Levels in language-learning and how to feel more empowered when starting out (and later on)

Elf
Posts125Likes 95Joined 3/9/2018LocationSkopje / MK
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https://www.fluentin3months.com/a2-level/


According to the European Common Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), the levels of learning a language are the following: 


A1 Beginner

A2 Upper Beginner

B1 Lower intermediate

B2 Upper intermediate

C1 Advanced

C2 Mastery 


However this chart can be a bit misleading and cause you to agitate around aiming the higher ones always. The article above is so helpful and supportive, that it gives you a boost and encouragement to really look one step at a time and celebrate every level you attain! And by celebration it means taking the time to practice and settle in what you have acquired, really feel the contempt and move forward if, and when, you feel ready. 

The A2 level can be as fulfilling as some of the higher levels too, and really gives you the opportunity to engage in basic conversations and maybe listen and learn more than speak. The article explains every situation and handling it with more details. In addition, with a patient partner, you can always feel more at ease and also evaluate more objectively your level and be happy about it. 


What do you think? Should we aim successively or are you capable of sliding to the higher levels quickly and prefer that? 




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#1
Elf
Posts114Likes 78Joined 8/10/2018LocationPH
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Learning Japanese

I think it's a pretty solid framework. Most of the time people tend to get impatient and try to test the waters too quickly, what's important in my opinion is to slowly get all facets of learning (speaking, listening, writing, etc) at more or less the same level before considering going up another rank. This is similar to the philosophy of the belt system in martial arts from what I understand. 


I'm around A2 level in Japanese. I actually think it's kinda cool to converse using the little that I know lol.  


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#2
Ranger
Posts204Likes 112Joined 6/10/2018LocationLagos / NG
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Other French

I'm of the opinion that there's no shortcut to learning. To truly learn, you must immerse yourself in the process and go all the levels stage by stage.

Kevwe A.

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#3
Ranger
Posts287Likes 160Joined 11/7/2018LocationManila / PH
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I've been stuck in C1 for years now. Lol. And yeah, it bothers me a lot. :s

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#4
Elf
Posts135Likes 81Joined 3/9/2018LocationLagos / NG
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Learning French

I think going through the stages one by one not only encourages you but shows you how good you’re doing while reviewing your progress.

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#5
Ent
Posts742Likes 460Joined 18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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Mai wrote:
Should we aim successively or are you capable of sliding to the higher levels quickly and prefer that?

I always shoot for B2, but I have plenty of smaller goals along the way that aren't necessarily defined by the CEFR scale. For example, learning the alphabet, finishing Pimsleur, finishing a textbook, completing my first 10 hours of conversation, etc.


I'm not a fan a Benny Lewis because most of his material is about motivation, and not very useful to experienced language learners. There are other reasons too - he used to make ridiculous claims and argue with people in a very unprofessional manner on many language forums. There is often a strong element of doing things just to woo customers. But let me get back to this article in particular.


In this article, as in several others, Benny has created this straw man of people setting goals that are too high. Yes, there are people who have unrealistic goals, but the vast majority don't imo. Almost everyone I know who has high goals in a language also has much more readily obtainable intermediate goals. There's nothing wrong with having both long and short term goals, or no goals at all. I find Benny's whole implication that there are a huge number of language learners at great risk due to unrealistic goals to be invalid.


I mean, do beginners (who make up 95% of all language learners) look at the CEFR scale and say "Oh dear, there's a C2 level which will take way too long to obtain. I might as well quit right now!" I think those are very few. Most don't even know the scale exists, and those who do usually don't pay much attention to it. 


Imo, what Benny is really trying to do here is win the favor of the A1/A2 crowd. Someone is finally giving them credit, and making them feel good. 95% of the learners - that's a savvy move by Benny. These A1/A2 learners really do deserve some praise, and Benny does a good job of that, so that's one aspect of the article I like. I admit that he's good at motivation; it's his forte. 

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#6
Elf
Posts125Likes 95Joined 3/9/2018LocationSkopje / MK
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Thank you Leo! Great observation, and post


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#7
Elf
Posts111Likes 96Joined 4/10/2018Location
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That's a strange little article. 


It's like saying, yeah, you can be "fluent" in three months if you lower your standards. Quite frankly, given that language proficiency correlates fairly strongly to time-invested, I guess that's the only way to sell a product like "fluent in 3 months"? 

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#8
Ent
Posts742Likes 460Joined 18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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meifeng wrote:
It's like saying, yeah, you can be "fluent" in three months if you lower your standards. Quite frankly, given that language proficiency correlates fairly strongly to time-invested, I guess that's the only way to sell a product like "fluent in 3 months"?

You have summarized his marketing strategy and ideology quite well in only 2 sentences.  

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#9
Dwarf
Posts68Likes 37Joined 6/10/2018LocationJonestown / US
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Learning Italian, Spanish

I personally believe that people who take shortcuts really miss out on learning better. I believe that we should aim successfully and fully understand each level of the language we are learning in order not to cheat ourselves.

Taylor Fabio

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#10
Ranger
Posts308Likes 223Joined 8/7/2018LocationAlmeria / ES
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I agree, there is no quick route without compromising the understanding somewhere along the line 

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#11