Pushing yourself beyond survival to fluency | Ask Benny | Forum
February 8, 2012
Hi, discovered your blog quite recently and have been finding it extremely inspirational. I've always been the kind of person who has had no fear of speaking a language from the beginning and have often been told I have some kind of "natural talent", though to this day the only language I can speak fluently is English :)
I've been living in Ukraine for 18 months now and have reached a reasonable level of Russian. By that, I mean I carry out daily tasks using the language, converse fairly freely with colleagues and friends. But, I really want to push on and reach a level where I can understand and participate completely freely.
I'm very self motivated and speak Russian every day much more than I speak English, even though I work here as an EFL teacher. I know that my practical and transactional level of Russian is much better than even the students I teach who are called "Advanced". However, my ability to talk about a wide range of subjects freely and fluently is much less developed.
Often it can be extremely easy to pick up and apply functional language at first, making you feel like you have made a lot of progress, but what advice can people offer for those who have gone past that stage and really want to become more than just functional. I want to be able to understand Russian films, read books and talk to people in the same way I would in English.
How can I structure my learning so as to aid my learning process as best as possible from here on? Would you suggest things like learning vocabulary related to certain subjects that I would talk about in English and then seeking or "manipulating" conversations so that I'm able to practice them? Likewise with tricky grammar points?
Look forward to any useful advice / comments - keep up the good work
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