Getting off the advanced plateau
April 18, 2011 1:20 PM Subscribe
Given 4 months of free time, how can an advanced English learner take the biggest step toward full fluency?
posted by mshrike to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My wife is a Japanese native who has been attending college in the U.S. for 3 years. She is doing well in her classes but has to spend a lot of time re-listening to lectures and reviewing material. She has no problem with everyday conversation and most movies and books, but complex subjects give her trouble (e.g. foreign policy, articles in Nature, literary analysis, philosophy). She has also struggled during interviews and other situations where she had to take in many new inputs and synthesize responses under time pressure.
Of course, full fluency simply requires many years of practice and osmosis, but given that she has 4 months to focus exclusively on English, what's the most efficient way to use that time? Specifically, she would like to push her advanced skills and also work on general polish - improving speaking/reading speed, not having to ask people to repeat themselves, getting tenses and articles right, etc.
We're in the SF Bay Area and willing to spend on tutors, classes, or anything else that might help. She already does some volunteering and reads, studies flashcards, and watches documentaries, which have been helpful but just not enough.