When I started learning Japanese, one of the many things that I struggled with was registering the one-syllable particles that I heard when practicing listening. This was especially difficult for long sentences, as sometimes the meaning of a particle was not known until the end of the whole sentence. (For example, on hearing Aさんに, one does not know immediately what is going on regarding A–did the speaker give A a gift, learn something from A, get criticized by A, request a favor from A, make A cry, or was the speaker made to cry by A?) I had to try to temporarily memorize the particles as sound/symbols and only at the end of a sentence could I convert those into information. Japanese being a particularly fast spoken language made it even harder.
Recently I noticed that I was struggling less than before with particles during listening practice. I am not sure whether I got better at catching them or whether I was just "reconstructing" the particles. (For example, if one hears 銀行...金...預ける, one knows it has to be 銀行に金を預ける.)
If the latter possibility is the case, am I developing a bad habit? I mean, depending on whether native/fluent speakers do the same, I could be heading closer to or away from becoming fluent. Native/fluent speakers, if hypothetically you are given a dictation test with plenty of verbs, nouns and adjective that you do not know, will you still be able to accurately note all the particles with ease?
Edit: This post is of course for the benefit of me as a learner. But beyond that, I hope that a discussion on how native/fluent speakers process languages can be of general interest.