As I suspected, I’m not using as much Danish as I did while I was going to Lærdansk three times a week. I’m not the kind of person who does a lot of studying if there’s not an exam to prepare for, so I lose motivation quite easily now that the only person who cares about how much Danish I know is me.
I’m using a fair amount of spoken Danish at work with my colleagues, but I’m hardly writing any Danish at all. If I’m going to maintain my current level of written Danish, I’m going to have to make a special effort. I’m using a lot of energy getting up to speed in my new job, so making a special effort in my free time seems unlikely right now.
There must be some written tasks I can do in Danish instead of English, so that I can sneak a bit of Danish into my day. Writing a shopping list? Do it in Danish. Writing my daily to-do list at work? Do it in Danish. Writing a text message to my husband? Do it in Danish. I know this doesn’t sound like large volumes of writing, but I’m hoping that doing a little bit every day will help protect my skills.
How about reading? I’ve got that covered by finding things that really interest me and reading about them in Danish. I get a couple of magazines every month and try to read one or two articles from them every day. One magazine is about nature and wildlife, while the other is about consumer rights (I used to work for the British consumer organisation, so I love reading about this topic in Danish!).
So my top tips for staying motivated once you’ve finished with your free Danish classes would be these:
- Try to do a little bit every day, or bad habits will creep in
- Don’t force yourself to read about something that doesn’t interest you – a fascinating topic or story will keep you reading on
- Be creative and look for opportunities in your day to day life to sneak in a bit of Danish
It would be a huge shame to waste all the hard work you’ve put in, so keep those good habits going, even when there’s no teacher to check up on you.
Held og lykke!