What Is the Plateau in English Learning and How to Deal With It

Plateau in learning is the time when you get stuck and feel that you are not improving. It is something that all of you have experienced. Because it’s normal when we learn language that we learn a lot suddenly and then we have a plateau, a flat spot. It feels like we’re not learning. We’re studying, but we feel like we’re not improving. And that’s the normal process of learning. We have these times where we seem to be improving very quickly and then we have plateaus where everything feels like nothing’s happening. But if we’re patient, if we keep practicing and we keep studying then, we will have another fast period of growing and improving.

It is one of the difficult things that most English students and most students for any subject encounter. It can be frustrating and can make you feel like you’re not improving. It can hurt your motivation. So you need to be ready for plateaus. You need to know how to solve this problem: How should you feel when you have a plateau in your English learning. Because a lot of people get frustrated and then they quit so they never become masters, and they never speak excellent English.

It’s fun to learn something very quickly, but we must also learn to enjoy the plateaus. It’s good to have goals, but we have to learn to enjoy the times when we’re just studying, just practicing and we feel like we’re not improving. We must be patient because research has shown that during these plateaus, we are actually learning very quickly. Your brain is learning so much new information, but it’s not ready to show it yet. Inside your brain many new connections are happening. You’re actually learning very, very quickly, but it’s happening subconsciously. So you can’t really talk about what you’ve learned and maybe you can’t use it yet.

So, for example, with English, during a plateau you feel like you’re not learning, but if you’re listening, you are learning fast. Subconsciously your brain is understanding the grammar and the vocabulary more and more, your brain is learning better and better pronunciation. But there is a delay between understanding and using. So, for example, your listening will be improving very fast, but your speaking not. You feel like nothing’s happening. “I still can’t speak well” and you get frustrated. This happens with a lot of students.

You have to trust the plateaus. If you use the correct methods, if you follow a good spoken English course, subconsciously you will be learning very quickly. You’ll be understanding more and more and more, but there will be a gap. There will be a delay between your subconscious learning and your speaking improvement. It takes about six months for all of this subconscious learning to suddenly create better speech. It will happen automatically and effortlessly. The speaking part happens automatically, you don’t need to worry about it.

You must enjoy the process of learning, not just the final goal. Having very strong, powerful goals, that’s very important. However it’s equally important to enjoy the process of learning. Because if you have a great goal, but you hate the process, if you just hate studying, you’re not going to succeed, you will quit. Every day you have to just love listening to English. You have to enjoy the process every day, every minute. That’s why you should find interesting topics. Not just boring dialogues or boring textbook. Try to find ideas and information that will be useful and interesting to you. Why? So you will enjoy the process of learning English. So you will focus on the content and information, not on learning the language, because learning the language happens automatically.

If you follow good English learning system, you will learn English automatically and you will speak better. The teacher’s job is to make the process as interesting and fun and enjoyable as possible for you. Good teacher should pick topics that are meaningful that will help your life, not just your English. Because the more you find the content interesting, more crazy or entertaining the stories are, the more you will enjoy the process of learning. You will want to listen just because it’s fun and interesting.