#Clearthelist – Language Goals August 2017

Wow, how quickly did July go? Over half way through the year, on the downward slope to Christmas now… but let’s not wish the year away just yet! With another month gone, it’s time to look back on how my language learning has gone and set new goals for the next 31 days.

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.


July Summary

July was a great month for my language learning! I had some really good progress across the 3 languages I was learning (Italian, Spanish and German) without feeling like I had to dedicate every moment of my free time to it. I love learning languages but without any downtime I can get burnt out quickly. My preferred relaxation method is playing on my Xbox; Battlefield 1 being my game of choice. Like with diet, language learning is all about balance.

Setting the daily goals was a great way of forcing me to do little and often and I felt like I got more done this way than any other method I have tried before. My bullet journal language tracker was looking really healthy with a lot less empty gaps than last month. Progress!


Let’s get down to the nitty gritty…

Deutsch – Mimic Method and beyond!

19/31 – Good Job!

After completing the German Elemental sounds course last month (see my review here) I moved on, training my ear by learning the 500 most frequently used words. With the course I was given audio recordings for all these words which saved a lot of time compiling them all to practice. I didn’t focus on the meaning but just on recognising them and pronouncing them properly. This seemed to work really well and can definitely hear the difference when listening to German songs.

Español – Mimic Method

23/31 – Gold star for you

I powered through the Spanish course in just over a week. I knew the format and had learnt a lot of the sounds from German the month before which meant I could spend more time focusing on the tricky sounds in Spanish I didn’t know. I still can’t trill my R’s properly but I am getting there with all the other sounds. I am currently teaching myself Despacito (which I am sure everyone has heard now) from the original song… not the Bieber version! Focusing on hearing and replicating the sounds. I will be writing a post about how I am applying the techniques to my learning moving forward. Taking it from theory to practical. Stay tuned for more details!

Italiano – Reading

31/31 – Perfection!

A perfect score! I read a lot of Italian manga this time. Last month I read 70 manga and within the first week in July I had finished the remaining 70 chapters and had to find a new one. With Boku No Hero Academia finished, I moved on to One Punch Man which I have heard lots of good things about. Having them all downloaded on my phone made it so easy to do some everyday. Now I have had this goal for a two months I feel like it is time for a change. I need to push my boundaries if I want to see the benefits. On to a new frontier!

All Languages – Music

31/31 – Home run!

Another resounding success. While I made breakfast in the morning, in my lunch break or doing chores in the evenings; I seamlessly fit music into my daily life. Along with Despacito and the other Spanish music I have been listening to, I found a great playlist of Spanish Disney songs (versions from Spain) with around 400 videos. Great if you want a hit of nostalgia when you are listening to a new language. As with reading, it is time to mix things up and set myself a new challenge.

Bonus Round! – Coffee Break Spanish

While trying to get healthy over the last month, with varying degrees of success, I did manage to create an opportunity for some additional bonus learning. Picking up running again in the mornings meant I had an additional 20-30 minutes which allowed just enough time for a Spanish podcast… or 13. This has given me a basic understanding, and a small selection of vocabulary, which is going to serve me well for my goals this month.


August Goals…

This month the focus is on one language; Spanish. I want to see whether I can make some solid progress if I focus all my efforts on one language. To do this I have chosen four goals, as it works so well for me, with a mixture of easy and difficult to push myself but not make it unachievable. Little and often is key.


To go along with my new goals, you will be glad to hear I have made a new language tracker in my bullet journal. The reaction to my trackers has been amazing and I have had a lot of people say they are inspired to make their own or want me to explain the secrets. I am pleased to announce I am working on a how-to post which explains how I have designed and made my August tracker which will be coming out in the next couple of weeks.


The theme, this time, is really simple with a geometric layout which I will be crosshatching in a herringbone pattern. Each row represents a week (with 7 sections) and there are five rows which cover all the weeks in August.

And now on to the goals…


Baselang – Talk

Through the special offer from The Mimic Method I have a two week trial with Baselang; an online service that offers unlimited Spanish tutoring for a monthly subscription. The deadline for the trial was the start of August so I increased my Spanish learning at the end of July to prepare myself. I want to get through the early part quickly so I can make the best use of having plenty of face to face time with tutors. I am really interested to see how the Baselang curriculum works and whether I enjoy working with a tutor, as I haven’t done this before in any of my languages. Once my trial is up I plan to try and find a language partner with tandem or italki so I can continue my conversation practice.


