Some thoughts about learning level

This week I happilly achieved the goal for the advanced 1 level.
Despite the celebration for this achievement, I’m thinking about what this really means.
I have absolutely no doubt I had learned more English the last 6 months than I had done the 10 years before that. Also, I feel quite confident that I could go to a English speaking country tomorrow and survive very well. And this is all very good.
By the other side, I’m still fighting with a lot of new words and idioms and phrasal verbs which appear at every item I take, and also with faster speakers, or some non North-American ones. I still frequently get stuck while writing and even more while speaking. In other words, I feel I still have a long way to walk until I feel completely comfortable using English.
Thus I was wondering about the need for more levels, until something we could call a “native” level. Actually, I’m very curious to know how many words a person should know to achieve this.
What do you think about all this? I would like to know, for example, others learners concerns about long term goals.

hi good afternoon My name’s Munkh-Erdene I’m from Monglia and study Health Medicine university so i need learn english especially most useful speak english.Can you help me? My email Please send email


I am not a great believer in levels. You are the best judge of your own language skills. Inevitably you will feel more satisfied on some days than on others. But by and large if you feel that you understand better and are enjoying using the language more, then you are headed in the right direction. There is no objective seal of approval that we can give you that will indicate how close you are to native.

There is no perfection, just constant improvement. Language learning is a bit like Sisyphus actually getting his rock higher and higher, but still having to keep working, or Tantalus able to drink, but not as much as he would like.


Welcome and I hope you enjoy your studies at LingQ.

Hi, Steve,
I know pretty well you are not a big fan of any kind of schematic activity in learning. :wink:
Of course, I’m my best evaluator. And in fact, my personal stated goals are related to my own level of comfort with the language, as I feel it.
I didn’t meant the LingQ levels should be taken too seriously, and by no means I’m searching for any kind of “seal of approval”. But I personally like to have some external indicators of my progress. And I should confess it was a little bit frustrating achieving the last proposed level and at the same time feel so far away of my goals. It’s more or less like graduating at a language school while knowing that actually you don’t master that language at all. You feel kind of fooled.
Anyway, generally speaking I agree that there is no perfection, but perpetual improvement instead. That’s why, with or without new levels, with or without knowing even roughly how many words I’ll need to achieve to read an entire book without a dictionary, I’ll keep using LingQ tenaciously…


I’ve got to tell you that your English level is pretty good judging from your writing on the Forum. Sure it can improve but you are already at a high level.

Thanks a lot, Mark.
Even though I’m well aware my English is reasonably good, and improving fast, it’s nice to have some positive feedback now and then.

I would not say that your English level is pretty good, Ana. I would say that it is excellent. When we speak I make no allowance for the fact that I am speaking to a non-native. I assume you understand everything, 100%. You express yourself easily, albeit with a slight Brazilian lilt, which I would not try to change.

Your writing is better than the average native speaker with the occasional slip up here and there.

What can I say? Enjoy your power over another language, and as long as you are enjoying it, and putting a little systematic effort into your word and phrase study as you do, you will continue to improve. The good news is that you will improve indefinitely. The bad news is that you will not be perfect. At some point you may have to adjust your expectations.

Wow, Steve, this time you really caught me by surprise…
What can I say? First of all, thanks a lot for taking the time to kind of “calm down” my slight frustration. Since you use to speak very frankly - and sometimes toughly :wink: - on what you think about facts and people, I just can feel very happy when you say all this about my English effectiveness.
So, ok, you won… I must agree it’s quite possible that my English level is a little higher than I believe it is. Actually, it’s part of my personality being very demanding to myself, and more than once I had exaggerated on this…
But since I’m loving to come here every night to read my preferred books in depth, you won’t get rid of me any soon…

I am a native (Canadian) English speaker with a graduate degree and I still like to use the dictionary when reading, or I might skip over the word I don’t know, but the point is I agree that very few people ever achieve “perfect” skill or knowledge especially over a wide range of activities and subjects and so I move forward toward my goal of lifelong learning.
P.S. I read a lot, between 4 and 8 books per month and not just pulp fiction either, so I am frequently humbled by the number of words I don’t know! P.S.S. I don’t consider myself a good writer but my family loves my writing (that is my mom and my wife heh-heh!) so beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Also, I am amazed at how poorly many native speakers write compared to second language learners.

Hi, Jbudding,
well, I guess poor language use, mainly in writing, is a common characterist of the so called “average citizen” everywhere.
I agree with you that I will never achieve the point of never more using the dictionary, since I haven’t achieved this in my own language, despite the fact that I’m an eager reader either.
I just want to achieve the point where while reading or watching a movie, I can forget that they are in English, and just enjoy. I like to say that my goal is being able to read English in(on?) bed…
Anyway, thanks for you comments.

and what do you think about sharing with us your writings???
I would like read and listen to!