November is finally here folks! Only 8 weeks now till Christmas and feeling very under prepared for the festive season this year. But no time to worry about that now as it is goal setting time!
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.
Last month I decided to take my foot off the pedal a little, and coast along without being too worried about my distance or destination. I really enjoyed the freedom and lack of pressure. It meant when I took a bit of downtime to watch TV or play Xbox, I didn’t feel the usual guilt from not achieving my language goals.
That being said, I did get some learning done which you can see from my tracker. Each section on the pumpkin is one of the four key skills; reading, writing, speaking and listening. Music is a part of my daily life, regardless of language goals, so I never find it much of a struggle to complete this but the rest all were a little lacking, especially speaking.
My tracker was looking a little bare so I added a little extra spooky detail to finish it off (with creative input from my very talented fiancèe). The extra little touches have really finished it off and make it a lot more exciting and spooky. What do you think?
It may have been a little slow on the language front but I finally managed to get some writing done and complete my series of posts on the Road to Language Learning Success. If you haven’t seen it already have a look and it may just help you with setting your own goals this month. Links for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 are here for you.
Recently I have been having a long think about what I want to achieve. So far this year I have started learning a lot of new languages and not really progressed much further with my existing ones. I have been at a comfortable Intermediate in Italian for well over a year now and it is time to change! My biggest goal with language learning, like more people, is to become fluent in a second language and so I need to put more effort into reach this milestone.
That can only mean one thing…. November is Italian Month! Fantastico!
Before my goals, I wanted to show off my shiny new tracker that I am very pleased with. November in England always means Fireworks. “Remember, Remember the 5th November. Gunpowder, treason and plot…” (If you are from further afield and have no idea what I am talking about then have a look at the Wikipedia page on the Gunpowder plot for some background). That is why I have done a bonfire/firework themed tracker this time with rockets, fireworks and a night sky. I am hoping by the end of the month it will be really colourful and bright. Looking forward to filling it all in!
Now onto the goals:
Reading – Harry Potter Book Club
My Italian friend and I have recently start a Harry Potter book club where we read the book in each others languages and then discuss it on Skype (or Whatsapp when time doesn’t allow). We have both been busy but planning to make some headway with it this month.
To make sure I am developing my language from it I am going to note all new areas of language I notice when reading and also do some writing about it using these new constructions; along with my friend’s helpful explanations. I just need to find a way to memorise them. Flashcards would be great but I doubt I will have time to create them all so an alternative is needed. I will let you know what I come up with.
Writing – Tweet a Day
As time will still be a luxury this month I am want to practice writing each day in a quick and easy way so I am planning on using Twitter. The main reason for this was because it is character restricted so will naturally have to be short and sweet. Hopefully my Italian twitter friends will also give me some helpful feedback on any mistakes I make.
As they say… A tweet a day keeps the doctor away. Or something like that….
Speaking – Record myself (again)
I would love to commit to daily Skype calls but time never really seems to be on my side for this. So, to be more realistic, I am just going to record myself speaking each day. This worked well when learning Spanish so is definitely worth a try. I’m not sure how I will use it, if I will post online or just send to my friend, but the main point is that I do it. I want to get practice speaking for extended periods to build my confidence and increase my overall speed. Italian is a very quick language and I am lagging well behind at the moment.
Listening – Lyrics Training
Last month I found a fantastic website for listening practice that you all need to try called Lyrics Training. The idea is that you choose your language, pick a song and then the song will play with lyrics underneath and you have to fill in the gaps. The level you play will dictate how many words are blanked out. This is similar to the song transcribing I have been doing in the past but much less time consuming. Also the variety of songs on there is really great. The website is best as you have to type in the missing word, whereas the app is a multiple choice which requires less precision. Whichever option I go with I know I will see the benefit with my listening skills which will be a great boost to my overall conversation comprehension.
So there we are. Goals set, tracker made and ready to hit the ground running. What are your goals for this month? Let me know in the comments below.
Ciao for now!