Hey all! It’s only a few days away from being September (and my birthday month – woo!) and that means that it is time for me to share my monthly language learning strategies update as part of Maximize Your Month.
For those of you just joining us, Maximize Your Month (here’s last month‘s post), is a goal-sharing link up I co-host with a team of talented, awesome bloggers. If you haven’t met them already, they are Lindsay, Esther, Mariah, and Hsiao-Ting.
Welcome to Maximize Your Month. Let’s all share our goals and motivate one another to pursue our dreams!
And of course, 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.
Please feel free to tag your posts or photos with either #clearthelist or #maximizeyourmonth
Last Month’s Highlights on Instagram
A photo posted by Shannon Kennedy (@eurolinguiste) on Aug 28, 2015 at 3:22pm PDT
My Maximize Your Month Language Learning Strategies & Goals
Last Month’s Goals
- Do one page of Chinese calligraphy/writing practice a day. I didn’t do one per day, but I did one page for every day of the month, so I say it counts. I really, honestly don’t think it did anything to improve my handwriting, so it’s not something I’m going to keep up, for now. Besides, my goal with Chinese for the moment is to pass the HSK exam and as long as I write the characters correctly, I’m sure they don’t really care how neat it is.
- Get through the second third of the HSK 3 Memrise deck. I’m close enough to a third to call it a third, I’m going to say I accomplished this one too.
- Do at least two language update videos. I did one on Instagram. 50% accomplished?
- Catch up on review on previous Mandarin Memrise decks. I am more caught up than I was but still not caught up. I’d like to start adding new decks in, but I still don’t know the vocabulary I’ve been working on well enough to throw even more new words into the equation.
- Read at least two books. Hahahaha. I read parts of many, many books and finished one. But I just got a couple of new books that I’m excited about, so it won’t be the case next month.
- Have another major minimalist weekend. I threw out a pair of shoes that were beyond repair. Definitely doesn’t count as a minimalist weekend.
- Finish up my first round of the HSK 3 Practice Tests. I did. And I didn’t pass a single one. I came close, but not close enough. I have this month to work on review, so I’m not too worried about Level 3. Level 4 I’m a bit worried about though.
This Month’s Goals
- Finish up HSK 3 Memrise Deck. I already started level four, so these next few months will entail lots and lots of vocabulary review.
- Do at least one real language update video. Since I’m incapable of managing to squeeze in two.
- Finish reviewing my previous Memrise Decks so I can add at least one new one.
- Work through some of the new resources I’m excited about. Because it can’t be all work and no play!
And that’s it. The HSK exam is at the beginning of December so I now have only three full months to prepare. It’s quite a bit of time, but it means that I really need to reign in and stop doing anything superfluous even if it’s related to language study. I might also take a break from Russian in October/November so I don’t have anything else running around in my head while I’m trying to get in the right mindset for the exam.
My Language Learning Strategies and Updates
Here are some of the changes I’ve made to my language learning methods from previous months:
Nothing. Yup, that’s honestly how this month went. Without change. There wasn’t any need to make any changes to my study schedule, so I’ve kept up the momentum. I squeeze every spare moment I can to work on language, so there really isn’t much more I can add or subtract from what I’m already doing. Unless you count participating in IGLC once more a change, because that I did. And it was fun!
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 3 Practice Tests
- Antosch & Lin
- Watching television shows and movies.
What I’m Using to Brush Up/Improve My French:
- Reading books written by French authors
- Listening to French radio/podcasts
What I am Using to Learn Russian:
The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month
You can’t do everything.
This past month has been quite a challenge for me. We have spent the past few weeks wrapping up the final stages of our new album, I’ve had quite a few shows and rehearsals, I work full time, and I have also tried to maintain writing for this site and studying language as much as possible on the side. We also had family visit from out of town, and so, I struggled to balance it all. I ended up sacrificing karate (it allowed me to win back a few hours each week) and some sleep. I didn’t have to give up too much language study, but admittedly, it wasn’t as focused as I would have liked.
I’m going to use the beginning of this month to schedule a few posts ahead of time so that I can enjoy some time off for my birthday. October is going to be another crazy month packed with shows and travel, so I want to enjoy September and time with friends while I have some time off!
It also seems I need to get in some more focused study because the HSK test is coming up rather quickly and I really don’t feel ready!