Overcoming Plateaus in English Learning -- 5 Proven Strategies to Try

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Learn how to boost your English learning progress with tips and strategies for overcoming roadblocks in this Advanced English lesson. From adjusting goals to revisiting motivations, get practical advice and encouragement to stay motivated and keep making progress. Overcoming plateaus and stay motivated on your journey.

Hello, Advanced English learners. Welcome back. So today I'm going to share with you what you can do if you feel like you have stopped making progress or you feel like the progress you have been making has been slowing down. All right. So if you're ready, let's get into it.

I first want to start this lesson off by saying don't be hard on yourself. Progress is one of those things that takes time, and it's not a linear journey, meaning it doesn't just go at the same pace in the same way, forever and ever. It can have high moments and low moments, and there can be some rising and falling throughout the journey.

And if we have a big picture perspective, we can even see that in the moments where there's a dip, there is still actually an overall increase and you're still making progress even when it might not feel like you are. That being said, let's get into the strategies. 

The first thing is to go back to your why. Why is this a goal of yours? Why is it important to you? What specifically about this goal is going to enrich your life. What specifically about this goal Is going to be better for your overall job, your career, your family life, your personal life, whatever it may be.

Why, Why? Why, right? Why is it important? What is your why? Meaning, what is that mission that is driving you? What is that intrinsic internal motivation that you have to keep persevering? So what is that why? You might discover that? Your why that you stated for yourself five months ago is no longer your current "why."

Maybe that goal is irrelevant, and so you're not making progress there anymore because it's just irrelevant at this point, and it's no longer serving a purpose for you. So maybe subconsciously you've stopped working on that skill or working on, that specific goal because it's no longer meaningful or important for you to be able to have or do.

So really revisiting your why is crucial. And maybe the why that you've stated for yourself is still relevant, but maybe there's some tweaks, some minor changes that you need to make it even more relevant. So a lot of the times when we feel like progress has been slowing down and we're not making improvements in certain areas of our lives or within our language learning and communication, it can be that we are subconsciously doing this because it's no longer important to us. We've decided that it's no longer a priority or it's no longer relevant. So revisiting your "why" is very important to, first of all, see if it's the same why that you have now. Does this goal serve its same purpose and drive as it does now?

And secondly, revisiting it in the sense of making sure that it's up to date. Maybe there are things you want to add or maybe you want to take away. Maybe you want to not only work on your pronunciation, but now you're also interested about your intonation and finding ways of being more assertive. Or maybe pronunciation is no longer a concern of yours.

So you feel like pronunciation is a goal, but you don't feel like you're making progress in it. And then you think about it a little bit and you think "it's not that important anymore. Maybe I need to get better at email writing." So you see my point here. Revisit that "why". See if it's still relevant, and then update it. If it is relevant and you don't want to let it go, update it, make those tweaks.

If for some reason you don't have a "why," you don't have a mission statement, then make one. So the why is really the purpose behind having that goal. Why is this important? To achieve X, I need to do Y because. That's a very general overview of what you could be asking yourself internally about this goal of yours, and then going from there and creating a why, creating a mission statement that is your driving purpose.

That'll help motivate you. It'll help keep you engaged. It'll help remind you that it's about the journey. As long as you're putting in the effort and the consistency, you will be making progress. Even on the days where it doesn't feel like you're making progress, you still are making progress. Provided that you're doing it every day in a consistent fashion.

Okay. And the last one there is that consistency. I cannot emphasize that enough because that's really where we start to see change. If we go hard on our goal for one week, maybe a few hours in a day, and then just drop it cold turkey and don't do anything, after that, then it doesn't matter all that previous effort that you put into it, if you're not continuing that. As opposed to taking it slow, maybe doing 10 minutes, working on your goal 10 minutes a day, but you're doing that for months and months on end.

That is when you're going to start to see change. That's when you're going to start to see those improvements and that progress, because it's a matter of doing it frequently and really making sure that it is a non-negotiable for you. It is a priority, and you're making sure that you reflect that in how you choose to spend those hours that you have in your day.

If you were wondering how to choose what to make as your why, what are the goals that you can have? What you can do is think about what would you be better off knowing or doing, for your work. How can you be enriching yourself in a professional capacity with the goals that you have in mind?

If you work at a call center, then maybe working on your speaking skills and your pronunciation to sound intelligible, meaning you're being able to be easily understood. It's not the same as intelligent, but it is in intelligible, so they're very similar. Then that might be a real goal of yours. 

If you are applying to jobs, then getting really good at interviewing and getting comfortable interviewing and answering interview questions, would be a great goal to have. So thinking about what you need in the moment, where you want to go in terms of your life goals, your overarching goals and objectives that you have for yourself, both in a professional way and in a personal way.

Maybe in a personal way. You want to make more friends, to make more friends. Maybe you need to put yourself out there. You need to sign up for clubs and groups and join communities. Maybe it's about making small talk, being better at striking up a conversation with strangers and just being able to have comfortable, authentic, small talk with people.

So it's always going to be based on your own experience and your own life and what objectives you have for yourself. What is your plan, so to speak for yourself? Where do you see yourself in a few years? Where do you want to be professionally, socially, personally, and really start forming those goals and those "whys". that are attached to the goal, right? The why, the purpose, the mission statement, and going from there and then just putting in the time and the effort and the energy being consistent and keeping in mind that there are going to be days where you don't want to do it. But if you have that "why" front and center and you remind yourself of it, then that'll be motivation enough to get you to work on that goal for the day.

And really, I cannot emphasize enough the power of consistency. When you do it time and time again, and it becomes part of your identity. You start to identify as a person who, and then fill in the blank. If your goal is to work out every day, it might take you months to be consistent, to get on a consistent schedule. And then once you do, the days that you don't work out, it feels strange to you. So you always find a way to get that movement in, to get that workout in, even if it's a less intense workout than you are normally doing. Maybe it's a nice long walk. Maybe it's a bike ride, maybe it's a Pilates session. So modulating finding that room for some grace, but still doing it anyway.

So on a day where you don't really want to work on your small talk skills. Maybe you go out for coffee with a friend instead and you just catch up and you do some of the skills that you have in mind. You work on some of your small talk strategies, but you're not just focused on that that day because you're still doing it, but you're taking it a little bit easy.

It's better that you do it in a less intense way than not doing it on one or two days. So still finding a way to be consistent. That is extremely important. So I hope that you take this to heart. I hope that you stay consistent with your goals.

Alright, advanced English learners, thank you so much for joining me. I really hope you enjoyed this lesson. Remember, progress is not linear. So as long as you keep that in mind and you're putting in the work and you're being consistent, you'll start to see and feel positive change. Okay? So keep that in mind, and you're doing an amazing job.

I know because you are here and you're putting in the time and the energy and the work to improve your skills, to improve upon yourself, to get even closer and closer to those goals that you have set for yourself. And I see you, I acknowledge you, and I'm validating your hard work and your effort. So I want you to keep it up.

Keep it consistent, and I'm always here to help you and guide you in any way that I can. So just know that I really appreciate you and what you're doing, and I believe in you, so keep going. You got this. All right. Thank you for joining me. I will see you next time.