For many of us, a new year means the beginning of new habits, new resolutions, and a new start! If you are a language nerd like all of us at Duolingo, one of your resolutions is probably to learn a new language. Staying motivated is a challenge for everyone, so here are some ideas for how to make learning last all year!

Immerse yourself in culture

Language is so closely tied to culture, and what’s more motivating than learning about new cultures?! Choose a country or community that uses the language you’re learning and start exploring! These ideas are a great place to start:

  • Visit a nearby restaurant that serves the cuisine of that country. (Bonus points if you try to order your food in your learning language!)
  • Listen to music from that country or just in the new language more broadly.
  • Cook a recipe from the culture/community of the language you're learning… and then try a new recipe in the language!
  • Read on Wikipedia about a famous person, celebrity, city, or country relevant to the community and language, and then look for a similar article in the new language. How much do you understand?

Set fun goals

Staying motivated to accomplish anything can be challenging, especially if you don’t have specific goals—for languages, learners never feel like they've “learned enough”! Setting smaller goals along your language learning journey is a great way to stay motivated to keep learning, and it can help you recognize how much you've learned since you first started. Below are some fun goals that can help you stay on track:

  • Plan to watch a movie in the new language (with or without subtitles) after a couple months of learning.
  • Buy a book written in the new language that you plan to read at the end of the year. Maybe try a few pages or a chapter throughout the year to see how you're progressing!
  • Plan a trip! What better motivation than a trip to submerge yourself in the new language in a new country! Plus, reading reviews of restaurants and tours in the language counts as language study and trip prep. ✅

Illustration of Zari leaning over Lily's shoulder, looking at Lily on her cell phone, and looking curious

Find a language learning buddy

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “the more, the merrier,” and this definitely rings true for language learning! Finding a buddy who has the same language learning resolution can really help keep motivation alive throughout the year. Even better, if you find a partner that wants to learn the same language, you’ll have someone to practice with! Even if you're learning different languages, here are some ways you two can hold each other accountable:

  • Have a regular check in. You and your buddy can check in every week or two, maybe by sending a favorite word or phrase that you learned that week. Or you could send a short voice note to your pal, especially if you're learning the same language!
  • Host a monthly language dinner. Whether dining in or eating out, sharing cuisine that is tied to your learning language can be a delicious way to stay accountable.
  • Create a digital journal. Documenting your progress on a joint IG or TikTok account can be a fun way to hold each other accountable. And, you may even influence others to learn a new language, too!
  • Cheer each other on. Follow each other on Duolingo and share a family plan to compare your progress and send words of encouragement right through the app.

With any New Year’s resolution, staying motivated is the biggest challenge! This year, build good study habits right from January 1 to stay on track with your language learning goals all year! 🥳