7. If you don't survive stage two successfully, you may find yourself moving into stage three: the "regression phase." The word "regression" means moving backward, and in this phase of culture shock, you spend much of your time speaking your own language, watching videos from your home country, eating food from home. You may also notice that you are moving around campus or around town with a group of students who speak your own language. You may spend most of this time complaining about the host country/culture.

Learning a new language is always challening. Teachers know that most students hit a plateau when they are studying. A plateau is a word from geography that means a high, flat place on a hill or mountain. If you reach a plateau when you are studying a language, it means a place where you feel like you are no longer learning, no longer moving forward, or upward.

This graph shows three places where the language learner has reached a plateau. Notice that the higher your skill level, the longer the plateau.

It is important not to become frustrated when you are on a plateau. After all, being a native speaker means being on a plateau most of the time.