• Misadventures

    I am as guilty of wanderlust as anyone. I can scroll through travel photos on Pinterest for hours making plans for future trips, envying the exciting adventures of other travels. But the truth is, travel isn’t always wonderful and amazing. Like anything else, it has its ups and downs.

    I recently read this inspiring post from Creatrice Mondial about travel envy and I definitely recommend checking it out. As someone who’s always eager for the next adventure, I often forget to appreciate and explore what’s already around me. I also tend to forget about some of my traveling mishaps, and so,  I decided to share some of my misadventures.

    Please keep in mind that I know other travelers have had far more difficult travel experiences than I have and I am in no way making light of their stories. I have been extremely blessed to have mostly amazing travel experiences.

    1. That time I forgot my passport and had to pay a fee to reschedule my flight for the next day. When I first began traveling alone as an adult, I had to learn some things the hard way (including making sure that your passport is on your packing list). I can be rather forgetful and on this one occasion, I managed to leave my passport behind on a trip to Canada from the US. I ended up having to reschedule my flight because I couldn’t get back to the airport the same day. My friends had dropped me off and I had to call them to come back and get me. It was a pretty humbling experience.

    2. That time I got food poisoning. As a teenager, I visited Mexico with my parents via Club Med. We were staying at one of the resorts and even though we only ate at the hotel restaurants, I ended up with the worst food poisoning of my life. It was from eating a tomato/mozzarella salad. I still find it difficult to eat either of those things – for several years I couldn’t eat them at all.

    3. That time we only had 3 hours in our destination city. My roommates and I made a day trip to Scotland from Ireland and we decided to take the ferry. On that particular day, however, we were hit with pretty terrible weather and it caused delays for both our boat and our buses. By the time we got to Glasgow, we only had three hours to enjoy our trip before we had to make our way back to the boat.

    4. That time we were stuck in a 500 person village with no transport out. While living in Ireland, a friend and I decided to take a trip out to the Marble Arch Caves. Once again, due to the weather, they were closed and so we ended up stuck in Belcoo  (the buses only passed through the town 2 or 3 times a day). The street we were on only had two shops open – the market and the hotel bar. We ended up spending the day wandering around the village and consuming coffee and shortbread cookies at the bar.

    5. That time I had to trudge through a foot of snow with my body weight in luggage to the train station. I was scheduled to fly to California from Ireland for Christmas and the night before my flight there was a snowstorm. I had to walk through it to the train station (I didn’t have a phone and couldn’t call a cab) while dragging my enormous suitcase/sax/flute/backpack full of textbooks with me. When I arrived at the airport, we were told our flight was delayed. A few hours later it was cancelled. Then it was rerouted through Dublin so I spent nearly an hour in the snow waiting for the bus and then several hours on it driving down to Dublin. I finally got on a plane that was almost 8 hours after I was originally scheduled to fly back and I missed my connection due to the delays. The airline would not pay for a hotel so I had to camp out in a McDonalds with a coffee and my term paper until the terminals opened the next morning and I could check-in for my connection flight.

    6. That time someone tried to rob my mother and I on the train. They placed a map on our table to try to distract us with questions about directions while they tried to steal my mom’s purse underneath it. I had heard similar stories in the past and so I told my mother to grab her purse and wrap her arms around it in her lap. They ended up leaving almost immediately after.

    7. That time someone sat down at our table and began to help herself to our food. When I was younger, I was out at a restaurant with my parents. While we were eating, a stranger joined us at our table and began to eat some of our food, picking things off of our plates. While she did this, she went on and on about how great the food was at that restaurant and how gracious the staff. We thought we were being pranked, but it turns out we weren’t. She continued to hop from table to table doing this until the staff caught up with her and kicked her out of the restaurant.

    8. Mosquitoes. We got our fair share of them in both Venice and Malaysia and even with vaccines, our skin reacted to them far worse than any mosquitoes in France or the US.

    9. Chillblains. I am not a huge fan of wearing gloves and I paid for it while living in Ireland. If it’s cold – protect your hands!

