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Intermediate Plateau: It Happens // 中級レベルで伸び悩む

by - February 19, 2017

I've been learning Japanese for about 4 years now, and I notice that as time passes, I have to change my study habits more often. What was effective in the beginning, grows ineffective as time passes. However, the biggest change in my study habits happened when I approached the Intermediate Plateau.
In the beginning, I absorbed information like a sponge. I learned new vocabulary quickly, and it all stayed in my head. However, as I hit the Intermediate line, a wall came up. Suddenly, I couldn't learn vocabulary or grammar, no matter how much I studied.
During that time, I decided to start looking at kanji, since I had been largely ignoring that aspect of Japanese. I created a Kanji "journal" where I studied 10 kanji a week. I ended up learning a lot of Kanji for the 2 months I did that, and gradually I incorporated new vocabulary into my study regime.
When you hit the Intermediate Plateau, you might be tempted to walk away for a while and come back later. Try not to.
The best thing to do with any subject is to delve into a part of the subject you haven't explored much, and to give that your full attention.
Also, don't be afraid to explore other methods of studying. If you're someone who learns visually, explore methods that require meticulous note-taking. If you're someone who learns best by copying something over and over, try using what you're learning in your everyday speech.
All in all, especially in language learning, the Intermediate Plateau is inevitable. Getting through this is possible with enough hard work, though it may be discouraging to notice your progress slow as you advance. Despite this, keep going. The fact that you've reached the plateau in itself is a sign you've accomplished a lot, and are capable of a lot more 💕

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