How to “kill” the “middle stage”
I asked @y3lir-europe if i can write a 2nd part to this post and he accepted, so thank you again. He focused on the fact that you need to learn more vocabulary and also the importance of recognizing what weaknesses you have, so i won’t cover that in my post. However, i’ll add some strategies and i’ll also add some suggestions on how to choose the right kind of vocabulary.
For the 2nd point of his post:
Start figuring out what you know and don’t know and want to know. Similar to a pros and cons list you are acknowledging what you can already do in your language, what you don’t know, and what you want to know. That way you can smoothly go into learning.
A pros and cons list is an amazing idea and after you are done, you just have to think of ways how to solve that.
Since many people don’t feel motivated to do so because they will get out of their comfort zone and they want more like a book or a person to tell them what to do and how, i’ll make a motivational part at the end of this post.
Number3: Vocabulary!!!! Seriously, even though you are past the beginning level the real reason you are stuck is because you need more to work with. Try learning more advanced vocabulary. Medical terms, organs/bones, space, etc.
He is right here. However, you already know around 2.000 words so you will be wondering how you decide what to learn. Easy, you are going to use your preferences. Let’s say you’re a Harry Potter fan, can you talk about wizards, unicorns, dragons, magic? Then next week you focus only on this kind of vocabulary. Let’s think of other situations, you like makeup/cars/books, can you talk about them? And not in general “i like red cars”, i mean, talking about parts of the cars/books, what you’re doing with that makeup like blending and so on. Think what you usually like talking about and then make a list with what kind of vocabulary you need, in this way, you learn words that interest you not only random advanced vocabulary.
Number 4: Be creative. Try to learn how to play with the words you know. Learn how to speak in sarcasm, or with idioms. Learn some metaphors and similes. Try to find fun ways to use your language.
He’s right again, this is the time when you can start learning idioms! If you write “idioms in language” you will probably get a long list with suggestions. Make a course on memrise or quizlet, learn what interests you out of all these idioms.
Here i’m done with quoting y3lir and start writing my ideas.
Do you have a goal in your target language? Goals as “i want to be fluent” won’t work. Why? They are vague, so little details, you need something specific like “i want to be C1 by the end of the year”. After you have a goal, set some tiny ones like “i want to read 1 comic in Spanish by the end of the week”, “i want to understand what this songs says in 2 days” or maybe “i want to have a conversation for 10 minutes with an advanced learner/native”. Don’t forget to celebrate these mini goals, they will give you some motivation.
You got used to a routine by now. You probably have your favourite method of studying like duolingo, memrise, classes etc. You’re in a comfort zone and that won’t help you at all. I love and envy those people who have Nth days on duolingo, they can do something which i don’t, maintain a routine. However, i respect those people who give no damn about having a certain number of days on duolingo and memrise. They can’t use only those methods, they prefer variety and that’s helpful because they don’t get in a comfy zone. Now, if you really like the green owl, don’t give up at it. Keep duolingo and memrise in your routine but add something that will spice up your schedule. Add some activities that you haven’t tried before or you haven’t focused on them much. Talk to someone in your target language for 5 minutes, read a comic/book/story, play word games, watch a movie, write a short story, look around and name what you see and so. Have at least 1 activity that will be changed daily and that focuses on your weak spots.
Have you ever been around someone who is better than you at something? In such moments i want to improve, to be just as good if not better. I know that they worked a lot to be so good at that something and i want to do the same. Try to study with someone who is better than you at a language, or just talk to someone who is. Not only that they might motivate you a lot, but they can also correct your mistakes and maybe suggest you some solutions, they have been there already.
You might understimate yourself. Set a goal or a challenge that you think it’s difficult to achieve and try to finish what you are going to start.You might think that reading an entire book is difficult, then choose a story/comic/fanfic/article and read that. Next time, you choose another story/comic/fanfic/article and so on until you gain enough confidence and you can start reading that scary book.
At the beginning of this post, i said something about a game. I can’t focus on tasks for a long time because i get easily bored and many people just hate to have a routine so i thought that a rewarding system will work. “You want something? You should study for it.” that’s what i had in mind when i came up with this game.
Basically, whatever you want (book, chocolate, a trip to Sweden, shoes etc.) has a number of points. I thought that 50pts should be the smallest amount of points for something. And there’s no “the highest amount of pts” thing.
Let’s say you want a book, that’s 250pts. (you set the points, but try not to be too harsh with yourself, you want to get motivated, not to study until you die). In order to get that book you decide to learn 10 new words (10*10=100 pts), to read 2 pages from a book and to write down the unknown words (25*2= 50pts), to watch a movie in your target language (50pts) and to learn 5 idioms (5*25=125) and you got 325 pts, you get your book and next time when you want something you already have 75pts.