Clear The List | Monthly Language Learning Strategies Update | February Eurolinguiste / Language Resources

Okay, so I know that I say this almost every month, but seriously, I cannot believe that it’s already the start of a new month. How is it February already? I really feel like I only just wrote my last #clearthelist post a week ago!

For those of you who are new to #clearthelist, I would like to welcome to #clearthelist where we share our monthly goals! And for those of you who are returning – welcome back! Just as a quick recap, I cohost #clearthelist with a lovely team of bloggers: Lindsay of Lindsay Does Languages, Esther of Local Adventurer, and Mariah of Food, Booze & Baggage. You should definitely take a minute to head over and check out their sites if you haven’t already!

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 photo posted by Shannon Kennedy (@eurolinguiste) on

Last Month’s Blog Highlights

This past month, I started up the Language Learning Reading challenge and I’m really excited about this project. I am hoping that it helps me to read more often in and about my target languages and I’m looking forward to reading the posts of those who linkup.

Language Learning Reading Challenge // Over the next 12 months, I am co-hosting a language learning reading challenge where myself and several other language learners are going to tackle a reading list associated with books on, about, or related to language learning. I hope you’ll join us!

Recipe for Beef Empanadas, Chipotle Sauce, and Pumpkin Empanadas // My dad made me a beautiful new board to use for my photos and needless to say, I’ve been having a lot of fun trying new recipes and posing the end result upon it. 

How I Memorized 600 Chinese Words in 2 Weeks // Two weeks prior to my HSK exam I learnt that I had been studying the wrong vocabulary and I needed to learn an additional 600 words to pass the test. Here’s just how I did it.

 

My Maximize Your Month Language Learning Strategies & Goals

Last Month’s Goals

Work through at least one lesson in my New Russian Penguin Course book per week. // I didn’t do one lesson each week, but I completed at least one lesson for every week of the month, so I’ll say it counts.

Work through at least two Assimil Chinese lessons per week. // Nope. 

Start learning Korean. // Yup! I worked through my first milestone in Korean and I plan on posting a video sharing what I learnt on February 8th. Lindsay and I are having so much fun working on this Korean project together and we’re really excited to start sharing it with you.

Start collecting resources for my conlang challenge. // I started a private playlist on Youtube and I accidentally announced that it won’t be Esperanto on my last Periscope. So there’s one hint for you!

Read my first book as a part of the reading challenge I’m hosting. // I actually read a couple books towards the reading challenge and I’m having such fun doing this challenge.

 

This Month’s Goals

Continue to do at least one lesson in my New Russian Penguin Course book per week. // My Russian really needs some love and affection right now.

Work through at least two Assimil Chinese lessons per week. // I am so tempted to make this three to four lessons per week, but I couldn’t even do one last month, so it wouldn’t really make sense for me to double a goal I wasn’t able to achieve. I’ll leave it at two per week.

Achieve my next Korean challenge and film a video of myself reading in Korean even if I don’t understand what I’m reading. // It’s all about sounding out the words for now.

Read the next book for the reading challenge. // This month it’s to read a book in a target language and I have quite a few in mind, I just need to choose one!

 

My Language Learning Strategies and Updates

 

This past month we had a music conference and I had a few shows that threw off my schedule more than I had expected them too so I didn’t work on language study as much as I had hoped. I still managed to work through Memrise nearly everyday, practice a bit on Duolingo, continue my (mostly) weekly lessons, and give my Russian Coursebook a bit of attention, but I had hoped to get a bit more done. 

Overall, I still managed to get quite a bit of language study in, so I’m still pretty happy. I’m hoping that since February is relatively calm, I’ll be able to accomplish a bit more. 

I’d like to mention that the reason I wasn’t able to get as much study in was not because I didn’t have enough time. I had moments where I had fifteen minutes here or thirty minutes there, but in all honesty, I was just too exhausted. 

Technically I could have studied, but I chose not to. Why? Because studying when you’re overly tired is counterproductive. You aren’t able to give what you’re working on the full attention it deserves and you’re less likely to retain the new information. That means, I’d likely have to re-learn any material I took on when I was tired again at another point.

