Episode 38: Non-Level Victories in Language Learning


30 January 2023

20 mins 26 secs

Season 2

Your Hosts

About this Episode

In today's episode, I talk about language victories we have along our journeys that have nothing to do with reaching the next level. Moving up a language level is often our overarching objective, but sometimes reaching a new level is so far away that it's difficult to recognize our progress. And progress, by the way, doesn't only show up in results. Sometimes it's easy to see these victories when they have to do with our language ability, but victories can also show up in the activity we do (or don't do) and also in the mentality we have about our language journeys.

I can see my improvements in ability, for example, when I speak almost exclusively in my target language during a 30-minutes conversation lesson, but in this same example there are also victories related to activity and mentality. The act of scheduling the lesson is a non-level victory for me that proves I've made progress over the years because I used to feel so nervous about conversation lessons that I would put off scheduling them regularly. Not beating myself up when an English word does sneak into that conversation is a mental victory, as well, because it indicates a huge shift between negative self-talk and self-disbelief to belief and focusing on the positive things.

It's so important to recognize all the victories along our langauge journeys, not just the biggest or most obvious ones. They're proof that we're improving. They’re proof that the non-linear line of progression is trending upward. We have victories in our languages every single day in the activities we face, our language abilities, and how we mentally confront ourselves and our languages. Take some time this week to think about all the great victories you have in your language life, and I hope you share some of those with me, especially for the season finale episode in two weeks.

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Love, Joy, and Languages Blog
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