Understanding the Language learning plateau


There is a "plateau period = stagnation period" that almost every person experiences in learning English. During this period, it is difficult to feel one's growth and motivation is low, and unfortunately many people give up on continuing their studies.

In fact, the stagnation period is indispensable for the subsequent growth, and it is an important period that can make a leap at a stretch depending on how you spend this period. Even though I have spent my precious time and effort, it is a waste to throw it out here. Let's survive the plateau period well and try to improve the level.

Table of contents
  • What is the plateau period that anyone visits?
  • How to survive the stagnation of learning English
  • Summary

What is the plateau period that anyone visits?

What is the plateau period, and although there are individual differences, we will generally sort out when to visit. Those who have not yet reached the plateau period should prepare their minds, and those who are currently suffering from the stagnation period should also gain knowledge and feel that "this state is natural" and take it easy.

Meaning of plateau

"Plateau" is a French-derived word translated as plateau in English and plateau/plateau in Japanese. Generally, it is an image of a place where a flat place is higher than the sea and a flat surface continues to a high place like the Grand Canyon in the United States.

Plateau also means "a flat state that does not temporarily rise or fall any further". Psychologically, the learning level is stagnant due to decreased motivation, fatigue, and boredom. This usage of "becoming a plateau" is expressed in English as "reach a plateau" or "hit a plateau".

When is the plateau period for learning English?

It is normal to visit several times during the plateau period of learning English, not once. After growing up all at once, there is a period of stagnation where you can't feel your level up or motivation for a while, and then you grow up all at once again.

The first mountain for online English learners is 2-3 months. One of the reasons is that the plateau period is one of the reasons why many people give up within 3 months because their motivation gradually declines even if they are motivated at first when they start something new, not limited to English. As with musical instruments, it is difficult to see the degree of growth in English, and it is also difficult to objectively feel the level up by yourself.

The first plateau period is the hardest, and if you can survive here, you will be able to spend a relatively easy time in the plateau period after that.

How to survive the stagnation of learning English

There are various ways to survive the plateau period of learning English, and there are individual differences in the period and condition. For those who have experience in work or other learning, it is good to apply past experience, but for those who "do not know how to survive", try the following methods.

Keep a study diary

It is very effective to keep a study diary in various studies, not limited to English. For online English conversation, it's a good idea to write a simple diary every day after the lesson.

Please write down what you did not understand, what you could do, what you felt during the lesson, etc. in just a few lines. The plateau period lasts from weeks to months. After a while, if you look back once, you will be able to objectively understand your progress and points for improvement, so it will be clear what you need to do and your motivation will gradually return. It is important to think of the plateau period as "a period of run-up to make a leap forward" and spend time without rushing.

Take an English test on a regular basis

Take an English test on a regular basis, such as once every three months or six months. During the stagnation period, it is easy to be bearish, saying, "Isn't I leveling up? Isn't my learning so far wasted?" I will come.

Don't be pessimistic, even if your score drops a little. The test is just one of the indicators, and it does not mean that your English ability has deteriorated. It's possible that you happened to have a problem that you weren't good at. The more you learn English, the more knowledge you will accumulate, and even if you don't know how to grow, you will definitely move forward.

Please write your impressions after the test. Check out what you couldn't do, what was difficult, and what you need to study. The purpose is to objectively know what you need to strengthen.

TOEIC has many parts that can be overcome by techniques, so if you want to measure your true ability, IELTS and Cambridge Eiken, which are difficult to solve just by solving techniques and past questions, are recommended. TOEIC is famous in Japan and South Korea, but it is not known at all overseas. If you want to study abroad, get a job, or move to another country in the future, I recommend IELTS or Cambridge Eiken, which you can use anywhere. It may be good to use TOEIC several times a year, IELTS once a year, and Cambridge Eiken.

Try changing the learning method

It is also effective to change the learning method to avoid becoming a rut. If you're always focused on listening and speaking, focus on reading and vocabulary enhancement.

The difference in English level is the difference in total ability of the four skills combined. If any of them is missing, you will not improve, the stagnation period will be long, and it will be very difficult to improve further. People who are learning English through online English tend to focus on the output and neglect the input. However, without a large amount of input, it is impossible to dramatically improve English proficiency. Please try to increase the weight of the input during the plateau period.

It's a good idea to concentrate on reading English books and magazines for your area or person for a while. If you are a beginner, children's books and picture books are also fun and recommended. Like Japanese, the amount of reading in English is closely linked to conversational ability. Reading is a must if you are aiming for intellectual English conversation skills that allow you to participate in business seminars and discussions. Also, reading the same things as native in everyday conversation will improve your vocabulary and expressiveness, which will help you improve your English conversation skills.

Change your mood

If you really can't get motivated, it's a good idea not to study at all. If you continue when you have no desire to learn, it will not come to your mind and will not be effective. It's possible that it gets harder and harder and you don't like English itself.

Instead, spend some time watching your favorite Western movies, listening to Western music, going to events with foreigners, or joining the community. While being involved in English, you may be motivated to learn again after a while by continuing to do what you like comfortably.

However, if you don't study for a long time, you will lose the learning habits you have acquired, so it's reasonable! If you're taking lessons every day, it's a good idea to try it every other day or change the lesson content to something different.

Dedicated to the review period

It is also effective to escape from the plateau period by thoroughly reviewing what you have learned and what you have learned by yourself without learning new things.

Often, you have already forgotten what you have learned before, or your knowledge is vague. By thoroughly reviewing what you have learned in the past, you will be able to establish and accumulate your own solid knowledge. As the level goes up, you can do more and help get out of the stagnation period.

Do not compare with people

Finally, it is important not to compare your progress and level with those around you. Online is one-on-one, so you can't compare it to others, but you may be impatient if your friends, family, and colleagues who started learning together and thought they were at the same level would improve quickly.

In Japan, how to get grades in school education is a method that is required to be compared with other people, so there are many people who really care about "how do you feel compared to others". This is especially true for those who have experienced fierce junior high and college entrance exams.

The growth rate is different for each person. Individual differences are very large, so please continue learning at your own pace without worrying about others. Continuity is the key to English. Keep up with the stagnation period at your own pace without worrying about others .