatic and practical reasons. Exploring this further here are some of the driving factors that motivate students to pick up the skill of a new language.
We no longer like to live in a box, do we? The travel bug has very quickly caught us all, and now there is no stopping. With Travel vlogs, Travel blogs, becoming the new hyped thing, travel has even become a lifestyle for some people. With the aspirations of traveling to a dream destination, it also motivates students to know more about it and what better way than learning the language of that place. With so much to see and so little time, knowing multiple languages is not only an advantage but also a big relief as it makes the experience thousand times more authentic and enjoyable.
2.Work where your heart takes you
Traveling to your dream destination is one thing, but getting paid to live in the country of your dreams is another. There are so many people aspiring to go out but are bound because of their work. Knowing the language of the country where you are looking for a job surely gives you those extra brownie points. This is surely the Instrumental motivation that Schumann was talking about. Students who look forward to settling elsewhere surely have this in mind when learning a new language. They are even motivated to learn a new language when they want to pursue their higher education outside of their own country. This is one of the biggest factors for students to learn a new language as they know, knowing the language would definitely be the cherry on the top for their resume while applying in universities abroad.
3.Striving for new avenues
Gone are those days when students had to follow conventional career paths, today students carve their own paths. With the increasing opportunities for working as diplomats, interpreters, précis writers, working at intergovernmental organizations, international non-governmental organizations, students strive to make a change in this world. This instills a great drive among students to learn new languages as being multilingual is a precondition to seize these opportunities. This is a huge factor that motivates students to enroll in a course to learn a second language.
Learning a new language teaches us so much about a place that is completely alien to us. Learning a new language is even for those who are more than comfortable within the bounds of their homes but are curious and eager to know more, explore more, and learn more. Learning a language is not like any other course we study, it is a skill that shapes our personality, sensitizes us, and gives us a holistic perspective that everyone is striving for these days. Today, it is not about how much you have done, it is more about how much you know and how much more you are willing to know. Students who have realized this surely know how a new language not only reflects their knowledge about the world but also reflects their willingness to know more and learn more.
It can be a hobby, a passion, or for a job, for university education, or for mere curiosity. There are so many reasons why students are motivated to learn new languages, but one thing is for sure that learning a language is a skill like no other. It teaches us to adapt, to have patience and it can help us see the world while we sit in our homes. Learning a new language is like solving a jigsaw puzzle, initially, it seems pretty difficult but once you get the hang of it, you only stop when all the pieces are in place, thus you only stop when you actually master that language.