Learn English – Are you enjoying being an intermediate-level speaker? You should be!

Many intermediate-level language learners feel frustrated at their level of acquisition.  But they should look at all they can do with their second language, instead of what they cannot yet do.

I believe you can be fluent as an intermediate learner, if you stick to talking about situations you are very familiar with.  Even as a beginner, you can eventually talk about yourself and your family and your interests with ease. So, don’t be impatient.  Enjoy where you are and keep at it!


Hey there! Are you an intermediate level language learner?  Are you pleased with where you are with English?  Or are you impatient?  Let me give you some encouragement today about the joy of being at the intermediate level and what you can do with that. 

(Intro: English without Fear where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories)

Recently, I was interviewed in French about my adventures in learning other languages. And after the video posted on YouTube, I watched it and noticed all my mistakes. I realized I am at the intermediate level and I still make mistakes and that’s okay. Let me explain.

I taught French for 27 years in American schools. I taught kids ages 11 to 18. And I had what I call ‘situational fluency’. I felt very comfortable speaking about most things. I liked the level I was at toward the end of my teaching experience. I could talk about pretty much anything. But if I had to speak with somebody about politics or economics or a medical setting…….I don’t know a lot of that vocabulary and I would have to ‘circumlocute’, go around. It….and there would be pauses and I would not feel as comfortable.

I had, I have situational fluency over many different areas. So, I think you can be fluent as a beginner language learner and at the intermediate stage and as an advanced language learner. It’s just a matter of staying within the boundaries of what you know, and what you can talk about comfortably. And with more practice at the intermediate level, I think you can feel a sense of fluency. 

What I find encouraging is that as an intermediate-level French speaker, I was able to teach kids how to speak French. I was able to encourage them in the joy of learning another language and using it. 

You can make a lot of difference. You can help people. You can use it and enjoy your language, your English at the intermediate level. So, don’t be impatient. Start enjoying what you already know. Now I speak much, much better French than I do Spanish. I’ve been speaking French for many more years. I’ve only been speaking Spanish for three and a half years. And with that limited amount of experience of input of listening, of reading, of watching, I still, as an intermediate-level Spanish speaker, am able to help people. 

Every week,  I volunteer at a center in our town that helps families who don’t have a lot of resources and they’re often Hispanic speakers. I stumble through my conversations with them, but I help them. I connect them with resources that we offer. I can make a difference with my intermediate-level Spanish in the areas that I’m becoming more fluent. In the areas that have to do with me, my family, my activities, things I like, I don’t like, beginner-level ideas, beginner level, functional fluency areas, I do really, really well. And as I’m gathering, as I’m creating more areas where I can be functionally fluent, I get to be more useful to people. And I enjoy my language skills.

One thing else that I want to mention is that after that interview, I realized I still need to continue with French every week in order to hold on to functional fluency in those areas. So, I made the decision, I resolved, I promised myself to listen to French podcasts, watch French YouTube videos and keep it up. I think I might even download a novel in French because I get a lot of benefit out of reading. 

So, what about you? What can you do at the beginner level or at the intermediate level? How are you enjoying your English? Don’t wait. Don’t be upset if you’re still, still at the intermediate level. That’s okay. Just have fun. Know why you’re learning English and enjoy it as soon as you can. You don’t have to wait.

Well, that’s it for this episode of English without Fear. If you want the written transcript to today’s episode, I’ll post it in a few days. You can go to my website, www.englishwithoutfear.com, and you’ll find the transcripts to this episode, as well as others. Well, I’ll look forward to seeing you next time and keep enjoying English. Don’t give up.

(outro:  Thanks for watching. For questions or comments. Here’s my email.)

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