Clear the List – Language Goals October 19

Autumn has officially arrived (well, in the UK at least) and it's time to share my goals for October. Check it out!

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Autumn has officially arrived (well, in the UK at least) and the nights have started closing in. Christmas is only 12 weeks away guys!! (Not that I am counting). I absolutely love this time of year! The leaves change colours, there are conkers littering the ground and I can get all my big snuggly jumpers out again. Woo!

I almost can’t believe that it’s the start of another month and  it’s time to share my language learning goals with Clear the List. A monthly goal sharing community hosted by Lindsay Williams and Shannon Kennedy.

September Summary

Autumn is here and it's time to set my new language goals with Clear the List.

My main plan for last month was to create a strong habit and increase the amount of Italian in my life. In that regard, it was a massive success. I used Italian everyday and I managed to clock up to 16 hours of contact in one week. Crazy!! While it wasn’t all quality study time, I have noticed a marked improvement.

My listening and reading goals worked especially well. I watched a ton of Youtube and I read over 350 chapters of the web novel I’ve been reading. This is more than I have done in a long time which felt amazing! The added bonus that my fluidity in conversation has increased too!

This extensive approach was great. I didn’t feel pressured to do it and it all fell into place. The only downside was that there was little variety. I watched Youtube videos about one subject (a new game I am a bit obsessed with) and the Chinese web novel. That being said, I have still picked up a lot of new vocabulary and structures that I haven’t seen before. Which I count as a win!

I ended up dropping some of my original goals very early in the month; flashcards and writing. I found the repetition from watching or reading was a lot more fun and a better use of my time than flashcards. And I couldn’t find the time to sit down and do any meaningful writing, so I decided that I wouldn’t bother. If you’re not going to do the job properly, then don’t do it at all, right?

In conclusion, I feel like I’ve reached a new mini plateau on my journey to the advanced Italian level. I can’t put my finger on what has changed, but I know something has. So, I am more motivated than ever to keep pushing on and learning more!

On the blog this month

I’ve also been a very busy boy writing lots of interesting stuff this month about English and languages. Here is a quick run down:


Prepositions of time – The tips and tricks to master the prepositions of time… in no time! (see what I did there). There is also a FREE download that has all the rules and exercises to practice them too.

“ED” pronunciation – Everything you need to know to pronounce all those pesky English words ending in “ed”.

Languages and Travel

Travelling A2 to B2 Level – Sharing my experience of travelling with the Elementary and Upper Intermediate levels and how changes things.

October Goals

My Goal and Activity trackers for October. The best way to keep track of my language learning progress each month.

But, how am I going to do it? Well, the plan is to augment what worked last month. Keeping the extensive listening and reading and adding some intensive study too. Giving me some of the needed focus to develop the more difficult structures.

I need to increase my variety too! Lots of exposure is great but after a while of doing the same thing it becomes too comfortable. Hindering progress! And that’s not what we want, is it? That’s why I’m choosing a content focus for each skill. To give me more variety in the activities I am choosing.

So, here we go. My goals are…


Content – Based on recommendations from my teacher and “problems” I find during the week.

1 x Italian Lesson per week

– At the moment, the most I can manage is one lesson a week. It’s much better to use some extra time to prepare for the lesson. That way I always get the most out of the limited teacher time.


Content – Current affairs and news. Generally, news readers speak very quickly about a large variety of topics. Giving me lots of opportunities to learn something new and improve my comprehension.

5 x 15 minute extensive listening per week

– This is the same goal as last time but I have made it broader to cover any listening activity. When I do this, I’m not worrying about understanding every word and making notes. Just enjoying the content and opening my ears to la bella lingua.

1 x 30 minute intensive listening per week

– Once a week is the best I can do here, but it’s better than nothing. The difference will be that I am focused only on the listening task. My favourite activity for this is transcribing a video. But even mimicking the audio and taking notes would work.


Content – Vocabulary and phrases from my latest Italian lessons. To activate it ready for the next class.

1 x 30 minutes intensive writing per week

– I didn’t do any writing last month and so I want to increase this a little. This will become part of my lesson prep so I have a short written piece my teacher can correct. That way I can see if I am using all the new phrases correctly.


Content – Something interesting. I know that isn’t very specific but I don’t want to just choose one type of article. With current affairs being my listening focus I am going to do something different with reading. 

7 x web novel chapter per week

– I am loving the Chinese web novel at the moment and finding lots of interesting new structures, so no changes here. I am likely to finish this story soon so I will start another one I have read in English that will keep me busy (and out of trouble…) for ages. Do you think 3000+ chapters at 10 minutes each will cover it?

1 x 30 minutes intensive reading per week

– As well as generally reading more, I want to do some focused exercises to learn new vocabulary and activate phrases I understand but don’t use. These phrases will make up part of my weekly writing to take to my lessons.

Activity Tracker

My activity tracker worked really well for me last month. I stuck it on my wall and marked tasks off as I did them. I have also made a few tweaks to it so I can fit more activities on a single page. Hopefully with double the slots, there will be double the progress.

I’ve also updated my goal tracker. Changing the format to allow me to keep track of my activity for the whole month on a single sheet. One circle for each day and a box for the end of the week to tick when I hit my weekly goals. That way I have a better gauge of how I am doing for the month as a whole.

And that’s it! I am ready to hit the ground running this October and make some more language gains (Do you even study bruh?… Well, yes I do!). What are your plans for this month? And what languages will you be learning. Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time!

More To Explore

Italian Teachers Answer – What is Fluency?

Buon Ferragosto a tutti! As a special Italian treat, I have an Italian special of “What is fluency?”. Where polyglots and language experts tell us about what “fluency” means to them. Check it out!