Clear The List | Monthly Language Learning Strategies Update | December Language Resources

Well, it’s here. December has arrived and that means that in just four days, I’ll be sitting the long awaited HSK exam. 

Am I ready?

Ehh… 

I have no idea. At this point, I really don’t. But, I have done all that I can to prepare for this exam, so all I can do is go and do my best. And then wait for 45 days for the results… But that’s another story.

So without any further ado…

Once again, I would like to welcome to #clearthelist where we share our monthly goals! For those of you unfamiliar with #clearthelist, I cohost it 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

I spent a lot of this past month working through a ton of resources and photos that I plan on sharing with you soon! Until then, here were my most popular posts from November:

Slow Cooker Spicy Korean Beef // This recipe was one of the most popular posts on my blog last month! I can’t wait to share this month’s recipe, but until then, I hope you enjoy this one.

12+ Ways to Ensure You’re Getting the Most Out of Your Language Exchange // I really enjoyed writing this post and I’m so glad that you all have enjoyed the PDF download. If you didn’t get yours yet, you can still download it!

A Review of Fluent in 3 Months Premium // Benny Lewis recently updated his hallmark product and I had the chance to review it. You can check out my thoughts in this post.

100+ Croatian Words and Phrases // I had a lot of fun putting this post and PDF together. I hope you enjoy it!

My Maximize Your Month Language Learning Strategies & Goals

Last Month’s Goals

Prepare for the HSK4 Exam. I studied like crazy because I found out only two weeks before the test that 1) there was a better book I could have used that I didn’t hear about until my lesson with Hanbridge Mandarin and 2) the word list I was using wasn’t the ‘most accurate’ list and that I needed to learn almost 600 new words in two weeks. Yay… 

Keep working through my new resources. This didn’t really happen because (see above). I managed to finish one book and ten pages of another, but haven’t had the chance to review them yet. I will soon though!

This Month’s Goals

Do the best that I can on my exam. Because that’s really all that’s left to do for it at this point.

Start really diving into Russian. Since my exam is the beginning of the month, that gives me all the rest of December to really dig into Russian before I add in Korean next year. 

Plan out my language learning (and personal) goals for 2016

My Language Learning Strategies and Updates

I’m not going to say much here at this point because I have another post scheduled where I really get into my strategies for preparing for my exam.  I can’t say how I feel about it yet, but this month didn’t quite pan out how I had hoped in terms of preparation. I had scheduled 3 months with each level of the HSK, but since my exam was the beginning of December, I really only have had two months with level four. In hindsight, I should have given myself two months with level one instead, but I can’t change what has already passed.  If I’m totally honest, I’m a bit nervous about the test because I feel like I’m right on the edge of it going either way. I know that the wait for my score is going to be a tough month and a half for me! I’ll just have to fill my schedule with other things so I don’t have too much time to think about it!

Resources I Used This Month

A quick recap on the materials I am using. What I’m Using to Learn Mandarin:

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

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

What I am Using to Learn Russian:

The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month

There is only so much you can do. There is only so much research, so much study, so much preparation, and so on, that you can do. We can always want to do more (which can both be a good and a bad thing), but when it really comes down to it, our minds and bodies have limits and we need to learn where and what they are. 

I don’t talk about it much here, but in addition to being a full time musician and blogger/language learner, I also have a full time job. I do a lot of juggling and sometimes I just don’t have as much free time as I would like. There are some days that it’s harder for me to accept this than others – there are just so many things I’d like to do – but the fact is, this is my reality.

It’s all about finding a healthy balance between finding time to pursue your interests while still being responsible in other aspects of your life. Sometimes this means not having as much to do the things that you’d like.  I know that there are a lot of language bloggers (myself included) who talk about how to find more time to study language, how to fit more language learning into your already packed schedule. And I believe that if you truly want to do something, you’ll always find the time to do it.  But you shouldn’t do it at the cost of other things (your personal life, your job, or your health). 

In my family, I’m somewhat notorious for running myself ragged. But now that I’m in my 20s and not my teens, it takes a bigger toll on me than it once did. So this week, even though I know I could use the extra hours of study, I’m going to opt to go to bed sooner so that 1) I can get better (I’ve been sick) and 2) so that I’m well rested for my test because I think that those two things will be just as beneficial to my success as the study time.

