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Tips for Transcending a Language-Learning Plateau


New member
Hey all, I've been learning a language (Japanese) for going on eight years and I feel like I've dramatically improved my abilities. I've studied in college, studied abroad in Japan, and even made Japanese friends with whom I now try to speak on a regular basis. That being said, I'm in a doctoral program that necessitates a real growth in my language ability beyond my current level, but I also don't have time to take college language courses and I feel like I've reached a plateau. I find whatever resources I can and attempt to practice those, read newspapers, and listen to the language as much as possible, but I feel like I'm not really improving. Part of me thinks that I am still improving, but given the law of diminishing returns and the pressure I'm putting on myself, I'm not noticing them. Another part of me thinks that I've just hit a wall and haven't progressed hardly at all. Any ideas or thoughts on how to either jump-start my improvement or overcome my mental blocks (or both!) would be greatly appreciated!