This study focuses on how learners perceive the experience of their linguistic development, and particularly how contextual factors in the learning environment and individual issues such as linguistic goals, self-confidence, and friendship patterns interact with their perceptions of their progress and performance in Spanish. The data consist of the reports and reflections—oral and written, formal and informal—of 7 advanced learners about their experience of functioning in Spanish in the context of a U.S.-based immersion program lasting 6 weeks. Three major themes emerged from the participants' introspections: (a) linguistic uncertainties and crises of confidence that pervade learners' daily lives; (b) an ambiguous relationship to formal language instruction; and (c) metaphorical frameworks in which learners cast the SLA process, which highlight the conflicting beliefs that they hold about how they can manage or control that process.