I arrived in Cusco four months ago. After a month of classes, finding a local boyfriend, gradually saying goodbye to all of my English-speaking friends, holding a job that required me to speak and understand Spanish shouted over a blaring rock band and fighting my way through the intricacies of contracts and business plans in my second language, my Spanish improved faster than I’d ever hoped.
But for all this, for days passed entirely in Spanish, about a month ago I realized that I wasn’t rocketing upwards anymore. I’d plateaued. I suppose this is an entirely natural stage in the language learning process – when you are working from a broad base of knowledge, the chunks that you gain each day necessarily form a smaller percentage than they used to.
But I miss the rush of daily improvement, so these are the steps I’ve taken to bring my learning back up to speed: