IWTYAL 110: How can I measure my progress?

Wonyoung asks: “I’ve been living in Australia for 2 years, but I feel like I’ve stopped improving. How can I measure my progress?”

In this episode:

Wonyoung asks three questions:

  1. How do I know if my English is still improving?
  2. How can I check my progress?
  3. How can you tell if someone has mastered a foreign language?

Resources mentioned in today’s episode:

I recorded a video of a Cantonese song I just learned…

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This article was written by Olly Richards.

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Olly's Top Resources For Learning:
  • SJ

    Transcripts would be great! But it requires a huge amount of work and time.. Maybe you can just ask listeners to transcribe for you. If there’re ten volunteer, and each of them transcribes 2-5 min, that would be more than enough 🙂 And maybe one of them could do some editing work too..
    There’re so many English learners out there, just like myself. They could all either contribute to the transcripts providing, or benefit from them, or maybe both!
    Haha, brainstorming~~ 🙂

    • I know a friend of mine who has a podcast and that’s what he does. But he said it’s pretty unreliable and not such good quality.

      • Luis

        Are you talking about “The Great Luke”? I thought his transcripts were reliable enough…

  • Luis
  • Luis

    In general, I agree with the “What can I do with my target language?” approach, but I realized that you can do a given task with different levels of quality, and not always being able to do something means that your target language is OK for that task. In a specific context (for example open a bank account) you have very specific commands and activities involved, and usually the person that interact with you can guess what you are trying to say.

  • dandiprat

    For me, success is being able to understand TV in a language. This takes me forever. I have yet to fully meet my goal in any language, although in Mandarin I can understand it most of the time (usually when I get a good night’s sleep).
    I’m curious, how do you measure progress in Cantonese?

    • Usually on topic-based criteria. “Can I talk about xyz?” Or at the moment it’s just trying to get to the end of my textbook. I don’t think about measuring progress much, but I’m aware that I might not be typical in that sense, hence why I don’t mention it so much.

  • RS

    My final goal to learning language is being comfortable using that language
    for example I don’t practice or simulate situation what I will say if I am going to speak mother language when I go to a bank or call customer service etc unless I m trying to lie or make up stories. Currently I m living foreign country, however, when I go to a bank or try to call customer center
    I always prepare kind of script or situation what I will say and what and how a staff will respond to my questions.
    How long do you think it will take me like a person who learns another language for the first time to feel comfortable when I speak or listen to second language.