    Regardless of however difficult some of my travel experiences may have been, I would do it all over again if I had the chance. Not only were they great learning experiences, but they also make great stories and great memories with friends. The friend who ended up stuck in the small with me and I often joke about our failed trip and it’s a great memory we share.

    These are just a few of my misadventures – I’d love to hear about some of yours in the comments! Maybe I’ll share a few more.

    October 27, 2019 • Travel • Views: 397

  • 5 Reasons to Speak Your New Language Even If You’re Shy

    Speaking is the best way to learn a language.

    How many times have you heard this advice? A lot, right?

    How many of you ‘know’ you should speak more but hesitate to do it for one reason or another?

    If you’re shy, like me, speaking is an enormous challenge. And more often than not, it’s all too easy to put off engaging with others in your new language. 

    But practicing your new language with other people has a huge number of benefits. Here are just a few.

    You get to hear the language how it’s really used.

    When you spend most of your time with language resources that are aimed at language learners, the language that you learn is just that – geared towards language learners. It’s usually incredibly polite, a little bit outdated, and rather limited. Real people are dynamic, they say the same things a lot of different ways, and are an amazing source of knowledge. 

    You’ll get insider tips on culture, on the colloquial language, and even non-verbal aspects of the language like body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. 

    You can evaluate your weak points and strengths. 

    When you chat with a native speaker, you’re put in an unfamiliar environment. Your skills are really tested. You get the chance to evaluate what you most need to work on and what you do best. 

    Learning with a course is kind of like functioning on a closed track when driving a car. A lot of the real challenges are removed to create a “safe” learning environment. They’re designed to help you succeed in a specific scenario, but real life doesn’t work that way. When you work with a course it’s easy to think you know much more than you do because you’re getting all the questions right and completing all the exercises. 

    When you chat with real people, you get to work on the language in a new context and you can quickly pinpoint your weak points so that you can tackle them head-on.

    You get feedback on how you’re doing. 

    Ever wonder how your level in your target language really stacks up? Native speakers can give you an honest evaluation. They can let you know about mistakes you don’t even realize you’re making. But they can also let you know what things you’re doing really well.

    They can offer you suggestions to help you correct mistakes you’re making, whether you realize you’re making them or not.

    You get to practice speaking and train your muscles.

    Speaking requires training the muscles in your mouth and throat to work together to create the sounds needed to speak your new language. The more you speak, the more you train those muscles to do what they need to do. 

    You can get to ask all the questions.

    When you’re working with a set resource like a coursebook or audio course, you have to hope that it will at some point, answer your questions. If it doesn’t, it means that you have to try to find those answers yourself elsewhere.

    Practical Steps to Get Started

    Despite knowing all the benefits of speaking with native speakers, it can still be tough to take initiative and actually do it if you’re shy. And even if you’re not.

    You feel vulnerable. As though you’re not in control. And it can be scary. 

    That’s why it’s important to look for people to practice with in the right places. You want to connect with people who understand what it takes to speak your new language with another person. With people who won’t judge you for the mistakes you make. And with people who have the patience to help you sort a new language out.

    Not sure where to find these types of exchange partners? Here are just a few ideas.

    Find a partner on an exchange platform.

    There are lots of excellent language exchange platforms where you can find native speakers to practice with. These are fellow learners who understand exactly what you’re going through. How it feels to make mistakes. What sort of effort it takes to learn a new language. And who will treat your time fairly.

    Finding people like this is possible on language exchange platforms. They are fellow learners and they understand just what you’re going through. My personal favorite language exchange platform is iTalki

    Connect with a Language BFF

    Instead of a language exchange partner, you can connect with a study buddy or language BFF. This is someone you are studying the same language as, and together, you can compare notes, practice, and share your questions. If you’re not sure where to find a study buddy, as a part of an upcoming event (read below), we’ll help you find one!

    The tips in this article are just a snapshot of the benefits of taking a small step outside your comfort zone and the places to do it if you’re shy. 

