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Another way of looking at this idea of ‘there is more English to speak’, is to understand that ‘there is always more to say’.
Taking a few steps back, I do remember when I was much younger and fresh out of that ivory tower of a university and had my mind expanded with so much knowledge and information, I really wondered if there was much more to know. I felt I had it pretty much sewn up – just do this, then that will happen, try that and if that doesn’t happen then just do this….and so on. Oh if only life were so easy.
Of course sometimes these simple rules can work and should never be made to be more complicated if they really aren’t, however there was a time when I did wonder if there was in fact anything more in life other than filling in the historical gaps! Well…yes there is, and there always will be. Do older people speak less than younger people? No of course not. Do older people say less meaningful things than younger people? No of course not, often they actually more meaningful things. So that has to tell you one thing. There is a lot more to learn, the older you get and the older you get, it’s more about yourself and life, not necessarily just about your work or study.
This brings it back to the speaking of English. When someone reaches a certain level, (usually about Pre Intermediate), the student has reached a certain level of proficiency, they have a decent amount of vocabulary and experience under their arm and they feel ready to jump out there and just give it all a good run. I’m not saying this is wrong at all – this is wonderful, to feel you have the confidence to run with your English whenever and wherever you can needs to be encouraged, but what I do notice is that so often the person reaches a kind of ‘cap’ – meaning they feel they have a certain limit to their English and as a result only want to work within that. After a while that person will eventually veer away from using English as ultimately they feel that they have said and used whatever they have learned, with some proficiency and once said, why said all again and again. Fair point.
But the most important thing to understand is that when you learn a language, you are not simply learning the correct words and phrases to use at the right time, you should be jumping on this opportunity to communicate on a life-long basis through this vehicle. That’s all English is – a vehicle, like a car or a truck. The question you have to ask is – do you want it to be a beaten up old second hand 1994 Toyota or a 2017 Mercedes Benz. The difference is that one will have a limit and the other should last you a lot longer and take you so much further.
So for as long as you are alive(!) you will have something to communicate, and for as long as you have something to communicate you will need a language. If English if your choice or necessity, you will need it and the more you use it the more you will need it.
So in the long run, remember, no matter how ‘stuck’ you may feel with your English, for as long as you are going to communicate, there is always more English to speak.