In my previous article, I wrote about how one can learn a language in an efficient way.
A motivated person can easily go from being an absolute beginner to an intermediate level. The majority of the language learners get stuck in the intermediate level and do not know how to gain mastery in a language, because the progress they make in the beginning is exponential and becomes stationary when they try to reach the advanced level. This is what polyglots like to call, a language plateau.
Please note: This article’s title has been taken from a webcomic named ‘Murrz’, from an episode called ‘Fighting to stay focused’. I would like to acknowledge the owner and creator of the comic before writing the article.
Tip sources: Lindy Botes (youtube) and Benny Lewis, author of fluent in three months.
Goals need to be attainable in the near future. One goal, for example, could be to take up a language exam or speak only in the target language for 30 minutes. If you do intend to write an exam, then the one you take should be higher than a safe target. The leap from intermediate to advanced boils down to learning more complex vocabulary and using those in an appropriate manner wherever and whenever possible.
An example of this is learning idioms because using them makes you a more natural speaker of a certain language when you are communicating with a native.
Find a strict teacher
Believe it or not, it actually works. When I was preparing for my 12th-grade exams, I had this very strict teacher who would push me so hard to do my homework and get at least 90% of my answers right. I would get scolded for making the tiniest mistake. The point here is that you should find yourself a teacher who will push you to your limits and help you advance. This way, you’ll feel more inclined towards learning new vocabulary and grammatical structures.
Eat that frog
I’m sure you’ve heard of this proverb which means to do the hardest thing first. Make a list of the things you need to do and organise them from hardest to easiest.
Mathematics is the subject I disliked most and the subject in which I received the largest amount of homework. I used to complete my Math homework first before moving on to learning French. After studying, I felt a greater sense of satisfaction and motivation, because the most difficult task was already behind me. The same thing applies to languages. Find the part where you struggle the most and work on it first.
My fight to stay focused on learning languages
In English, I am at a level where I can write longer stories and even analyze the language to some extent. I’m most comfortable in German after English. Even though I’m good at it, I feel it is still not enough, which is why I’m planning to write the C2 exam next year and read more German books. If you take a look at my bookshelf, 90% of my books are in English. The only time I get to use German is when I go out.
Frankly speaking, I have the most trouble finding my focus and motivation, which is why I have signed up for classes for improving my French.
I see Japanese as a mind-bending challenge, especially when it comes to learning Kanji (Chinese characters that have been adapted to suit the Japanese language). I am yet to learn grammar and vocabulary. I remind myself to take pleasure and joy in the language. And this is why I don’t have much difficulty in maintaining focus and motivation.
There is a phrase in Korean which is used for encouragement. That phrase is “Hwaiting” in Romanized form, which literally translates to “Fighting”. Imagine yourself going into battle against the obstacle you’re facing and emerging victorious. So, ‘Hwaiting’ for your language learning journey and your focus.
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