We won’t be in classrooms and lectures forever, but if you choose to be you may end up surpassing your teachers or “masters”. Like anything in life, if you spend enough time and effort on it you’ll eventually become a master. Language learning is no exception, although you’ll always have room for improvement.
But, this article will be a short and sweet guide for what to do when you reach that point in your language learning journey.
First of all, congrats! You’ve reached an incredible point in your journey, some may even call it “close to the end.”But, for all sakes and purposes let’s see you’re really freaking amazing at your target language and you’ve even managed to catch your teacher off guard at some point, what’s next?
You deserve them. It’s okay to be humble, but being humble all the time won’t get you the respect you rightfully earned. Take these bragging rights and use them as a testimony to someone who successfully mastered their target language. You’ll be a walking representation of blood, sweat, and tears.
Don’t Be A Bully
You know that big kid at birthday parties who takes candy from everyone just because they happen to be 2 ft taller than the other kids? Don’t be that big kid. Nobody likes a bully, and in language learning, it’s easy to become one, even unintentionally. Don’t ever take away an opportunity for another student to learn a new part of the language, especially if you know it already.
Don’t Be A Smart Ass
This is part 2 of Don’t Be A Bully.
Nobody likes a Smart Ass either. People who think they know everything even if they do are a headache in language learning. It’s not a matter of telling everybody, everything you know, but it’s a matter of conflicting information. Maybe the teacher wants to teach this thing you already know if a different manner than you’re teaching it to the poor, helpless, confused students. Just lay low and let the teacher do their thing, that’s what they get paid for.
I know I just said don’t be a smartass, but genuinely helping others and shamelessly flaunting your knowledge are two different things. If someone comes to you for help in the language, don’t hesitate to guide them around complex topics. Sometimes we even learn things better if we’re teaching them to others using our own methods.
You’re not done yet. They say that maintaining a language is harder than actually getting it to a level of mastery. You’ll need to keep up on your reviews, and constantly being surrounded by your target language is a ‘plus.’ Normally, when you’re at a level a mastery you shouldn’t be able to easily forget things, but in language learning, as the saying goes “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.”
Language is like a plant; watering it and exposing it to sunlight will allow it to grow, however, even if that plant is fully grown it can still die if it is neglected. The fact that the plant is fully grown doesn’t make it immune to natural death.
So keep it healthy is all I’m trying to say!
While it’s comforting to be in a learning environment where you’ve outgrown all the material and toppled the leaderboards with your peers on it; there is more to gain if you were to simply just move on to greater and higher heights. Yeah, I know it’s fun dominating the classroom, and even catching your teacher off guard occasionally but don’t let this be where your journey ends…. or if you want to end one journey and start another you can learn another language.
Dive deep into the world of academics, poetry or science, become a teacher and share your knowledge, explore the world bouncing from continent to continent! Your options as an experienced, well cultured language learner is quite literally limitless.
Check out our article on High-Performance Language Learning to get the most out of your journey! There you’ll find a list of ways to optimize your learning even after you’ve reached “mastery”.