Stages of Learning a Language

For the past year, I’ve been learning a modeling language from MIT called Alloy.

It’s been interesting to watch my progress in learning the language. I started with knowing nothing. I did lots of reading. Nothing really seemed to stick in my brain. Then one day I suddenly realized that things were sticking and the language had come together in my brain – I understood the language. But when I sat down to apply the language to a problem, I froze: “Where do I start?” After lots of struggles with applying the language to problems, I started creating models without constantly having to look things up. Someday I hope to be a master.

Here’s a timeline showing the stages I went through in learning the language. I think the stages may apply to other types of languages – natural languages, programming languages, etc.

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