Language Learning Strategies | #CleartheList May 2017 Language Resources

Welcome to this year’s 5th (jeez!) #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, Kris Broholm of Actual Fluency, and Angel Pretot of French Lover.

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


A Tour of the Jameson Whiskey Distillery in Dublin, Ireland // I absolutely love doing this tours and learning about the history and process that goes into creating different products. Plus, when you do the tour in your target language, it’s a great learning hack!

The Royal Saltworks in France // This was a fascinating museum I had the chance to visit while in East France.


Language Learning

10 French Books, Songs, TV Shows & Films to Help You Learn the Language // An excellent guest post from French Affliction.

A Review of LingQ // One of my (now) favourite language learning resources.

Why Games are an Important Language Learning Tool // I teamed up with Clozemaster to share just how you can use games to learn a language.

Last Month’s Goals

Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // I found a really cool way to do this using LingQ and Memrise. I shared how to do it in a video as a part of my review.

Read one more language related book. // I finished that Spanish Grammar book – yay! Getting through all the rules about the subjunctive, the difference between para and por, the differences between ser and estar, and verb use exceptions was brain melting.

Keep playing Zelda Ocarina of Time in Mandarin Chinese. // Nope.

Stay ahead reading my language reading challenge books. // Sort of. I kind of did that thing again where I am in the middle of 20+ books because I’m weird like that. 

Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // Yes! For the record, since someone asked last month, my YouTube Queue are all the ‘watch later’ videos that I saved. They range from Steve Kaufman’s updates on his 90 day Korean challenge to lessons from RussianPod101 to the Easy Languages series for Spanish, Croatian, and Russian. I currently have more than 700 videos in this queue. At one point I had it down to 400, but everyone just keeps putting out such great language learning content!

Keep reading my other Pooh Bear book in Chinese // I did, but my pace slowed down quite a bit. I only got through a few pages per week. 

Add words from Chinese readings into my Memrise Chinese deck. // Yes! Now I just need to start studying the deck. Ha.

Have something I’m reading that’s in French or Spanish. // I am still working through the books from last month, so as long as I make sure I spend time reading, this is an easy one.

Do the last 15 Pimsleur Chinese V Lessons. // Yes! I’ve officially finished all five Pimsleur Chinese courses.

This Month’s Goals

Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // As long as I’m still speaking to Little Linguist in Chinese, this one is here to stay. And it will always be a priority.

Read one more language related book. // I have some ideas what this might be, but haven’t firmly decided yet.

Transcribe the dialogues from Zelda Ocarina of Time in Mandarin Chinese that I currently have saved. // Since I probably won’t play this game this month, I can, at the very least, transcribe what I’ve already saved.

Once again get ahead reading my language reading challenge books. // Because I like being on top of things.

Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // At least one video for every day of the month. Some are as short as 30 seconds. I can manage this.

Keep reading my other Pooh Bear book in Chinese // As much as I love Pooh Bear, I’m kind of tired of it and want to work on something different. I started reading Hunger Games in Chinese with LingQ and I’d like to focus my attention on this, but I can’t when I feel guilty for not having finished this book.

Keep adding words from Chinese readings into my Memrise Chinese deck AND THEN STUDY THEM. // It’s great that I’ve been making all these lovely flashcards in Memrise, but it’s kind of silly that I haven’t started studying them. So, there’s an obvious next step for me.

Have something I’m reading that’s in French or Spanish. // I am still working through the books from last month, so as long as I make sure I spend time reading, this is an easy one. For the record, The Name of the Wind is really long, so I hope you don’t get bored with the fact I’m probably going to take months to read it. 🙂

Start to work through all those podcasts taking space on my phone. // This includes Melnyk’s, ChineseClass101, Slow Chinese, and a few other podcasts that I’ve been waiting to get to while I work through Pimsleur.

Resources I Used This Month

A quick recap on the materials I am using.

What I Am Using to Learn Chinese

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
  • Chatting with family
  • Watching movies and other videos in French

What I am Using to Learn Russian:

What I am Using to Learn Korean:

What I am Using to Learn Spanish:

What I’m Using for Little Linguist

The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month


Studying with a baby can be fun. I get to practice speaking by reading to him out loud in the different languages I’m learning. It’s interesting to see which languages he doesn’t like the sound of (or maybe just my accent) and which he does. 