    Where to Go From Here

    I’m sharing much more in my session at the very first Women in Language Camp on Saturday, November 3rd. It’s going to be an exciting event.

    The whole event is focused on the topic of community and connection, something we noticed got great feedback from the first Women in Language event back in March 2018. So we thought, why not dedicate a whole mini event to that exact topic?

    On the day, you’ll hear from me as well as my other two co-hosts of Women in Language, Kerstin Cable of Fluent Language and Lindsay Williams of Lindsay Does Languages.

    Kerstin will be sharing her session Not the Only Linguist in the Village: How to Create Your IRL Language Squad and Lindsay will be leading her session Switch on the Community: How to Practice Your Language with People Everywhere.

    As well as the three main sessions, there’ll be the chance to ask questions and connect with other attendees in the final Campfire session and the Women in Language Facebook Group, which we’ve reopened for this event!

    Finally, if you purchase your ticket before October 30th, you’ll get paired with a Language BFF for the day. This person will be someone who studies the same language as you and who you can compare notes with as a part of the event.

    You’ll be able to secure your ticket to the main event in March too – but only during Women in Language Camp. A little heads up there.

    And the final thing I have to tell you is that the recordings of Women in Language Camp won’t be available to purchase after the event. Although if you get your ticket, you will get access to all the recordings. So even if you know you can’t make the live sessions but you still want in on the action, be sure to get your ticket now while you can.

    Ready for Camp? Get your ticket now.

    October 22, 2019 • Language Resources • Views: 421

  • CLEAR THE LIST | MONTHLY LANGUAGE LEARNING STRATEGIES UPDATE | AUGUST

    My new album “Back Again” is out and I am so excited! There will also soon be a Croatian version of the vocal song on the album, too.

    On to #clearthelist …

    If you’re new around these parts, #clearthelist is a linkup where we share our monthly goals, and by we, I mean myself, and Lindsay of Lindsay Does Languages.

    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!

    What’s Been Going On

    As I mentioned, I spent the beginning of the month back in Budapest, so prior to the trip, I spent some time refreshing my Hungarian. Beyond that, I continued to work on Hindi and German.

    And now you’re caught up!

    Last Clear the List Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // We didn’t actually make it to any classes this week, but I did have the chance to work on Chinese on a few occasions.

    Read the next Language Reading Challenge book on my list. // In June, we’re reading a history of the region, culture, or language that we are studying. I read this.

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // There’s still so much to get through!

    Add1Challenge // I continued to learn as a part of Add1 and started my Korean Add1 as well.

    This Month’s Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // A permanent item on my monthly list. 

    Read the next Language Reading Challenge book on my list. // In July, we’re reading something about a language we’re not learning.

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // So much more to learn!

    Add1Challenge // I’m still wrapping up my Hindi and German Add1’s soon and starting my Korean Add1.

    Resources I Used This Month

    A quick recap of the materials I am using.

    What I Am Using to Learn Chinese

    • LingQ – my favorite tool
    • iTalki Lessons – I have weekly Chinese lessons
    • Memrise – I do 18,000 points minimum per day 
    • Drops – they have a new character tool that is fantastic

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

    What I am Using to Learn Russian:

    What I am Using to Learn Korean:

    What I am Using to Learn Spanish:

    What I am Using to Learn Italian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Japanese:

    What I’m Using to Learn Croatian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Hungarian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Hindi:

    What I’m Using to Learn German:

    What I’m Using for Little Linguist

    • Lots of books
    • Day-to-day interaction
    • Mommy and Me weekly classes

    Resources That Aren’t Language Specific

    The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month

    This month, I’m releasing my first solo album since 2012! I’ve worked on other albums and recordings under other names and as part of different groups, but this will be my first solo album since Behind Your Eyes. Working on this while keeping up my language studies was a challenge, but it taught me to really use those little waiting periods to the max.

    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 and Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

    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

    July 27, 2019 • Eurolinguiste • Views: 149

  • CLEAR THE LIST | MONTHLY LANGUAGE LEARNING STRATEGIES UPDATE | JUNE

    My new album “Back Again” is out and I am so excited! There will also soon be a Croatian version of the vocal song on the album, too.

