So, I’m moving at a good clip with Polish, but I’m wondering if I’m actually learning or just memorizing. Obviously, there’s a memorization element with the flashcards, and I find I often get the card wrong the first time, but subsequent times are correct not because I’ve learned it, but because I recognize that it’s the only word in that particular set that looks/sounds like that, and it must mean X. And when it comes to listening to texts, I find if I’ve read it once or twice, then I know enough of what is being said that I can follow it, especially if I hear a few touch-stone words that I know well, like if I hear “zimno” I might remember “Oh, this is the bit where they talk about the weather,” and since I know the rest of the text, I can “pick out the words.” But if I hear those same words in a different context, I might not understand them.
Should I be worried about this? Should I shake up my approach? Is my progress largely illusory, or is this actually pretty normal. I do find I AM learning words (I’ll often see a word on a flashcard for the first time, sort of cock my head and just “guess” and I’ll guess correctly without really knowing why, despite it being a fairly obscure and non-intuitive answer), but I wonder if I’m learning as fast as I could be? Or if I’m tricking myself into thinking I’m learning faster than I actually am.