It Should Feel Easy
Does it feel easy? Good. It should feel easy. If it feels easy you're acquiring.
I found myself repeating this over and over my first week of class. At first there was this strange, bewildered look, as if I was setting them up or something. Like I was going to say "Gotcha!" and point out how they are Generation Lazy and all they want is an easy way out. "Buck up you little brats!" or something equally condescending.
No way. Why you ask? Because I've read enough of the research literature on second language acquisition to realize that work has nothing to do with it. Ok, maybe work in the sense of buckling down and finding a quiet place to enjoy a book. Or work in the sense of sitting still for a bit and avoiding L1 and joining in the conversation around them.
But certainly not work in the sense of moving around heavy objects (or heavy thoughts.) Isn't it a relief that we don't have to make our students' lives a work shift? As if they don't have enough of that already. So when we're doing our jobs well, it should feel easy for them (and hopefully for us too).