July is finally upon us and that can only mean one thing…. Time to set some new language learning goals. For those who don’t already know, #Clearthelist is a language learning community that brings together fellow language learners by sharing their monthly goals; hosted by Shannon of Eurolinguiste, Lindsay of Lindsay Does Languages, Kris Broholm of Actual Fluency, and Angel Pretot of French Lover.
Overall, June was a big success. I managed to stick to my targets and see some pretty substantial results. Still room for improvement but you have to start somewhere, don’t you? The difference came from keeping the goals really simple and not having a time restriction in place. In the past I have always overcomplicated my goals, which made them a lot harder to complete. Little and often is clearly the trick that works for me.
The game changer was my tracker. Having the little boxes to be coloured in each day was a big incentive for me to try and complete at least one, if not all, of the daily goals. It sounds a little silly, but I refused to see any day with no activity at all. It also didn’t feel like it was taking up all my time just to hit the target everyday which was nice; even allowing for a little bit of downtime away from languages, which always helps me stay fresher.
Let’s look in a little more detail at how I did…
Deutsch – Mimic Method
12/30 – Good
The Elemental Sounds course is now complete and have found it super helpful. The clearest, and most practical explanations of how to recognise and produce sounds in a new language. I don’t think my listening skill will be my weakest after learning all these tools for focusing my learning from the beginning. I am writing a full review of the course which will be coming out later this week. Stay tuned!
Deutsch – Listening to Music
25/30 – Fantastic!
I managed to listen to music almost everyday; what an amazing result! The best thing about this was that it was easy to fit into my daily routine; washing up, cooking dinner or having a shower all became the perfect opportunity to train my ear. A great companion goal to the Mimic Method course too.
Deutsch – Watching video
12/30 – Well Done
I can definitely say that I watched a lot more video this month than I usually would which I was pleased with. To keep things simple, I know it’s like my buzzword now, I focused on one source of video; Pokemon. I know… I am so cool. I have loved it ever since I was a kid and as the language is simple it seemed like the natural choice for improving my German. I always find that watching films or TV that I love in my native language is a great way to ensure that I will stay interested in the new language. The Pokemon website (see here) has lots of episodes available in multiple languages so I would definitely say you should check it out. There is also an iOS app but it will only play in a foreign language if you change the language setting on your phone. I know for a fact that German and Italian work but haven’t tried any other languages yet.
Italiano – Reading Manga
27/30 – Amazing!
Another resounding success! I managed to read 70 chapters of Boku No Hero Academia which is a lot more than I was expecting. I use the Mangarock app on iOS (see here) which allows for offline downloads, so I can read it whenever I want; even when the internet is down. Reading a lot more this month also helped me with my writing when I stretched my Italian muscles by reviewing Harry Potter e la Pietra Filosofale in Italian! See here for the Italian review (and here for English if Italian is still on your wishlist).
Deutsch & Italiano – Language Exchanges & Video
0/1 – Better Luck next time!
Massive fail! I didn’t even manage this once this month. I think the daily goals worked as a bit of a double edged sword, they meant the daily goals all went really well but then I focused on these to the detriment of the monthly goals. These are all things I want to focus on moving forward but need to think of a way to break them down into daily bitesize chunks.
Now it’s time to move on to the goals for the month ahead. Following the success of the daily goals I am stripping them back to four daily goals for all the languages I am learning; along with a brand new tracker.
Deutsch – Mimic Method and Beyond!
With the Elemental Sounds course complete it is time to test what I know and improve further. I am going to be listening to a lot of music and dialogue from TV, transcribing into IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) and then replicating the sounds to get used to the natural speed and rhythms of the language. This should then give me a good foundation to build from in the future.
Italiano – Reading (again!)
This worked so well last time that I am going to be doing it again. Continuing with Boku No Hero Academia and also trying to dust of my copy of Harry Potter e la Pietra Filosofale and finally make some headway with it. It has only taken me 5 years to get through the first few chapters, so hopefully I can get a little further this month.
Español – Mimic Method
When I signed up for Mimic Method I got a special deal that included the four Elemental Sounds courses (French, Spanish, German and Portuguese) and so I will be trying out the Spanish course this month. I have wanted to learn Spanish for a while and now I am in the swing of things with the Mimic Method courses I thought it was a good time to try.
All Languages – Music
Not a lot of changes here, except expanding this goal to cover all the languages I am learning. I am going to continue with Spotify and Youtube as my main resources for this as they have a library of playlists that are hard to beat.
What are your goals for the month ahead? Let me know in the comments below.
Ciao for now!