    On to #clearthelist …

    If you’re new around these parts, #clearthelist is a linkup where we share our monthly goals, and by we, I mean myself, and Lindsay of Lindsay Does Languages.

    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!

    What’s Been Going On

    As I mentioned, I spent the beginning of the month back in Budapest, so prior to the trip, I spent some time refreshing my Hungarian. Beyond that, I continued to work on Hindi and German.

    And now you’re caught up!

    Last Clear the List Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // We didn’t actually make it to any classes this week, but I did have the chance to work on Chinese on a few occasions.

    Read the next Language Reading Challenge book on my list. // In June, we’re reading a history of the region, culture, or language that we are studying. I read this.

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // There’s still so much to get through!

    Add1Challenge // I continued to learn as a part of Add1 and started my Korean Add1 as well.

    This Month’s Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // A permanent item on my monthly list. 

    Read the next Language Reading Challenge book on my list. // In July, we’re reading something about a language we’re not learning.

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // So much more to learn!

    Add1Challenge // I’m still wrapping up my Hindi and German Add1’s soon and starting my Korean Add1.

    Resources I Used This Month

    A quick recap of the materials I am using.

    What I Am Using to Learn Chinese

    • LingQ – my favorite tool
    • iTalki Lessons – I have weekly Chinese lessons
    • Memrise – I do 18,000 points minimum per day 
    • Drops – they have a new character tool that is fantastic

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

    What I am Using to Learn Russian:

    What I am Using to Learn Korean:

    What I am Using to Learn Spanish:

    What I am Using to Learn Italian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Japanese:

    What I’m Using to Learn Croatian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Hungarian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Hindi:

    What I’m Using to Learn German:

    What I’m Using for Little Linguist

    • Lots of books
    • Day-to-day interaction
    • Mommy and Me weekly classes

    Resources That Aren’t Language Specific

    The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month

    This month, I’m releasing my first solo album since 2012! I’ve worked on other albums and recordings under other names and as part of different groups, but this will be my first solo album since Behind Your Eyes. Working on this while keeping up my language studies was a challenge, but it taught me to really use those little waiting periods to the max.

    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 and Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

    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

    May 30, 2019 • Uncategorized • Views: 89

  • CLEAR THE LIST | MONTHLY LANGUAGE LEARNING STRATEGIES UPDATE | MAY

    The beginning of May was the tail end of my second trip to Budapest, Hungary and the month carried me partway through my second Hindi Add1. It was also my first month in three years of getting back into martial arts!

    On to #clearthelist …

    If you’re new around these parts, #clearthelist is a linkup where we share our monthly goals, and by we, I mean myself, and Lindsay of Lindsay Does Languages.

    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!

    What’s Been Going On

    As I mentioned, I spent the beginning of the month back in Budapest, so prior to the trip, I spent some time refreshing my Hungarian. Beyond that, I continued to work on Hindi and German.

    And now you’re caught up!

    Last Clear the List Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // Little Linguist and I go to weekly Mommy & Me Chinese classes. 

    Read the next Language Reading Challenge book on my list. // In May, the challenge was to read an introduction to your language. I chose to read the Hungarian Routledge Grammar.

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // I’ve continued to watch the language lessons, but likely added more than I finished.

    Add1Challenge // I’m still learning Hindi in one challenge and German in another, so my goal is to work on these languages until I’m confident giving presentations on music in both of them.

    This Month’s Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // A permanent item on my monthly list. 

    Read the next Language Reading Challenge book on my list. // In June, we’re reading a history of the region, culture, or language that we are studying. I plan on reading a book about the history of writing. It’ll cover several of the languages I’m learning.

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // There’s still so much to get through!

    Add1Challenge // I’ll be wrapping up my Hindi and German Add1’s soon and starting my Korean Add1.

    Resources I Used This Month

    A quick recap of the materials I am using.

