I quite literally feel as though I just wrote my May Language Learning Strategies post, but the month came and went and it’s already June 4. I really don’t know where all my time goes!
Exciting Things That Have Happened this Month
- I was nominated for the Bab.la Top 100 Language Lovers 2015! I’ve already annoyed you all on social media with my plea, but if you enjoy what I do here, I would really, honestly, sincerely love for you to take ten seconds to head over and vote for Eurolinguiste there. If you leave me a comment here to let me know that you’ve voted, I’ll send you a special thank you tweet! Of course, that said, don’t forget to vote for any other language bloggers you enjoy as well. VOTE HERE.
- I finished recording for the new album. Yup! All the sax, flute, and vocals are done. We’re waiting on some of the other musicians on the project to finish their parts, but it’s getting real close.
- I started offering sponsorships on Eurolinguiste. It’s a relatively new thing and I’m even trying out a new platform (one that I am not using on my older blog, Teen Jazz). You can find out more about working with me here. I’m currently offering an extra free month to anyone who signs up, but that offer won’t be around forever, so if you’re interested, don’t miss out!
My May Goals // Weekly Wishes
Last Month’s Goals
- Finish the practice tests in HSK Book 2. I did it! I actually finished them at the end of the month, and so, I have all of this month to work on review! Hooray!
- Finish the First 500 Words and get to 750/1286 words on HSK Level 2 on Memrise. Don’t judge me. I know this has remained on my list for eternity. There are only so many hours in a day and I can’t spend them all on Memrise. I’m at 700/1000 words on First 500 words and 500/ 1286 words on Level 2.
- Find a new language exchange partner. Thank you HelloTalk!
- Start to work on a few of the new ideas I have. I started to work on them, yes, but it wasn’t enough to actually count as progress.
- Start doing the IGLC again. I co-hosted the challenge with Lindsay Does Languages and we had quite a bit of fun. Well, I’d like to think so at least! Kerstin Hammes is co-hosting this month.
This Month’s Goals
My Language Learning Strategies and Updates
- Finish reviewing the practice tests in HSK Book 2. I passed one out of the ten on my first go (which is what I managed for the HSK Level 1). I’d like to pass 8/10 on my second (which is also what I managed on level 1).
- Finish the First 500 Words and HSK Level 2 on Memrise. Rather than reading before bed, I think I’ll be working on this during June.
- Get at least 2 weeks ahead on blog posts. I’ve fallen behind both here and on Teen Jazz. I’d like to get back on track so that I have more free time to study language.
Here are some of the changes I’ve made to my language learning methods from previous months:
- I did not make a single change
I did not make a single change
I remained pretty true to my usual study tactics – a nice mix of diverse resources, daily study, and weekly lessons. I did try out quite a few new resources to write reviews on last month, but as far as my regular study schedule, I was incredibly consistent.
If there is anything that might be slightly different, it’s that I have spent even more time listening to podcasts. It isn’t a big increase from before, but where I might listen to music due to fatigue, I’ve thrown on a culture podcast that has a light amount of Mandarin dialogue thrown into the mostly English conversation. As a bonus, I’ve also learned an incredible amount about Chinese culture.
Resources I Used This Month
So, a quick recap on the materials I am using.
What I’m Using to Learn Mandarin:
- iTalki Lessons – Honestly, this is still one of the best investments I’ve made.
- HSK 2 Practice Tests
- Antosch & Lin
- Various Podcasts – Important Things with Jenny Zhu is the one I mentioned above
- Hello Talk
What I’m Using to Learn Croatian:
What I’m Using to Brush Up/Improve my French:
- Reading books written by French authors
- Listening to French radio/podcasts
The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Despite the fact that I occasionally get distracted by new and shiny books or learning methods, I almost always have a tendency to return to the resources that I like and that I know will work for me. I’m writing a post about my top 8 language resources soon, but you can also check out my updated Language Learning Resources page.
I try to be as effective of a language learner as possible, and part of that is using the things that I know work regularly. It also means working through the resources as completely as possible as long as they are helping me move forward. (There are resources that are helpful at the beginning, but grow less effective the farther you get.)
Don’t get me wrong. There are discovery and experimentation stages to this. I’m not by any means saying that you shouldn’t go out and try new materials – I do this all the time and I’ve discovered some really great tools for it. All I’m saying is that if you find something that works for you, keep using it. Keep working with it and keep at it. Don’t spend most of your time working through the beginning stages of several resources because you’re testing them out. This will slow your momentum. Focus on arriving at the more advanced sections of the resources you’re already using (and try new tools out on the side for fun).
That’s it for me in June. What are your goals for this month?