Do you ever feel like you come to a dead-end, trying to learn a language after some time? We know exactly how it feels.
Long gone are the good old days when learning a new language made you enthusiastic and it was an easy process too!
The idea of being a new language learner made you eager, hence you picked up new vocabulary and grammar rules pretty quickly.
However, now all you do is maintain what you already learned. Sometimes it even feels like you are taking one step behind.
In the language learning world, we call this phenomenon as the language-learning plateau.
The language learning plateau occurs when you stop learning as much and as quickly in comparison to when you first began. The truth is, it is easy to make quick progress in the beginning, but you will naturally slow down.
Due to this, the plateau can happen at any stage of the learning process but mostly it will unveil at the intermediate stage.
So it is time to really find out what is stopping you to make progress to reach language fluency and the best language learner!
Here are 6 reasons we’ve found as to why you might be stuck at learning a new language.
You’ve met your goals
A lot of language learners set goals that are reached by the time they are at an intermediate level.
For example, you may want to learn to recognize alphabets in order to read words in your targeted language or to have a basic conversation in the language.
If you have met these goals of being able to read words from a book, television or reading something online or even to hold basic conversation chances are you are already satisfied with what you have mastered.
Hence you will naturally want to pause or worst case, stop learning completely.
Since we are a Korean language class, we have categorized our Korean language learners based on the 4S Approach – Sprout, Survival, Solid, Significant. Each category has different levels of learning and goals.
You don’t have goals
You might be someone who never had goals because you began learning the language for the fun of it or because you love how it sounds.
Whether or not you had goals from the start or you haven’t set new ones ever since you achieved your old goals, not having goals can hinder your language learning process.
Without a clear vision of why you are really learning or what you are trying to achieve, you will not have a clear direction for a focused study.
You need to know the purpose of you learning the language whether if it’s for the purpose of studying abroad, working abroad or simply to understand a movie or a song.
You’re stuck on a loop, doing the same thing all the time
This simply means you are doing the same thing since you started learning a new language and you are most likely to keep getting the same results.
As an example, maybe you are just learning a single vocabulary or grammar. But this will not help you to speak fluently.
Ultimately learning a new language is meant for communication and not for just storing these words you’ve learnedinside your memory.
We also believe that learning a language goes beyond the facing books in the classroom. You can try to break the loop by doing something interesting. For example, we organized Korean movie nights, Korean cooking classes, and even travel to Korea with our Korean learners.
If you don’t have any other language learners to do fun things with you can always watch dramas or tutorials online with the language you are learning.
You lack confidence
As an intermediate learner, you surely have come a long way but you also probably studied the language long enough to realize that there is still a lot of things in that particular language that you still haven’t mastered.
This can naturally make you feel less confident, demotivated and you might feel like it’s almost impossible to become fluent or communicate as clearly as you would like to.
If you want to be more confident then you must be more engaging. For example, you can follow language learning accounts on Facebook and Instagram that do quizzes on a daily.
We encourage our Korean language learners to participate in these daily quizzes that we post and even make videos of themselves pronouncing certain words.
You don’t have a support system
Speaking to a native speaker of the language you are currently learning might be quite an intimidating thing to do. You might be lacking confidence or just feel like you are not ready.
However, you can find people who are learning the same language as you and try to write a message daily or converse with each other on a daily basis. If you don’t have someone physically, you can do Skype language exchange with someone online.
If you happen to be learning the Korean language and need a community for the support we have a group chat on Discord where we have daily conversations in the Korean language.
Besides, we also have a Facebook group where we share articles, quizzes, and thoughts on all things relating to the Korean language and culture.
There’s a natural slowdown
Lastly, even if you feel like you are taking all the right steps, language learning plateaus can still happen naturally. It’s not fun to hear this truth, but at least now you know that you aren’t solely responsible for this issue.
As we’ve discussed before, there will always be a kind of enthusiasm to learn something new in the early stages, but we as humans naturally will slow down.
Let us know if you ever felt stuck while learning a new language and the reason why it happened. Feel free to share the tips you have used to overcome this language-learning plateau
Also, read on our beginner’s guide to master Korean language or just any language fast!