Celebrate the Small Wins on Your English Journey

Updated: Jul 22

Language learning is a journey

Language learning is not a destination but a journey. There is never a point at which you know the pronunciation, spelling, and meaning of every word in English. Consider the fact that English is my native language—one I have spoken for over 40 years—and yet I still encounter words that I have to look up. 

Take for example the word apoplectic. I ran across it in a book I was reading the other day. Apparently, it means overcome with anger. Who knew?

With that in mind, it’s important to celebrate the "small" wins along the path of learning, since we will never arrive at perfect English. What points along the way are cause for celebration?

Here are a few important milestones that come to mind:

1. When you can truly read an English book for enjoyment (the emphasis is on the word truly)...

I don’t mean a book that you think you “should” read but one that deeply interests you. More importantly, you find yourself reading it comfortably and only occasionally do you encounter words that you are unsure of. This is a big accomplishment in my opinion, and it deserves acknowledgement. Well done, I say! 

I recall a time recently when I was reading a book about a famous German actress and model. It was fascinating, and I was reading the book in German...and, I understood it (at least 90% of it). Damn, it felt good. Can you relate? Let's honor and celebrate experiences like this!

2. When you converse in English and forget that you are actually talking in English...