Advanced Language Learning: From Good To Great.

Advanced Language Learning: How to go from good to great.

Advanced Language Learning: When do I need this?

There comes a point when your language learning materials don’t get you any better. There comes a point when regular, everyday conversation isn’t effective at increasing your knowledge. This is the jump from a B2 level up into the C1/2 category.
You’ll know when you’ve reached this level:

  • You can read adult fiction without too much trouble. (90%+ Comprehension.)
  • You can have every day conversations with native speakers without too much trouble. (90%+ Comprehension.)
  • Most learning materials for the language that are readily available are at a level which isn’t challenging to you.

Advanced Language Learning: What do I need to do?

Extensive reading in the target language. Think about the people in your native language who have the widest vocabularies, and most general knowledge. They are probably bookworms. Extensive reading is the cornerstone of advanced language learning. It’s where you’ll be exposed to vocabulary you’d otherwise not come across. Also, the very nature of reading in terms of entire paragraphs means that you’ll be more likely to be able to replicate that in speech, increasing your natural eloquence.
Finding target language forums on specific, in depth topics. A lot of readers suggest that to gain advanced levels of mastery, you have to be able to talk politics, religion and obscure cultural knowledge. Whilst learning about your target culture is essential, talking about politics isn’t. If that were the case, most native speakers couldn’t ever be classed as fluent.
Instead, make sure to find topics that you’re happy to engage with. Each different interest and subculture has its own terminology. Engage with topics that you’re interested in and you’ll pick up that terminology.
In terms of learning materials, most resources go up to a B2. That’s the level of the average speaker of the language in terms of grammar. Obviously, vocabulary and cultural sensitivity are higher than what a B2 speaker would be able to muster, but grammar rules in their most basic, everyday terms are covered by a B2. So to find materials that are greater in depth than B2 level, look to what an undergraduate, and then a postgraduate might be expected to do in terms of language. Look up the BA in Your Target Language and find a reading list. Then do it for an MA course if you need to.

Advanced Language Learning: When will I be C2?

At this point, your level of fluency isn’t really something that can be determined accurately.
Go into a holding pattern, make sure to read technically challenging documents. Keep involved in forums and make sure you’re controlling the active side of your language too.

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