Am I too slow? Or are they too fast?
What is a little disheartening for me is not the stuff that I haven’t learned and therefore don’t understand. It is the words and phrases that I have learned. Sometimes even over and over again.
It is also not that I can’t understand these words. The most frustrating part is I don’t seem to respond to what I heard, at least not immediately. I can’t grasp the meaning, right then and there. No matter how focused I tried to stay, my brain simply doesn’t function as fast as the host’s tongue.
I can’t recall having this problem when I learned English. With English, either I knew or I didn’t. I don’t remember getting caught between knowing something and not comprehending it quick enough.
Of course My English learning experience is nothing to brag about. Like many Chinese, I took English classes at schools starting from elementary school, all the way to college. So we can conclude I started at a young age and made gradual progress throughout a lengthy period of time.
a) I am a few decades older
b) Spanish is a completely different animal from English
c) I am more eager to shorten the learning process
d) I have less time to spend on language learning every day
I could hide in the excuses a) and b), but the real answer might lie in the conflict between c) and d). Even the best pianist has to practice every day. What makes a beginning language learner think she can be different?