Everyone wants to improve. That’s why you came here. Learning, improving, or even perfecting your English language skills is exactly the reason that brought so many of you so far away from home. And, of course, you will.
But improvement is a tricky thing. It isn’t linear and sometimes the results of all your efforts are not immediately apparent: least of all to yourself.
So what should you do when you’re feeling frustrated with what seems like tedious progress?
1st – Don’t give up. The impulse to quit when things get difficult and results don’t seem forthcoming can be very strong. But advancement is often marked by long plateaus (periods of limited gain) and you will never improve if you do not first suffer through them.
2nd – Try something different. If you’ve been studying hard day and night, try putting down the books and going out for a while. Order from a restaurant in English. Make conversation with the clerk at the bookstore. Befriend an old lady on the subway. These interactions are exciting, and can remind you of why you’re studying so hard in the first place. On the other hand, if you’ve mainly been going out to bars and restaurants and other activities, you might want to crack open ye ol’ book and give it a try. Changing your routine can be a great way to break things up and hasten improvement.
3rd – Have faith. This can be the hardest of all. After some months, it may seem to you that total English fluency will be forever out of your grasp. It is not. But it does take time, patience, and a lot of hard work. So relax, get comfortable, and get talking! Give it time, and you too can become an English Master!