I have been a member of LingQ since 2012, but I’ve taken years off periodically as I pursue other, non language things. However, language learning is measured in hours, otherwise the scales are meaningless. Overall, I have between 1,300 and 1,500 hours of total Spanish learning, depending on how much my high school experience counted for. However, since graduating, the last 1,100 hours of learning have been independent. For the most recent 1,000 of those, I have been a LingQ member. Now doesn’t mean I have spent 1,000 hours ON LingQ. 400-500 of those hours has been spent watching Spanish NetFlix shows, ie watching the screen, listening to the auto, and reading the Spanish subtitles. The rest of mine time has been spent reading native cotent, listening to a couple hundred hours listening to other stuff, writing, and of course reading up on grammar, etc.
Additionally, I should have incorporated some more things into my original post: I do think the 700 hours of listening and completing Advanced Level 2 (33,200 known words) is the right base to go from in terms of being able to understand pretty much all your hear in “regular” situations/movies/etc. However, keep in mind that most of that 700 of “listening” was me watching the Spanish NetFlix shows. Maybe if you were listening to hundreds of hours of non-shows it would differ. Second, and this is huge, LingQ now has the ability to rip the foreign language subtitles directly from NetFlix and import them into LingQ. I didn’t have that ability for all those hundreds of hours of watching 13+ shows and 25 movies and documentaries. Unless I wrote down the words and phrases I didn’t know or watched to remember, they were lost and I just had to rely on seeing them again and again. What I’m going to try to do is import all those subtitles in (when I can find them) in order to put those words to my “Words Read” count, as well as to add those words to my LingQs and known words counts. Most importantly, with this new LingQ feature, you can treat a NetFlix show like any other LingQ less, you can read the text, highlight the words AND phrases, watch the show, re-read, watch again, etc. Since we now have this ability, your NetFlix watching time becomes much more efficient and I wouldn’t be surprised if you are able to acquire a better vocabulary and understanding of the shows faster than those of us who didn’t have this capability until now.
Lastly, I think you feeling stuck at that level is totally normal. In the first place, you have 17K+ words, with a very high lingqs learned stat of 18K+ which means that you are encountering fewer and fewer words you don’t know. You are not at a plateau, but rather at the long stretch of the inverted hockey stick Master Steve talks about when you are on the road to fluency. Secondly, you are only at 150 hours of listening. When you hit 300 and 400 your will notice real differences, especially in every day speech, the news, etc. Thirdly, you can help power through this stage my switching up your content rich material. I think this new NetFlix subtitle feature will go a long way toward that goal because you will be able to have a lot of words imported into LingQ and you’ll be motivated. Further still, the tried and true method of doing this is reading books, especially novels. As Francisco promised, my known word count did “skyrocket” even in the high 20K range. I think what was even more helpful was the fact that I imported the novel “La Reina del Sur,” which was the first telenovela I watched on NetFlix. I was familiar with the story and interested in it. And that was before the NetFlix import feature also!