    What I Am Using to Learn Chinese

    • LingQ – my favorite tool
    • iTalki Lessons – I have weekly Chinese lessons
    • Memrise – I do 18,000 points minimum per day 
    • Drops – they have a new character tool that is fantastic

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

    What I am Using to Learn Russian

    What I am Using to Learn Korean:

    What I am Using to Learn Spanish:

    What I am Using to Learn Italian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Japanese:

    What I’m Using to Learn Croatian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Hungarian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Hindi:

    What I’m Using to Learn German:

    What I’m Using for Little Linguist

    • Lots of books
    • Day-to-day interaction
    • Mommy and Me weekly classes

    Resources That Aren’t Language Specific

    The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month

    This month, I’m releasing my first solo album since 2012! I’ve worked on other albums and recordings under other names and as part of different groups, but this will be my first solo album since Behind Your Eyes. Working on this while keeping up my language studies was a challenge, but it taught me to really use those little waiting periods to the max.

    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! 

    Resources That Aren’t Language Specific

    The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month

    This month, I’m releasing my first solo album since 2012! I’ve worked on other albums and recordings under other names and as part of different groups, but this will be my first solo album since Behind Your Eyes. Working on this while keeping up my language studies was a challenge, but it taught me to really use those little waiting periods to the max.

    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 and Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

    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

    April 26, 2019 • Eurolinguiste • Views: 66

  • GERMAN UNCOVERED REVIEW: TAKE YOUR GERMAN TO THE NEXT LEVEL

    German and I had fallen out of love. 

    At least, that’s what I told myself after graduating university. It helped me feel better about the fact I was giving it up. Doing so gave me more time with the languages that I loved–namely, Chinese and Croatian.

    I was sure that German and I were never, ever, ever getting back together. But then, something came up with my music work, and suddenly I needed to reconnect with the language I had lost. 

    I turned to my good friend, Kerstin Cable, for help. And as it turns out, the timing couldn’t have been any better. She had just finished putting together German Uncovered with Olly Richards of I Will Teach You a Language, and that meant that I had the perfect course to help me get started.

    What is German Uncovered?

    German Uncovered is a course that uses stories to help you learn the German language. There are 20 modules that each include a story, and audio recording, a cognates video lesson, a vocabulary video lesson, a grammar video lesson, a pronunciation lesson, a speaking exercise, and a quiz to test your knowledge.

    Each of the video lessons is about 20 minutes in length, so there is a lot of material to work through. It’s presented in a way that is easy to work through, and you pick up German grammar more naturally than you would by memorizing a bunch of grammar rules.

    When you first start German Uncovered, you’re given a set of instructions on how to best use the material in the course:

    “1. Start by listening to the audiobook recording of the chapter: It’s a good idea to do this before you read the text or the translation. Focus on listening and see how much you can pick up. (You can also download this audio file at the bottom of the lesson in case you want to listen again offline).

    2. Read the text in German: After listening to the chapter, read through the text in German. It’s a good idea to do this a couple of times and listen along to the audio as you do so. Try and see how much you can figure out from the German before looking at the English translation.

    3. Watch the Cognates video lesson: Watch the cognates lesson to uncover the German of the story and understand large chunks of it easily.

    4. Check Your Comprehension: Once you’ve completed the steps above, complete the short comprehension quiz. This is a quiz which will check how much you’ve understood. Don’t worry if this is difficult. This is the very first lesson. In time, you’ll find that you can work out more and more of the story.

    5. Download the English translation: Finally, download and read through the English translation. See how much you understood and notice any words or phrases that are similar in German and English.6. Complete the other lessons and worksheets for this chapter: Work through the video lessons and worksheets for this chapter.”

    If you complete the course as instructed, it promises that you’ll attain “(B1 on the CEFR), and be a confident German speaker.”

    My Experience Using German Uncovered

    It’s been more than ten years since I last touched the German language, and I was worried about just how much I may have lost. I quit because the grammar got me down and I couldn’t push past it or find a better way to approach the language. What I had been taught to do in school was too ingrained and I couldn’t break free from grammar drills. Then I enrolled in German Uncovered.

