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Why don’t I improve in English as fast now as I did as a beginner?

August 11, 2021 , by Dr Julian Northbrook

When you’re a beginner you’ll see real progress fast.

And this is simply because you know nothing at the beginning.

Let’s say you only know two English words and then you managed to learn two more English words. That’s already double your original English knowledge! And that’s huge.

But learning English (as in any other language) is exponential.

And by this, I mean we can compare it with earthquakes. You see, the difference between a magnitude 1 and a magnitude 2 is a little bit big… but the difference between magnitudes 5 and 6 is much, much bigger. And the difference between a 7 and 8 is insanely big. And similar to this analogy, the difference in the amount of work you have to do to improve gets bigger and bigger the further you progress, so while the difference between absolute-beginner and low-beginner isn’t very big… the difference between intermediate and advanced is enormous.

Naturally, you’re going to actively stop noticing progress as you go along the way. But it doesn’t mean you’re not progressing at all. Kind of like when you were younger, you never noticed how tall you’ve gotten… but it doesn’t mean you didn’t grow any taller.

So don’t worry too much about this.

A much better approach is to track actions taken, not proficiency gained.

This is one of the things I teach my clients (go here if you’re interested in this).

Hope that helps.

Dr Julian Northbrook

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