Learning a language - stalemate
So, every one of us who has ever tried to learn a language has reached a point where they feel like they’ve reached a stalemate - like the point in a game of chess when it's impossible to make the next move. They don’t feel like they are progressing any more, they’re taking one step forward and two steps back or they just can’t work out how to move forward. There is hope! Read on!
Firstly, it is vitally important not to give up. Think back to the time when you weren’t able to speak anything and look at how far you have progressed. Do you remember that time when you couldn’t understand anything at all and when you could barely communicate? Look how much better you are now and look how much you improved! A positive mental attitude is so important at this point!
Secondly, you need to review the methods you are using to learn the language and ask yourself why you don’t feel like you are progressing. Are you focusing too much on one aspect of language learning? Are you reinforcing the language you are learning correctly? It might be a good idea to review your goals and decide what you want to do in the short, medium and long term and then start looking at how you fulfil these goals.
Thirdly, when setting yourself goals, split them down into categories. The five main ones are speaking, reading, writing, listening and grammar, but each one is interlinked and relies upon the other categories to help it improve. If you need to improve one more than the others, then spend a little more time on this one, but keep up your work on the others and remember to reinforce all your language learning with lots of practice!
Fourthly, remind yourself of your reason for language learning. Why do you want to be fluent in another language? Do you want to be able to teach that language or travel to that country and be able to have conversations? Are you trying to make your knowledge of the small aspects of language better by improving your accuracy? Remember your reasons for learning language and use them to give yourself the motivation you need to keep going.
Lastly, language learning should be fun! You shouldn’t be stressed over how much you are learning, you should enjoy learning new words and being able to compare them to your own language. You should be feeling proud of how far you have come and excited for the journey ahead!
Just remember: don’t give up, enjoy learning your new language and be proud of what you have achieved!