Clear The List | Monthly Language Learning Strategies Update | January Eurolinguiste

Happy New Year to you and yours – a little early. I wanted to get a jumpstart on my language learning goals because I am excited about what I have planned for the new year.

What’s in store? As a preview, I can tell you that my next language – Japanese – is a big feature. And a huge part of why I’m ecstatic about 2018.

Onto #clearthelist

If you’re new around these parts, #clearthelist is a linkup where we share our monthly goals, and by we, I mean myself, Lindsay of Lindsay Does Languages.

We’d absolutely love for you to a part of our community. You can join us by adding a link to your own goal post below.

So let’s get started, sharing our goals and motivating one another to #clearthelist!

Please feel free to tag your posts or photos with either #clearthelist on your favorite social media channels!

Last Month’s Highlights on Instagram


A post shared by Shannon Kennedy (@eurolinguiste) on

Last Month’s Blog Highlights


Why Do You Travel? // I asked you what gets you out exploring, and you gave me an incredible of reasons to travel. 

Language Learning

10 Minimalist Gift Ideas for Language Learners // Not all language learners want new books or sets of flashcards. Here are a few more ideas for gifts for language learners – whether you’re treating yourself or a friend.

How to Choose Language Learning Resources // An update of an old, but popular post. I’ve learned a lot since I originally wrote the post, so I revised it to reflect that.

My New Language Learning Project // I announce my next (and likely, final) new language. 

Last Month’s Goals

Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // Yes! We have several new books he received as Christmas gifts that we’re reading together.

Plan out the Language Reading Challenge prompts for next year. // Done! You can find them here and if you haven’t already, you can join us on Facebook!

Decide what I’m going to do next. // Also done. It’s Japanese!

This Month’s Goals

Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // Like I said, we have lots of books we’re enjoying together.

Read the next Language Reading Challenge book on my list. // In February we’re reading about the history of the language or culture you’re learning. My brother got me a book about the languages of China, so that’s probably what I’ll read that month.

Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // Even though this wasn’t on my list, I watched more than 200 of the language lessons and videos in my queue. Woot woot. I want to keep slowly pecking away at what’s there. 

Read something in Chinese, French, and/or Spanish and Russian. // It’s important for me to maintain these languages. 

Finish distilling my Japanese notes. // I started studying Japanese for about a week before I did the Add1Challenge. For Christmas, my gift was a set of new notebooks. One of these is my new Japanese-dedicated notebook. I need to transcribe all my notes into it. I want to stay organized with this language from the start.

Overall language maintenance. // Even though I’m taking on a new language (which I will ultimately focus on for a short time), I want to be sure to continue to maintain all of my old languages. Now that I’m done taking on new languages, I plan to do more short-term, dedicated projects to keep growing my past languages.

Resources I Used This Month

A quick recap on the materials I am using.

What I Am Using to Learn Chinese

  • LingQ – my favourite tool
  • iTalki Lessons – I have weekly Chinese lessons
  • Memrise – I do 18,000 points minimum per day 

What I’m Using to Brush Up/Improve My French:

  • LingQ
  • Immersion (we speak franglais at home)
  • Reading books written by French authors
  • Listening to French radio/podcasts
  • Lingoci

What I am Using to Learn Russian:

What I am Using to Learn Korean:

  • I am on a break from Korean

What I am Using to Learn Spanish:

What I’m Using to Learn Japanese:

What I’m Using for Little Linguist

Resources That Aren’t Language Specific

  • None

The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month

The art of focus. 

There are so many languages I would love to learn. But it’s come to the point where it’s more important to me to get much better at the languages I’ve already studied than it is for me to get just okay at a few more.

It’s definitely a hard decision. There’s at least one more language that I’ve always wanted to learn, but focusing on the 8+ languages I’ve already invested so much time into is now my priority.

Don’t forget that I would love to hear all about your goals for this month! Please join us by adding your post to the linkup below! 

Clear The List Linkup Rules:

1. Share your goal post whether it includes your aspirations for the month or year. Submissions unrelated to the theme or links to your homepage will be deleted.

2. Link back to this post. You can use our button if you wish.

3. Follow the hosts: Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages and Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

4. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Please visit the site of the person who linked up immediately before you and leave them an encouraging comment! By hosting this linkup, we’re hoping to create a positive community where we can all share our goals. If you do not do this, you will be removed from the linkup.

5. Share on social media using #ClearTheList

Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste and Lindsay Williams of Lindsay Does Languages #clearthelist

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I'm a language lover, traveler and musician sharing my adventures and language learning tips over at Eurolinguiste. Join me on Facebook for daily language learning and travel tips!

  • dandiprat

    I have trouble just maintaining and improving four languages (including my native), let alone eight. Hopefully I’ll be able to start a new language someday or take up Japanese or Spanish again, but that won’t be for a long while. I find a distinct amount of pleasure when I’m able to understand everything that’s said to me or that I hear coming from the TV. That’s even more important to me than speaking.

    • That definitely is a pleasure. I love being able to understand things fully, and I annoy my husband when I correct subtitles 😀 but for me the decision was a lot like the one I made in music. I chose to play several instruments because of what I wanted to achieve. It was the right choice for me, personally. The same for languages! We all have our own priorities though, so what you’re doing is right for you. Don’t ever feel pressured to learn more just because any one else is!

      • dandiprat

        Yeah, discovering the polyglot community a few years ago has had many, many benefits for me. Before I was really a part of that community I continued with my language learning for many years, although I never really knew many other learners (particularly for multiple languages) so I didn’t compare myself against anyone except native speakers. Now I do feel the need work a little harder and a little more consistently as well as do things like make the best use of opportunities to speak, which is a good thing. Comparing yourself against native speakers is a good type of motivation because it gives you a good standard for professional purposes, but I think comparing yourself against other learners can also be positive to to try to make you get good study habits and there are some people out there who really work hard.

        • Very interesting perspective! I definitely can see how a little friendly competition can be motivating.

  • Maureen F Millward

    I just joined the #ClearTheList community this month. The last newcomer I could find was Trisha from Language Learners Journal, so I have just been to comment on her post too! I’m looking forward to seeing your progress in Japanese!

  • Wishing you the biggest and bestest wishes for 2018, amiga! P.S. new series of Terrace House on the way – time to get on Netflix for that growing Japanese of yours! 😉

  • Dorothée

    All the best with Japanese! As you already know Mandarin Chinese, I am curious to see how you work with the sinograms/”kanji”!
    I will focus on Icelandic for the first trimester. I have been making no real progress for too long.

    • Thanks! So far, out of the 200 Kanji I’ve worked through, there were about ten that were new to me (and in a couple cases this was just the difference between traditional/simplified). But… and this is a BIG but…. I have to learn all of the new sounds that are associated with the characters I already know (and most of them have at least two different readings).