Friday, 6 April 2018

Language Goals - April 2018 Clear The List

It's healthy to review your goals as you go along to see where you're making progress, but more importantly, where you're not! If you can see where you're failing, you can take action to turn it around.

Clear the list is a monthly community round up of your language learning. A review of how you did last month, and goal setting for the upcoming month hosted by Lindsay Does Languages and Eurolinguiste.

I took a bit of a break from language learning (except for French) over the last three months but I was itching to get back into the other languages. I've realised that focusing my efforts was great for French, but absolutely terrible for the others! Oh well, you live and learn. Onward and upward!

I keep a bullet journal, and follow other bullet journal users on Instagram. One day I came across a spread that was a goals bingo sheet. Only yesterday did it occur to me that I should create a goals bingo sheet for language learning too!

So, for April, my clear the list, my goals are coming in bingo form. Let's see how this goes!

Sunday, 18 March 2018


So, I'm not a blogger, and a lot of my post were just lists of things I was planning on doing. I want my blog to be a bit more positive and be records of positive stuff I have done.

I've subsequently deleted my posts other than my first post - a window into my past learning experience, as it's a reminder of what I came from and where I'm hoping to be.

I like the #clearthelist tag run by Lindsay Williams, Shannon Kennedy, Angel Pretot and Kris Broholm.

Other than this post, I aim to only have one "planning" post a month, and it wont really be a planning post, it will be the Clear the List post, stating my goals for the upcoming month and an action plan for achieving those goals.

So, what languages do I want to work on for the remainder of the month?

After having a good three four months away from languages (other than French), I feel invigorated and want to jump right into learning 20 languages! Ha! Seriously though, I need to come up with a workable plan to include language learning in my hectic life! I work full time, I run a Girl Guide unit weekly, I run a craft group twice a month, I go swimming weekly, I attend an astronomy group twice a month, as well as find time to spend with my partner and friends. It is still possible to find time for language if you are serious about it.

English (native)

  • Learn and understand one grammar rule.

Welsh (native)

  • Learn and understand one grammar rule.
  • Find a radio show or podcast to listen to.
  • Teach my partner one new phrase and two new words a week.
  • One Instagram post in Welsh a week.

French (upper beginner)

  • Learn and understand one grammar rule.
  • Grammar drills to solidify my understanding.
  • One Instagram post in French a week.
  • One blog post a week in French.

Swedish (complete beginner)

  • Play Word Feud with my Swedish friend.
  • Find pronunciation videos on Youtube. 

Polish (complete beginner)

  • Learn three words a week - add post its around the house.

Japanese (complete beginner)

  • Learn to read and write Hiragana and Katakana

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Languages are not hard!

A little bit of my language background

I grew up bilingual, so I've already got two languages under my belt (English and Welsh), and when I got to secondary school, we started learning French - language numero trois! Then a weird choice was given to us in our third year of secondary school, where we got to do an extra class, but we had to choose between Drama and German. I was not made for the stage and I'd been enjoying French, so naturally I chose to study German - language Nummer vier! However, German for me wasn't as enjoyable as French was. Maybe it was the teacher, maybe it was the learning methods, maybe it was me. Who knows? It was a long time ago now!

Anyway, let's skip forward in time a bit. I moved to a city from rural Wales in 2007 and I made new connections and friendships. I was introduced to a Polish girl back then and we're still good friends now. Whenever I hear her speak Polish I'm just amazed that those sounds mean anything! However, I wasn't inspired to learn her language or even revisit the ones I'd studied at school.

Fast forward a bit more, and I start a knitting group (hey, don't judge!) made of friends and friends of friends! A few of them spoke other languages. One speaks some Polish as her family on her dad's side is Polish, and she spent time in Russia and France, so she speaks some French and Russian. Another studied French, and two others are Swedish. Talking about languages crops up almost every meeting! It really got me thinking about picking up the French and German that I'd forgotten but I didn't actively pursue it.

One day, while watching some TED talks (not actually about language learning), I came across a video by Benny Lewis which inspired me:

Polyglot. What? I'd never heard of this word before. I couldn't imagine that there are people out there that can speak up to 20 languages (at various levels). I immediately went to Benny Lewis' blog - Fluent in 3 Months and read some of the posts. I started to see that there was quite a large language learning community online with so many people learning and teaching with lots of free resources. I quickly downloaded some apps, watched videos online and read blogs. It turns out that I had to get to my thirties before I wanted to rekindle my love for languages. It's never too late!

French was the language I wanted to pick up. France is only a stone's throw away from the UK and it's spoken in many parts of the world. So it began. I started using an app called Duolingo to casually ease me into it, a little app I came across through reading language blogs that takes a mere couple of minutes to complete short vocabulary building lessons. I was hooked! Two years later and I'm nowhere near fluent as I fit language learning around my hectic work life but I can have basic conversations with natives! The more I delve into the language learning community, the more I want to learn and succeed.

Over the last couple of years, I started with French, and I've recently added Japanese, Polish and Swedish to the list of languages I'm learning. Because I have a limited amount of time in my life to study, I know I'm not going to reach a good level as quickly as others and I'm ok with that.
There are no quick fixes to learning a language - you have to work at it. The only thing you can do is make it fun and fit it around your current work life.

My aim here on this blog isn't to tell you how to learn a language. This blog is here to share my journey with you and share the resources I find useful. I hope it will help you!