The performance aspect of it also adds an interesting dynamic to when I just read aloud on my own. Finding the time to learn a language with a little one can be tough – they need attention (and deserve it!) so finding the time to focus for long periods has been pushed back to after bedtime (if I still have the energy for it). It’s forced me to be pretty creative with how I study and try out things that I wouldn’t have before he joined us. 

There are some things I miss about how I learnt before, but I wouldn’t change any of it. Honestly. 

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, Shannon from Eurolinguiste, Kris from Actual Fluency, and Angel from French Lover.

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

Get the Button:

Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste, Lindsay Dow of Lindsay Does Languages, Angel Pretot of French Lover, and Kris Broholm of Actual Fluency #clearthelist

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

    Sounds like you’re on top of things. You even got this blog post done pretty early! I’ll start using the watch later option on YouTube. I watch a lot of YouTube videos.

    • It sounds like we have a lot in common. 🙂 Thanks for the encouraging words.

  • Tiia M

    Hi Shannon! I read your LinQ Review post, it seems like an interesting resource to try. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of resources there is available, I’m still quite new to all of them… I love that you always list the resources you use.
    Well done in April! Have a great May in languages!

    • Thanks Tiia! I try to keep it up to date so you can see how I progress and the paths I’m taking strategy wise. LingQ is seriously my new favorite and it’s definitely replacing a few of the different tools I’ve used in the past. Especially since they just updated their review system.

  • Hmmm, I should definitely watch more YouTube videos, just like you. Even if it’s 30 seconds a day. Each time when I read your post, I realize that there are more resources and ways to practice a language than I thought.

    Good luck this month!

    • So many resources and methods! It’s a bit overwhelming sometimes. I hope you find YouTube videos that help you!

  • Kelli Singrey

    Just read your article on Lingq and it changed my life. I am so excited to use this! Also, out of curiosity, what languages does the little linguist like (or dislike)? Have a great May!

  • Dorothée

    Hi Shannon,
    Good luck with your learnin in May!

    What you say about your baby reminds me of the introduction of “Japanese for dummies”. The author said to train speaking with your 3 years old nephew to start, without being afraid of looking/sounding silly, and then get a level higher by speaking to your goldfish XD (His nephew should be very stupid^^)
    So, what is little linguist’s favourite language?

  • “It’s interesting to see which languages he doesn’t like the sound of (or maybe just my accent) and which he does.”

    Well, now you’ve got me curious! Which languages does he like? Which ones he’s not really fond of?

    • Right now, he likes Italian, French and Chinese. Not a huge fan of Russian or Spanish. But it changes. 🙂

  • I can relate to the podcasts taking up space! I listen most mornings (and sometimes afternoons) when I’m working and I recently started deleting stuff I don’t get to by the end of the week + it’s the best feeling. But that’s more “current” stuff like news in other languages than timeless podcasts like language learning. 🙂

    • OH my gosh. My phone has no space because of podcasts (and adorable videos of Little Linguist). But the only podcasts I’m subscribed to language podcasts, so I have a hard time deleting them if I haven’t heard them! I’m a mess.

  • “I currently have more than 700 videos in this queue.”
    haha I usually have “only” 40+ in my youtube queue and I already feel like it’s endless! I can’t imagine what you’re going through ^^

    • At least I’ll never run out of material to work with. 🙂 And I’m up to 900+ now. 😨

  • You never cease to amaze me Shannon, as I’m getting ready to hit 5,000,000 points on Memrise I see you in the distance, mountains and mountains higher up at 23,000,000+! Thanks for being such a positive influence and inspiration in the community

    • Thanks Kris 😀 I’m definitely a Memrise addict. But I believe in the power of learning tons of vocabulary! Most of those points were from my exam prep days though, so don’t feel too behind!

  • Angel – French Lover

    Congrats on your consistency. I’m particularly impressed with your use of YouTube and Podcasts to learn languages. For some reasons it seems that I can’t get around to doing it seriously.

    I wish you good luck for this month’s list. Also, I look forward to meeting you online on Friday and at the Polyglot Gathering at the end of May.

    • Hi Angel – thanks! See you Friday!

      I actually won’t be at the even in May though. Just the event in Montreal in August.

  • It’s always nice to get here for Clear the list and catch up with the posts you wrote throughout the month, every time I find something to take inspiration from.
    I have to say I feel a bit proud that Little Linguist seems to like the sound of Italian as it’s my native language 🙂
    Best of luck with all of your goals for May!