Yes, constant exposure to your target languages is important which is why I still continued to do Memrise, lessons, and Duolingo, but there is such thing as burnout. I would much rather study language less so that I can still come back to it motivated rather than force myself to work on it when I just need some time to relax. 

The good news was that I got to catch up on my reading and get through a few books that I had been wanting to read. And since I didn’t force myself to work on language any more than I could through an already exhausting month, I’m feeling pretty refreshed and quite ready to hit the books in February. 

Resources I Used This Month

A quick recap on the materials I am using.

What I Am Using to Learn Chinese

  • iTalki Lessons – Honestly, this is still one of the best investments I’ve made
  • Pimsleur
  • Memrise
  • Assimil (Lessons 51-100)
  • Antosch & Lin email newsletters
  • FluentU
  • Watching television shows and movies (I’m kind of addicted to the show Skip Beat right now)

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

  • Immersion (we speak franglais at home)
  • Reading books written by French authors (well, this is what I should be doing)
  • Listening to French radio/podcasts
  • FluentU

What I am Using to Learn Russian:

What I am Using to Learn Korean:

  • Memrise

The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month

There are moments to push yourself and there are moments that you need to take a step back. When you really love doing something, it’s really easy to find yourself lost in doing it. Music and language are the two things that I feel that way about. I can sit for hours on end doing either of the two. 

But that isn’t always the best thing for me to do. There are moments where I need to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone and really push myself to do more than I think I can, but there are other moments where you need to spend some time away from those things. It not only allows you the opportunity to miss them and appreciate them all the more, but it also provides you with the opportunity to get a bit of an outside prospective so that you can pick out the things that could be done better. 

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! 




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!

  • It is important to know, when to take a break!! That is good you gave yourself the space. I hope February brings you renewed energy!

  • Dorothée

    Good luck with your reading challenge… and with your French reading! I’m trying to read more in German personnally…
    If you don’t have time, you can take a look at short stories. I know some of Anna Gavalda (she wrote “Ensemble c’est tout” which is really good, the movie is nice too, but she also wrote some short stories, “Je voudrais que quelqu’un m’attende quelque part” and “Ceux qui savent comprendront”) (I didn’t read the last one) It’s romance style, if you like it.

    • Thank you Dorothée! Good luck with your German reading. I appreciate the recommendations for French short stories – I never know where to start!

    • Thank you Dorothée! Good luck with your German reading. I appreciate the recommendations for French short stories – I never know where to start!

  • Dorothée

    Good luck with your reading challenge… and with your French reading! I’m trying to read more in German personnally…
    If you don’t have time, you can take a look at short stories. I know some of Anna Gavalda (she wrote “Ensemble c’est tout” which is really good, the movie is nice too, but she also wrote some short stories, “Je voudrais que quelqu’un m’attende quelque part” and “Ceux qui savent comprendront”) (I didn’t read the last one) It’s romance style, if you like it.

  • Good luck with your goals! I didn’t know about the language reading challenge so I’ll have to look into that 😀

    It’s good to hear you’re making progress with Korean too. How are you finding Assimil for Chinese? I never used it (and I think it might be pointless now?) but I wonder if it would be good to go through it quickly as a refresher.

    Also I totally agree about not studying when you’re tired – I don’t absorb anything if all I want to do is relax or if I have a thousand other things to worry about.

    Great post! 🙂

  • Good luck with your goals! I didn’t know about the language reading challenge so I’ll have to look into that 😀

    It’s good to hear you’re making progress with Korean too. How are you finding Assimil for Chinese? I never used it (and I think it might be pointless now?) but I wonder if it would be good to go through it quickly as a refresher.

    Also I totally agree about not studying when you’re tired – I don’t absorb anything if all I want to do is relax or if I have a thousand other things to worry about.

    Great post! 🙂

  • I’m so excited about Korean! There’s so much I love about it already from my very basic introductions! Good luck for February, Shannon! 🙂