    I just finished the introduction videos and felt so motivated to dive in and get started. The course wasn’t anything like my experience at university where I was drowning in German grammar.

    After completing just one module in the course, I was able to revive much of my lost German (and perhaps more!). I booked my first lesson with a tutor and flew through all the material, keeping the lesson almost entirely in German!

    I made mistakes, yes, but I was already making huge strides with the language.

    To demonstrate, here’s where I was at with German before I completed the first module in German Uncovered:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgErhdFkAa8

    And here’s where I was at shortly after the fourth module:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4QqRfFv60s

    Each of the lessons is taught by Kerstin, a native German speaker. This means that you get lots of insight into the language, it’s culture, and you learn the language it’s really used day-to-day.

    German Uncovered: The Good

    Kerstin is an excellent and outgoing course instructor. She keeps your attention through the lessons. Her love of the German language really shows, and it’s contagious. She does a great job keeping you motivated to continue through the modules.

    And as you continue through the modules, completing the work as suggested, you see real progress with your German. Because the course focuses on teaching you cognates and shows you how to make the most of the similarities between German and English, you progress quickly.

    German Uncovered is very logically organized and as you work through each lesson, you’re taught just the right amount of new material, building on what you learned in the previous lessons. 

    German Uncovered: What Could Be Better

    There were some issues with the audio on some of the videos, but nothing that was too distracting. For example, the volume of the pronunciation videos was lower than the other video lessons and on a couple of the videos, the audio had delay.

    Seeing an example of the speaking lessons would also be extremely helpful. The instructions for these sections are written so that you can hand your tutor or practice partner the worksheet, but seeing how this would work in practice would definitely help students feel more confident taking this step.

    In Conclusion

    Would I recommend German Uncovered? Absolutely. It helped me rebuild a foundation in German and gain confidence using the language. It offers students a way to build their listening skills, reading skills, and vocabulary and gives them everything they need to take things further with an instructor.

    If you’re still not sure if German Uncovered is right for you, you can try out the course and get a feel for Kerstin’s teaching style through German Stories, a free mini course. If you’re ready to dive in and start learning with German Uncovered, you can sign up here.

    April 2, 2019 • Language Resources • Views: 445

  • CLEAR THE LIST | MONTHLY LANGUAGE LEARNING STRATEGIES UPDATE | APRIL

    Oh hi, long time no see! I missed the last two months of updating for #clearthelist, but I’m back to share what I’ve been working on, where I’ve been and what’s coming up!

    On to #clearthelist …

    If you’re new around these parts, #clearthelist is a linkup where we share our monthly goals, and by we, I mean myself, and Lindsay of Lindsay Does Languages.

    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

    What’s Been Going On

    Since January, a lot has happened. To start, in January, I started learning Hindi as a part of a new Add1Challenge. I’m learning it for my music work. and it’s been a lot of fun. For the most part, I’m using Pimsleur, Drops, and I have a wonderful tutor on italki. Here’s my most recent video:

    I also started learning German (again). It was a language that I had given up, but for music, I needed to pick it up again. Here’s my Day 0 video:

    I also went to Iceland, and en route, I did a mini language mission, seeing how much Icelandic I could pick up while traveling to the country. I’ll share more about that project soon.

    Finally, I started working on a new album. This has nothing to do with language, unless you count music as a language, but it’s something I’m pretty proud of and have been hard at work on. The first single is actually already on itunes, and you can check it out here:

    And now you’re caught up!

    Last Clear the List Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // We read together every night, so I’m always learning new words. We also attend a Mommy & Me class regularly.

    Read the next Language Reading Challenge book on my list. // I’m behind announcing next year’s reading challenge, so I’ll do that soon.

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // I am up to 1,300 videos in my queue! I am working through it though, but right now, I only do as many lessons as I add per week.

    Add1Challenge // Yup! I’m also late uploading these videos, but those that aren’t yet up are coming.

