Language Learning Strategies | #CleartheList April 2017 Language Resources

Are you all ready for this month’s #clearthelist? For once, I definitely feel like I am!

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

Last Month’s Blog Highlights


Mad Dumplings // This delicious new food truck I discovered in my area in Southern California.


Language Learning

10 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Learn a New Language // Even when you don’t feel like studying.

How to Break Through a Language Learning Plateau // Tips for overcoming those brick walls in your study.

When You Hate Studying // How to fall back in love with language learning after experience burnout.

Last Month’s Goals

Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // Yes, I did! I learnt all sorts of words about Dory.

Read one more language related book. // Still working on my Spanish grammar.

Keep playing Zelda Ocarina of Time in Mandarin Chinese. // Nope, not really. Why? This

Get ahead reading my language reading challenge books. // Yes! I’m one month ahead.

Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // I kept at this diligently, but because many of the videos are long, the number of items in my watch queue is higher than it was last month (again) because new lessons I want to work on are posted faster than the lessons that I complete.

Keep reading my other Pooh Bear book in Chinese // Four chapters down.In addition to reading four chapters of Winnie the Pooh, I also started reading the Hunger Games in Chinese and worked through and entire Finding Dory book for Little Linguist so he and I could read it together.

Finish adding in my sticky notes to the first Pooh Bear Book. // Yes! This was tough, but I did it.

Have something I’m reading that’s in French or Spanish. // I read a book about the history of Brittany in French and am reading my language reading challenge book in Spanish.

Do at least 15 Pimsleur Chinese V Lessons. // I did my 15 lessons, but didn’t get to Melnyk’s.

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. // Actually finish that dang Spanish grammar book.

Keep playing Zelda Ocarina of Time in Mandarin Chinese. // Probably won’t happen. So I’ll count this one if I at least work on transcribing the dialogues from what I’ve already played since I’m backlogged on this, too.

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

Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // At one point the videos were in the 400+ range. I’m at almost 800… Arg. So much good language content to see.

Keep reading my other Pooh Bear book in Chinese // This is probably the longest Pooh Bear book ever.

Add words from Chinese readings into my Memrise Chinese deck. // It’s one thing to make notes of the words you don’t know in your readings, it’s another to actually convert them into flashcards so you can learn them.

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. // So then I can finally work through Melnyk’s.

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

  • Pooh Bear and Baby Bear
  • Little Pim
  • Finding Dory
  • YouTube
  • Day-to-day interaction
  • His Chinese lullaby is from Mantou Riji, I also sing him “You are my Sunshine” in Chinese, and his French is Une Souris Verte

The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month

In working through Pooh Bear, I found that I’m not really patient with parts of the process. When I come across Chinese characters I’m unfamiliar with, I don’t always know how they’re pronounced (some I’m able to guess based on the components), so the easiest way for me to translate them and learn their pronunciation is by using the Google Translate camera tool. By the way, this particular tool has been a godsend in learning Chinese. Regardless of it’s convenience, however, it’s a bit annoying to take photos, wait for the the text to scan, then click through for the pinyin. At least in my opinion.

But then I realized if I tapped the characters I was unfamiliar with, but didn’t actually click through for the full translation and pinyin that it saved those words in my history. So I started scanning full pages, clicking on the words, then going to my search history. The process was so much faster.

So what I learnt is that sometimes accidents become the catalyst for making your learning routine more efficient if you aren’t too quick to dismiss them. If anything like this has every happened to you, I’d love to hear about it!

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.

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  • Awesome best wishes with your language learning. I LOVE Pooh bear and use him for my inspiration when teaching Mindfulness. My current language learning challenge is Icelandic.

    • Ooh, Icelandic. That sounds like a fun project. Little Linguist loves Pooh Bear too. He cracks up at parts of the story (even if he doesn’t really understand yet) and we have a Tigger lovie we use to document his growth.

  • Panna

    Hi Sharon!
    As always I love your goals! I meant to ask for ages, what is your Youtube video queue, or what it contains/how to use it? It sounds really interesting, and I was just wondering how it works 🙂

    • Hi Panna! Thanks for your comment.

      So my YouTube queue is the ‘watch later’ playlist you have by default on Youtube. Each week I go through all the new videos from the channels I’m subscribed to and add any relevant lessons or language discussions to my ‘watch later’ playlist. These are the videos in my queue to watch. So there’s everything from Easy Language Croatian, to RussianPod101 lessons, to videos from the love Lindsay Williams, to Steve Kaufmann’s Korean chats as a part of his 90 day Korean challenge. 🙂

  • Tiia M

    You’ve done a great work in March it seems. Good luck for April!

    Btw, loved the amazing travel photos on your Instagram in March!

  • Well done in March and best of luck for April! I love your pictures of China on Instagram.
    I’ll head straight to the posts you wrote about motivation and how to go past learning burnout, I definitely need some tips to get back on track with Japanese studies!

    • Hi Elena,

      Thank you. I hope my motivation posts help give you a little bit of the help you’re looking for.

  • I totally misread your Zelda goal as “keep playing the ocarina”! Ha! :p Good luck with your language learning in April!

    • That too would be a great goal, but alas, I decided to stop picking up new instruments just as I *should* stop picking up new languages. But Japanese… it’s calling me… and I just… can’t… resist…

  • I’d love to discover more about Brittany and its history. How was the book? Did you enjoy it? Would you recommend it?

  • dandiprat

    Good work in March! I felt like I had made some long awaited progress in March with Vietnamese and Cantonese listening. In Vietnamese the dialogues were becoming easier to master and in Cantonese I had a whole party where I understood most everything for a few hours. Still looking forward to some more progress in the months ahead. I just need more vocabulary mainly.

    • Thank you! Congrats on making that progress! I definitely need more vocab in Russian and Spanish. I need to work on that, too!

  • Angel – French Lover

    You always have so much language learning on your plate – and you do it too! Congratulations.
    You are an inspiration for us all Shannon.

    Good luck with the Pooh Bear book 😉