Why am I stuck in my English level

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engmannoun
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Why am I stuck in my English level

Postby engmannoun » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:36 am

Is it possible to reach fluency in English after the age of 35?

What am I doing wrong?

I can't remember the number of methods, systems, and books I tried to reach fluency?

One thing I should admit that the last 4 months were the only period I was truly committed to improving my English on a daily basis, but I can't tell If I am improving and I can't see if I am on the right path!!!!!

I feel that I am at the same level 10 years ago regarding speaking fluency!!!!! for reading, listening and writing I am good... I only had problems when listening to American series or movies, and I believe it's expected and not easy. Listening to the news, a documentary is Ok for me.

I would like to hear from those who were at the same place and managed to escape the trap.
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Why am I stuck in my English level

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:57 pm

You have problems listening to American series? Pick a nice long one and start watching! Repeat as necessary. What sort of shows do you enjoy? I’m sure we have suggestions.
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ceanrim
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Re: Why am I stuck in my English level

Postby ceanrim » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:18 pm

The only way to improve is to struggle. Keep watching things you have trouble understanding and slowly you'll get better
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Re: Why am I stuck in my English level

Postby Cavesa » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:29 pm

Of course, documentaries tend to be easier (the style is meant to be easy to follow, so that it's easy to learn something from the documentary, and news regurgitate the same type of content over and over again)

Concerning your problem with the tv series and movies: how much time have you spent trying?

The bad news: it takes time.
The good news: if you haven't put in at least a hundred hours yet, you are doing just fine. If you have been listening for lot and not improving, then it may be time to pick a different series to start with, consider whether to progress more with extensive listening or intensive, and so on.
The other good news: improving will be fun :-)

But you can definitely improve! Your age (which is not that high anyways) is no obstacle :-)
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Re: Why am I stuck in my English level

Postby zenmonkey » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:19 pm

What are you currently doing to address this?

Can I suggest that you chose a few podcasts (there are great ones in English) and transcribe 15-20 minutes every day for four weeks? See if that exercise helps you focus your listening on precision.
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Re: Why am I stuck in my English level

Postby Morgana » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:05 pm

engmannoun wrote:I feel that I am at the same level 10 years ago regarding speaking fluency!!!!! for reading, listening and writing I am good... I only had problems when listening to American series or movies, and I believe it's expected and not easy. Listening to the news, a documentary is Ok for me.

You seem most bothered about your speaking ability, is that correct? Have you done any language exchanges or worked with a tutor on your speaking? Do you live somewhere that English is commonly spoken and/or have much opportunity for practice?

I’m not actually working on my speaking abilities in a foreign language, but there are lots of people here who are who can offer more specific advice.
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Re: Why am I stuck in my English level

Postby Hashimi » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:21 pm

If your main problem is the accent, don't worry. There are many prominent Arab figures who speak fluent English with heavy Arab accent (for example, the executive director of CAIR, the most influential Arab organization in the US, speaks fluently with a very thick Palestinian accent: youtube = 7VDcKDapysk)

If you want to improve fluency in general, try this very effective technique which is called 4/3/2:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NDBXcy ... u.be&t=173

Or if you prefer reading papers, read from page 3:

https://www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/about/s ... luency.pdf


zenmonkey wrote:What are you currently doing to address this?

Can I suggest that you chose a few podcasts (there are great ones in English) and transcribe 15-20 minutes every day for four weeks? See if that exercise helps you focus your listening on precision.


He says that his main problem is speaking fluency. I know that listening is strongly linked with speaking, but do you think the transcription exercise will help that much?
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Re: Why am I stuck in my English level

Postby zenmonkey » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:30 pm

Hashimi wrote:He says that his main problem is speaking fluency. I know that listening is strongly linked with speaking, but do you think the transcription exercise will help that much?


He wrote:
I only had problems when listening to American series or movies, and I believe it's expected and not easy.


Transcription is a slow controlled output exercise - it may help with listening and production. Listening to how people actually speak, the little details and reproducing them is a good way to internalise spoken English.

I could be wrong, but I found it useful for improving my spoken German (with a lot of repeating of those texts too to get prosody and enunciation).
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Re: Why am I stuck in my English level

Postby Hashimi » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:51 pm

zenmonkey wrote:He wrote:
I only had problems when listening to American series or movies, and I believe it's expected and not easy.


I know, but still his main problem is speaking fluency:

engmannoun wrote:Is it possible to reach fluency in English after the age of 35?
.......
I can't remember the number of methods, systems, and books I tried to reach fluency?
.......
.......
I feel that I am at the same level 10 years ago regarding speaking fluency!!!!!



zenmonkey wrote:Transcription is a slow controlled output exercise - it may help with listening and production. Listening to how people actually speak, the little details and reproducing them is a good way to internalise spoken English.

I could be wrong, but I found it useful for improving my spoken German (with a lot of repeating of those texts too to get prosody and enunciation).


This reminds me of the scriptorium technique recommended by Prof. Arguelles. He also said that paying attention to the little details and subtleties and reproducing them improves the output in general (writing & speaking).

The OP should give it a try.
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Re: Why am I stuck in my English level

Postby zenmonkey » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:20 pm

Hashimi wrote:I know, but still his main problem is speaking fluency:

And generally speaking, I think I'd agree with the advice being given that one drives fluency by speaking a lot and getting comfortable with it. But given that he's talking about something that is going on for 10 years, I'd thought that I'd suggest something that brings things back to details. Again, I'm not 100% sure it will help, but something similar helped me a bit.

Hashimi wrote:This reminds me of the scriptorium technique recommended by Prof. Arguelles. He also said that paying attention to the little details and subtleties and reproducing them improves the output in general (writing & speaking).

The OP should give it a try.


Thanks, yes, what I was doing was a lot like that. Listening, reading, repeating, then scriptorium. And I was trying to focus on texts that were not scripted or too structured (no audiobooks, no news) really chatty podcasts where people just talked normally.
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