Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you find yourself stuck at the upper intermediate level in English?

Is it difficult to move to advanced fluency without repeating words over and over?

You can accomplish most tasks in English, but you find that something is still missing.

Listen in on today’s episode as Lindsay interviews Conner Pe from Listening Time podcast.

He shares how you can move past this plateau.

Who is Conner Pe?

Today’s guest is Conner Pe of the Listening Time podcast.

Conner is an English teacher and content creator from San Diego, California.

He has spent the last 10 years helping people from around the world learn English.

As the host of the Listening Time podcast, he helps English learners practice and improve their listening comprehension skills in a fun and natural way.

While living abroad, Conner developed a love for interacting with people from different countries.

He’s an avid language learner himself.

Lindsay asks Conner about what keeps language learners from reaching advanced fluency.

The Okay Plateau

Conner shares that he calls being stuck at an intermediate level the “Okay Plateau”.

He has experienced this himself.

A language learner reaches a certain level where they communicate passably so they stop progressing further.

They feel satisfied communicating at that level, though they’re not close to native fluency.

Are you on the Okay Plateau?

Lindsay asks about the signs that a person is on the “Okay Plateau” of language learning.

Conner shares that you still make a lot of errors.

However, you are able to understand and make yourself understood.

Though you can communicate, you aren’t confident and might avoid starting conversations.

This keeps you from making the strong connections you want.

There may be a sense of complacency, which prevents you from working to level up your fluency.

How to move into advanced English

When you are in groups of native English speakers, you want to understand as much as they do.

You want to understand nuances and be at a level that you can engage even on a cultural level.

The goal is to connect and not feel apart from the people around you.

Conner shares some actionable solutions so you get out of the “Okay Plateau”.

He adds that to be able to address this problem you must hear English more.

This is crucial because each word has a turning point.

This is the point at which it becomes part of your active vocabulary.

This is different for each person and for each word.

Here are the tips to reach the turning point faster:

#1: Repetition

Variety in language learning is the key to improve your vocabulary.

However, incorporating old school repetition in consuming English is extremely helpful.

This works whether it be reading, speaking, or listening.

It will help you get to the turning point faster because you have more exposure.

Lindsay asks Conner how someone can engineer a structure to foster repetition.

Conner advises that you can, for example, turn on the subtitles when watching an English film.

Then you can watch it again without the subtitles.

This is a repetitive way to consume content over and over again and quiz yourself at the same time.

This can also be done with podcasts and transcripts.

Another option is using apps that create flash cards such as the app Anki.

You can key in the words and the app will generate the repetition for you to remember via flash cards.

It’s always great to pair interesting English content with repetition.

#2: Indirect repetition

If repetition gets boring, you can use indirect repetition.

Do this by listening to a speaker talk about something in different podcasts or videos.

They will often use the same words and phrases if they are discussing the same topic in different episodes.

You can still get that interesting content but with a variety of repetition.

Lindsay likes this option because there is very good business English content out there that would have authors or experts talking on different platforms.

Recently, Charles Duhigg was a guest on the All Ears English podcast and since he is a famous author, he has also been a guest on many other video and audio platforms.

You can easily search for him and find him speak about business and his books but in different avenues.

#3: Emotional attachment to new words

Conner shares an example where he was in Mexico and spoke very little Spanish.

He asked for the tip and said the wrong word and was misunderstood.

The waitress was startled and it created a memorable interaction.

Since then, he remembers that experience and says the right word now.

Moments like this connect and ignite meaning for you so that it’s now in your active vocabulary.

Conner encourages you to travel and engage in other places that speak English.

Having meaningful experiences and conversations will keep you engaged and help you remember vocabulary.


Learning new strategies for improving vocabulary and fluency will bring you to an advanced English level.

You need more exposure to words and they should be emotionally charged for you to learn them faster.

It can be hard work to move to a higher level but it will be worth it.

These three tips from Conner will definitely be helpful in becoming more fluent in English.

You can check out Listening Time on every podcast platform or YouTube to learn more from Conner Pe.

What tip will you be starting with first?

Share it in the comments below.

Conner’s bio

Conner is an English teacher and content creator from San Diego, California
who has spent the last 10 years helping people from around the world learn English.
Conner is the host of the Listening Time Podcast, which is designed to help English
learners practice and improve their listening comprehension skills in a fun and natural
way. As someone who has spent years living abroad, Conner has developed a love for
interacting with people from different countries, and he’s an avid language learner,

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