Memrise – Practice

Baselang has kindly created Memrise decks to work alongside their curriculum that the tutors use to teach you Spanish so I will be practicing these outside the sessions so I can pick up as much information on my own. That way I can really boost my learning speed and ask the tutors about any of the finer detail I have queries about. The basic levels seem pretty easy to me at the moment so I will be interested to see how far I can get in a month.


FluentU – Watch

FluentU is a great little app (and website) that has a large selection of clips and videos in a number of languages that come with high quality transcripts in English and your target language. There is free content with the transcripts but the full library, and other features, are only available to premium members. As I am just using it to listen to different types of speech and subjects I won’t be investing in premium just yet.


Word of the Day – Record

Back in June (see my post here) I set myself a goal to make recordings and I failed miserably. This time I have tried to make it a daily goal by setting myself the target of recording me saying at least one new word a day that I have learnt. I will then try to go further than this and list all the words and phrases I have learnt which I can then look back on to see how far I have come and what I have retained. This will also help practice my video editing skills which will be helpful as I have lots of plans for great video related projects in the future.

As always I would love to know what your goals are for the month. Let me know in the comments below and good luck conquering August!

Ciao for now!


23 thoughts on “#Clearthelist – Language Goals August 2017

  1. I love your bullet journals, they look great!
    What kind of podcasts do you listen in Spanish? Do you find them on iTunes?
    Good luck with your goals in August!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you like it. It’s really fun making them.
      I listened to Coffee Break Spanish for learning new words/phrases. News in slow Spanish is also good for practicing listening skills with actual conversations but at a slightly slower pace. They are all available on the podcast app through iTunes.


    1. Glad you like them. I am still getting the hang of it but it is great fun. I find that being creative with my approach and trying all different things helps me find the best way for me to learn. Its all about balance and a good mix of different tools 😁👍🏻

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done, you did an amazing job in July!
    I’m looking forward to your post on how to use bullet journal for efficient language learning tracking, though I think mine won’t look as beautiful as yours. 🙂
    Disney songs are great to practice a language, right? Because they’re so familiar and you know what they in them more or less so it’s easier to follow and spot the differences. I just started listening to some in Japanese yesterday.

    Good luck with Spanish in August then!
    Ciao 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hola Sam! 😀 Like Elena said, your how-to post on tracking is going to be highly anticipated. I can’t wait to read it!!

    Just curious- when you play xbox, do you ever switch the settings to another language (for passive learning)? Or are you more like “this is time to relax and not think about languages”?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hola! Glad you are looking forward to it. I am just putting together the video of my “how I made my August tracker” (name tbc 😉), so it will be coming out in next couple of weeks.

      I do change the language when I play xbox to get some passive learning in. I change the overall language settings on the xbox and then also change game language if it is available. Battlefield 1 is great because it has a selection of language built in and you can change the audio and subtitles seperately for all the cut scenes and explanations. I also do this on my phone (once I have a basic grip of the language) to test my limits and learn new things whenever I use it. 👍🏻

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You smashed it in July! Like others have said, your bullet journal for language learning is pretty inspiring – I’ve even created my own tracker for this month – I’ve never used a tracker before but it’s a great visual to see how you’re doing. I hear a lot of good things about the Mimic Method! Something I might have to invest in.

    Good luck with th Spanish course this month!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much. Glad you have found it helpful. Since I started doing them I have found them super helpful to keep me motivated. There will be a little language tracker announcement coming on Monday that you should look out for if you like my trackers 😉
      Mimic Method was a big help to my listening and pronunciation skills. Definitely worth checking out their website and see if it is something you would be interested in.


  5. I’m obsessed with your spreads. They look so beautiful. And they are efficient too.
    Congratulations on your success in July. You are awesome at setting goals an following through!

    All the best for August, can’t wait t see this pretty tracker filled out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. I have been overwhelmed by the amazing response to then. I have some exciting news coming about the language trackers on Monday so stay tuned! 😉
      I think the real gamechanger is just keeping it simple. 4 daily goals just seems to work perfectly for me at the moment.

      Good luck with August to you too, and thank again for stopping by 😁👍🏻


  6. You found a new fan of your bullet journal in me : your trackers look so nice and they are ingenious.
    Good luck with your Spanish focus! Focus on one language is something I surely should do but am not brave enough to face… maybe next month!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, really glad you like them. Keep an eye out for my post tomorrow (posting at 7am GMT), I think you will like it 😉
      I do like using all my languages but I am finding focusing on one is really helpful. With limited spare time for learning I don’t feel like I have to divide my attention as much. Good thing about monthly goals is you can always change it next month 😉


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