My new year’s resolution was to hold a monthly seminar. It turns out that I held my first seminar in May and since then I’ve been offering one seminar every month. In July, my seminar will fall on 7/20. In August, I am planning to offer one mainly for university students this time.
One thing that I noticed about a seminar was that those participants are passionate and well motivated to reach their goals. Even though the seminar would cater to those novice learners who were still struggling at the basic questions of the TOEFL (which, by the way, are not so easy in the first place), the first couple of participants (those who signed up for the seminar) were way above my target.
That was partly because they just wanted to see me in person. That was partly because they happened to have no particular plan for the day. However, what I felt about them was that they were full of vim and vigor. That, I presume, is why they are better at English than others.
Come to think of it, those who have been studying English for a long time but haven’t achieved a goal that they first set seem to be a bit reserved, awkward, and passive.
Probably, both advanced and novice learners have read similar books, put in just as much time, and invested in a similar amount of money thus far, but there is a wide gap between the two. Since learning English (as a foreign language) does not require much intelligence (Look at me!), I would say the only thing left would be their mindset.
You don’t have to change your personality, because that is not the kind of mindset that I am talking about. However, if you always hesitate to participate in a seminar, or to speak to a foreigner, or raise your hand in class, that may be the culprit that delays your linguistic development.