The vast majority of language learners never escape the advanced beginner and lower intermediate levels in their target language (CEFR A2 and B1 levels). This plateau represents the first real hurdle to fluency and most students simply give up after floundering for a few months. Others continue studying but never make any real progress and seem eternally stuck at somewhere between a high B1 and a low B2, never really becoming conversationally fluent. My suggestion for breaking past this plateau is based on my studies for CILS, an Italian CEFR examination, and talking with other language learners. Like any good technique for breaking past a plateau, no matter if it’s language learning or weight lifting, it requires a highly-focused, concerted effort on the hardest aspect of the skill you wish to improve.