And in case I don’t say it again later – happy holidays to you and yours!

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.

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  • Balance is SO important in life! I’m very driven and want to do so much, but I’ve really had to step back from my big goals over the last year. First I was struggling majorly with my physical health, and now my emotional/mental health needs work. It’s hard for me to accept that sometimes I can do everything all at once, but my health really is most important!

    I hope you continue to remember that taking time to sleep, taking time to cultivate your relationships, and just taking time to RELAX honestly still matter.

    • You are so right. Balance is definitely something that needs to be thought about (especially by me) more regularly. I am so guilty of overdoing it at times. I hope you find that balance too!

      I plan on doing quite a bit of relaxing later this month 🙂

    • You are so right. Balance is definitely something that needs to be thought about (especially by me) more regularly. I am so guilty of overdoing it at times. I hope you find that balance too!

      I plan on doing quite a bit of relaxing later this month 🙂

  • What you said about fitting more things in at the cost of other things reminded me of something I read earlier, about an interview with a very prolific writer about how she “does it all,” and she essentially said “I don’t watch TV, I don’t go out with friends, I don’t coach my kids’ sports teams or go to PTA meetings…” etc. It’s true, we all have to find that “balance” but it looks different for everybody depending on their goals/priorities. Take care of yourself and good luck on your test!

    • Thank you! I think that interview sounds interesting. We all have to make certain choices about how we want to spend our time. Will we regretting seeing that movie with our friends more than spending that time on our novel? And so on. It’s definitely something I’ve thought about for a while now. Before it was – do I want to go out with my friends or watch tv or do I want to practice my instrument? I knew I would regret not spending the time practicing most, so that always won out as a teen. Now as an adult, there are a whole lot more “or, or, or”‘s that come into play so it’s a lot harder to decide!

    • Thank you! I think that interview sounds interesting. We all have to make certain choices about how we want to spend our time. Will we regretting seeing that movie with our friends more than spending that time on our novel? And so on. It’s definitely something I’ve thought about for a while now. Before it was – do I want to go out with my friends or watch tv or do I want to practice my instrument? I knew I would regret not spending the time practicing most, so that always won out as a teen. Now as an adult, there are a whole lot more “or, or, or”‘s that come into play so it’s a lot harder to decide!

  • Hope you are feeling better Shannon! Good luck on your test. You do have to make sure you are taking care of yourself (body and mind) and sometimes that means letting other things go. I feel that is a common theme running through many of the posts this month, it must be end of year fatigue 🙂

    • It is a common theme! I think it’s because we all feel we need to squeeze in all those things we didn’t finish before the new year comes. Thanks Mariah!

    • It is a common theme! I think it’s because we all feel we need to squeeze in all those things we didn’t finish before the new year comes. Thanks Mariah!

  • Shannon, it’s INSANE you have a full-time job considering everything you do! You’re a machine, girl! Hats off to you. But you’re totally right, accepting and understanding our personal limits are important. Lately it’s been harder for me to exercise as it’s darker earlier so I can’t go to my midweek run group because I get stuck right in the middle completely on my own…and it’s dark…and a little scary…and I don’t know the way! Of course, I could just go and run on my own where I live but it’s so much harder when it’s dark early. Lame! I need to get back into some sort of exercise routine next week that works for me right now rather than just feel bad for not doing it. 🙂

    • I can definitely understand not wanting to go out when it’s dark. That would freak me out a bit too. I hope you find a way to make it work for you!

      And yes, I might be a robot. That must be the only explanation… 😉

    • I can definitely understand not wanting to go out when it’s dark. That would freak me out a bit too. I hope you find a way to make it work for you!

      And yes, I might be a robot. That must be the only explanation… 😉

  • Pingback: Clear the list: December goals | Hannah Jane()

  • Nina

    Hi Shannon, I am a already a reader of your blog, just so you know. 😀
    I want to highlight a thing about getting a good night’s sleep, that is very important thing and I have been trying to do that too, because of studying, they say that it is a most important thing for learning. 🙂

    • Thanks Nina! You’re so right. Sleep is really important to successful study!