the1whoknocks wrote:Lamentations of an Intermediate Spanish Speaker
1. Where’s the progress?!
"Good things take time."
...two different things. In many regards, I have to admit to being impatient; with almost anything I do, I want to see progress immediately....
With learning Spanish, that just hasn’t flown. I can decide what to do, but I can’t immediately determine the results. ... Still, the timing of when I will assimilate this material is not of my choosing. I just have to wait. At times, this fact frustrates me.
Very true. At the intermediate level, stuff takes a lot of time. Improvement at C2 takes even more. It is hard to be patient. But we don't have much of a choice.
The timing is not of your choosing. But there will a point, at which some stuff will click, some hoarded time with Spanish learning activities will finally overweight the brain's resistance, and there will be a huge leap forward. And it will be very sweet. Look forward to that.
2. I’m doing much more work for what seems to be relatively less return.
...I didn’t really understand how learning a language could be harder once reaching the intermediate level. Particularly because at that stage, one has so many more tools at their disposal.
...The fact that I am finding it harder to point to tangible results, with what I perceive to be much more work, just doesn’t sit right with me sometimes.
Yes, again your experience matches mine. There are no longer the resources that give you a tiny nice feeling of accomplishment after every unit or exercise. Or very few of them. There are many other resources, which are objectively more fun. But the feeling of accomplishment, the one "yeah, I am just one tiny step closer to my goals" is not that obvious anymore. Super Challenge, Course Completion Challenge, and surely others are very helpful in this area. They give us the opportunity to accomplish something. They are quantifyable. They give us back that nice feeling participating a lot on our will to go on.
3. What exactly should I be doing?
At first, when in doubt I could just pick up a grammar book/ course and study the next chapter or prepare to handle a real situation I had pending.
There are intermediate and advanced courses and grammars. Of course they are not sufficient, we won't reach the desired level just with them, but we won't reach the goals with any kind of resource without using the others too. A well made intermediate or advanced course can be very valuable. And it helps exactly against the feelings "I don't know what useful to do right now, I feel so overwhelmed with the choices, so I'll watch flies on the wall instead".
Now the questions is, am I really reading, speaking, listening and writing enough to improve. ...With almost everything I’ve done in life (I say that like I’ve done much) I’ve had a task, a clear way forward and milestones to check my progress.
Join the challenges. 10000 pages are bound to make you improve. There is no guarantee that the chosen amount of material you sign up for will get you to C2 or perfection, or whatever crazy goals we tend to have. But it is sure to make you progress noticeably. Milestones in the right direction. The same can be done in any area. You can decide to write two hundred pages during the next two months (or any other thing and number like this).
I’ve been doing the same activities, more or less, for two years. What’s more, I’m starting to loathe many of these activities; I
hate am tired of Anki, don’t desire to transcribe another movie and am tired of writing my opinion.
I had been doing the same activities for five years and felt little progress most times, I was taking breaks, and was doing much less rigorous stuff than you. But still, suddenly, my French was two levels higher, surprise. Two years are still not weirdly long. The only problem is, that doing activities you hate might make you give up completely. That is the problem, I believe. The way you spend the time, not the time itself.
Maybe do something that will push me a bit (or a lot).
Yes. But please, choose something you can enjoy.
Some sleep might help too.
Sleep is great.