Get stuck in a level

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emanko

Senior Member
Arabic- Egyptian
Hello

I was talking with a friend and she said:

"It's very common with English learners to get stuck in the intermediate level because it's very difficult to move from the intermediate level to the advanced level."

I'm wondering about the usage of "get stuck in a level". Is it correct to use "get stuck" this way? I couldn't find "get stuck" used with "level" in dictionaries.




Thank you
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    There is nothing wrong with "get stuck", and there is something to be said for "get stuck in", even though "at" is the more usual preposition for "level" in this context. The reason I quite like "in" is that it brings to mind other things you might get stuck in, like mud or a swamp, or a fly stuck in treacle or in a spider's web, somewhere that it is very difficult to escape from.

    Sometimes English is very inflexible and you have to use a certain word. At other times, you can quite happily use what is on one level the wrong word, but which conjures up a better image in the minds of readers or listeners than using the "correct" word.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I prefer "stalled". "Stuck" means "stuck" while "stalled" means "temporarily stuck." You could be stuck, but I think more likely "stalled".

    I'm learning English, but I seem to have stalled lately. I don't seem to be making any progress anymore.

    Don't worry. Take a bit of time off and you will start making progress again. You just need a break from all the studying.
     

    emanko

    Senior Member
    Arabic- Egyptian
    Thanks, Uncle Jack.

    Thanks , Packard. So if I want to make a general statement, can I say that many learners tend to stall after they reach the intermediate level?
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Thanks, Uncle Jack.

    Thanks , Packard. So if I want to make a general statement, can I say that many learners tend to stall after they reach the intermediate level?
    If you mean that it is a temporary situation, the yes.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I find nothing wrong with using "get stuck at a certain level", for informal conversation.

    The concept of reaching a "language-learning plateau" is a useful one.
    The Dreaded Language Learning Plateau: How to Rise Above It
    I am OK with that with a caveat. If you are stuck, you need some outside assistance to get unstuck. It could be a different teacher or a different textbook or a different approach to the language.

    If you are "stalled" a short respite might get the job done.

    My car got stuck in the mud. I needed a tow truck to get me unstuck. (Outside assistance.)

    I was not used to the manual transmission and I stalled the engine. I quickly restarted it and was on my way.
    (A short delay, but accomplished on my own.)
     

    emanko

    Senior Member
    Arabic- Egyptian
    I am OK with that with a caveat. If you are stuck, you need some outside assistance to get unstuck. It could be a different teacher or a different textbook or a different approach to the language.

    If you are "stalled" a short respite might get the job done.

    My car got stuck in the mud. I needed a tow truck to get me unstuck. (Outside assistance.)

    I was not used to the manual transmission and I stalled the engine. I quickly restarted it and was on my way.
    (A short delay, but accomplished on my own.)
    Thanks Packard and Velsarius.
    Packard, I'm assuming your reservation and comment is about "get stuck" as an informal expression and not about "reaching a language learning plateau", right?
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Thanks Packard and Velsarius.
    Packard, I'm assuming your reservation and comment is about "get stuck" as an informal expression and not about "reaching a language learning plateau", right?
    I don’t feel that “language learning plateau” is any more valid term than “stuck”. In either case, a change is required to get “unstuck”.

    My Shanghainese roommate in college was “stuck” at thinking in Chinese and mentally translating to English. His English was very good. He went to school in England, but in the headmaster’s “infinite wisdom” he roomed with other Chinese boys. I was his first Anglo roommate.

    One day he announced, “Hey! I’m thinking in English!” (To which I replied, “Big shit. I do it all the time.”) :D

    Was he “stuck”? Or had he reached a “language learning plateau”? In my mind, no difference at all. A change (an English speaking roommate) was required to get him “unstuck” (or past his “plateau”).

    I think there is no difference at all. But all theorists need lingo, and that is lingo for language teachers.
     
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