The Slow Part

Hey guys! I have reached the point in my Spanish that Steve often refers to as the nearly level part of a hockey stick. If you do not know what I am talking about, let me explain. Imagine language learning as a upside down hockey stick. (Upside down “L”) At first, everything goes very quick, and you are adding words very quickly. However, there reaches a point in which things slow down drastically and it becomes so slow that it does not feel like you are getting anywhere. I think I have reached this point. I am not going to give up, but I wanted to know what you do to stay motivated? I am reading interesting content, but still at times it feels tedious. I am thinking of starting another language to break up the monotony. Thoughts? Should I just trudge thorugh this slow part and really concentrate on other areas in the language (like speaking, writing, comprehension? Or should I start another language? I am open to suggestions.

At 17 K known words, you’re at a level of Spanish where you can actually just use the language. There is no “trudging through the slow part” at this point because technically, it will all be slow from now on, since you already know the most common words.

I’d just read books and listen to audiobooks, watch shows in Spanish and just enjoy it. Why does it matter how many words you’re adding?

If you wanna break up the monotony, that tells me you’re not doing enjoyable things with Spanish – there is a big difference between “interesting” content and “enjoyable” content. Reading Wikipedia articles is interesting, but I wouldn’t call it enjoyable. Reading a good book while listening to the audio is both interesting and enjoyable – so I’d recommend finding an activity like that.

If you wanted to start another language because it was on your list to do, this would actually be a good time to do it, because Spanish will be easier for you to maintain from here on out, but that has nothing to do with where you are with this language.


Listening and reading a book at the same time. Do you mean listening to the book and reading along? Or rather, say, reading a chapter in the morning and listening to it in the car or on the bus? I’m sure both can be effective but I’m curious to know which you prefer.

I would start by listening and reading along at the same time and go from there. Depending how comfortable you feel you can do the reading a listening separately.

1 Like