    This Month’s Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // A permanent item on my monthly list. 

    Read the next Language Reading Challenge book on my list. // Once I announce this year’s challenge, I plan to start reading right away!

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // Slow and steady…

    Add1Challenge // I’m currently learning Hindi in one challenge and German in another, so my goal is to work on these languages until I’m confident giving presentations on music in both of them.

    Resources I Used This Month

    A quick recap of the materials I am using.

    What I Am Using to Learn Chinese

    • LingQ – my favorite tool
    • iTalki Lessons – I have weekly Chinese lessons
    • Memrise – I do 18,000 points minimum per day 
    • Drops – they have a new character tool that is fantastic

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

    What I am Using to Learn Russian:

    What I am Using to Learn Korean:

    What I am Using to Learn Spanish:

    What I am Using to Learn Italian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Japanese:

    What I’m Using to Learn Croatian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Hungarian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Hindi:

    What I’m Using to Learn German:

    What I’m Using for Little Linguist

    • Lots of books
    • Day-to-day interaction
    • Mommy and Me weekly classes

    Resources That Aren’t Language Specific

    The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month

    That accountability is so, so important. The Add1Challenge really helps me stay on track with my studies. Right after I started learning Hindi, some things happened that meant that I stepped away for the language and I had a lot of consecutive days that I didn’t touch the language (or any language for that matter). But I didn’t want to fail the challenge and felt some responsibility to stay on track, so I ended up getting back into it and picking my language learning habit back up. If it weren’t for checking in daily, and seeing all of those red-colored “nays” logged into the sheet, I might still be struggling.

    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 and Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

    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

    Inlinkz Link Party

    March 26, 2019 • Uncategorized • Views: 115

  • 7 WAYS TO FIRE UP YOUR LANGUAGE LEARNING AT WOMEN IN LANGUAGE

    Next week is the second ever Women in Language event. It’s an online conference hosted by Lindsay Williams of Lindsay Does Languages, Kerstin Cable of FluentLanguage.co.uk and yours truly. At the event, we have more than 30 incredible speakers, two panel discussions, lightning talks, live chat, and the chance to win more than $3,000 in prizes through our raffle.

    Attending an event like Women in Language is a wonderful experience–you get to listen to inspiring talks, get to know other learners around the world who share your passions, and have the opportunity to get your language learning questions answered by experts.

    But in addition to these events being fun social events and a chance to learn, they’re also a great chance to fire up your language learning and give your motivation a boost. Here are seven ways you can do just that at this year’s Women in Language:

    1. Attend a talk that you’d normally skip

    At events, there are always a few talks that may, on paper, seem like they’re not the best fit for you. Normally, I’d fully recommend skipping talks that don’t seem like they’d interest you and use that time to catch up on other tasks or chat with other attendees. But just because a talk doesn’t sound like something you’d go to doesn’t mean that you should skip it.

    For example, if someone’s giving a talk on raising bilingual children but you’re years off from having kids, there are still things you could takeaway:

    • Ideas for activities you can do when learning with someone else
    • Easy, entry-level resources that you may not have heard of
    • Time management tips

    As another example, someone may be giving a talk on a language you don’t intend to learn. Why should you attend?

    • You learn more about our world’s linguistic diversity
    • You may learn techniques that are used to approach that particular language that can be applied to yours
    • You may discover a love for a new language (even if you choose not to study it later)
    • You learn about resources that may also be available in your language

    This Women in Language event, I challenge you to attend at least one talk you’d normally skip. You never know what you may learn!

    2. Get to know some of the members of our amazing language community

    Language learning can be lonely. You spend a lot of time with your head buried in resources doing this whole thing on your own. Language events a great opportunity to meet with like-minded individuals who get you and share your love of languages. And who knows, you may find a study buddy or exchange partner at an event. At the very least, you’ll certainly make new friends.

    3. Ask questions

    At events, it’s easy to sit in the background and just observe. There’s already a lot to take in. But if you don’t ask questions, you’re missing out on a valuable chance to have any doubts or concerns you may have answered.

