This week I would like to address level awareness.
There are many students who define their progress by their level. This is ok, up to a certain point, but when you put too much emphasis on your level it’s discouraging. Apart from that it’s often not realistic, as there are many different factors to consider within each level.
First of all, there are 3 levels within each level. There are students who just made it into that level, there are students who are solid in their level and there are students who are at the upper end of their level.
When you first move into a level, you are usually at the bottom. After some time and dedication to the language you become solid/average in the level. To get to the upper end of the level usually requires a shift in the way you practice your Spanish. It usually requires taking it up a notch. As Albert Einstein defined insanity – Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you dedicate the same amount of time and do the same things, you’re not going to get to the next level, as the next level requires more out of you. Does this make sense?
If you are one of the students so discouraged because you’ve been in the same level for a while, ask yourself a few questions:
– Am I dedicating more time to my Spanish than I was previously?
– Am I being consistent?
– Have I changed up what I do? Have I taken it up a notch?
– What is it that is keeping me from getting to the next level? Am I using too much English in class? Am I not repeating when I’m being corrected? I am putting too much or not enough emphasis on grammar? Am I participating in class? Am I speaking too much and not listening enough? Am I doing the optional homework? Am I getting to class on time and making it a priority? Am I dedicating 15 minutes to the language every day (and doing new things, not just DuoLingo every day)?
– What is my real goal? To be able to travel and chat with the locals? To work in a Spanish speaking country? To be able to order food and make restaurant reservations? It’s important to be clear on this. Many people say that they want to be fluent, when in reality, being at a high intermediate level or advanced level is enough for their purposes.
One last thing. If you want to know where you are at and what you need to improve to get to the next level, there is an option for an evaluation through PBO. There is a basic one for $12 and a detailed one for $30. Of course many of you know what you need to do, it’s just a matter of doing it ☺
Con mucho cariño,