    You may have questions that can’t be answered by a certain speaker, but even if you ask them, there’s a good chance that someone else participating in the chat will be able to help you out. Take advantage of the fact you’ll be hanging out with learners and experts at different stages in the game than you.

    4. Apply to give a lightning talk

    Lightning talks are short 5-10 minutes talks (depending on how many applicants we have) where you can share something cool you’ve learned about your language, teaching languages, learning languages, or anything else language related.

    If you’re looking for a little extra challenge, I highly recommend applying to give a lightning talk. You have until next Wednesday (the day before the event to do so) if you’re an attendee!

    5. Participate in the Women in Language Facebook group

    Leading up to, during, and following the event, attendees are invited to participate in the Women in Language Facebook group. It’s a supportive community where you can share takeaways from the talks you attend, get to know the other attendees, share your successes and struggles in your language, and more.

    If you’re struggling with motivation, the community is a great place to get the support you need to pick things back up.

    6. Get excited about the raffle!

    When you purchase a ticket to the Women in Language event, you are immediately entered into the raffle. There are no extra steps required.

    This year we have more than $3,000 worth of prizes that will be fairly split up amongst three raffle winners. These prizes include language learning tools and resources from Drops, Fluent in 3 Months, I Will Teach You a Language, LingQ, Lindsay Does Languages, Fluentlanguage.co.uk, Eurolinguiste, and more.

    Getting new language swag is a great way to boost your motivation and by buying a ticket, you’re automatically entered to win.

    7. Support another language learner

    This year we decided to do something new. In addition to giving 10% of all profits to Wikitongues to support their work with languages around the world (last year we donated to Kiva), we’re also helping fund scholarship tickets to attendees who may not be able to afford a ticket to the Women in Language event.

    After buying your ticket, you have the option to help fund another learner’s ticket by making a donation (of any amount). Any money leftover in this pool once all the scholarship tickets are redeemed will also be donated to Wikitongues.

    So there you have it. Just seven of the ways you can fire up your language learning at the Women in Language event–there are plenty more!

    If you haven’t yet got your ticket, you can sign up here.

    And if you have questions about the event, feel free to share them in the comments below. I look forward to seeing you there!

    February 25, 2019 • Language Resources • Views: 97

  • Language Learning Reading Challenge 2019

    I am excited to share the fourth annual Language Learning Reading Challenge with you.

    Starting January 2019, we’ll tackle one book per month covering a topic related to language and share our experiences as a group. Please feel free to join us. You can participate by commenting on the posts here at Eurolinguiste or by joining the group on Facebook.

    As part of the challenge, we will be read books that cover everything from culture, language learning, general learning techniques, history, and more. Plus, we’ll be reading both in our native languages and target languages.

    If you’re at a more advanced level in your target language, feel free to read any or all of the books (not just the ones indicated as target language only) in the language that you’re learning. If you’re still just getting started, that’s okay, too! You can read along in your native language, discovering more about the cultures and histories tied to the language(s) that you’re learning, opting for lower level or graded readers for books in your target language.

    Please note that you don’t have to pick just one language for this challenge. If you’re learning multiple languages, feel free to mix and match. The challenge is pretty flexible. I’ve planned it this way so you can get the most learning possible out of it over this next year.

    The Materials that make up the 2019 Language Reading Challenge

    1 January // A tutorial, recipe, or lesson in your target language (if you’re up for a bigger challenge, read an entire book on the subject)
    2. February // A book on learning strategies (any learning strategy, not just language related, but it can be about language learning if you prefer)
    3. March // A book written in your target language (this can be a translation from your native language or a book originally written in your target language)
    4. April // Read something humor-related in your language to get a sense of comedy and what’s funny in your language 
    5. May // Read an introduction to your language – if you’re an advanced learner, find an article or chapter in your coursebook that explains something that you’re struggling with in particular
    6. June // History of the region, culture, or language that you are studying
    7. July // Read something about a language you’re not learning (it can be an article, an introduction to the language, or an entire book)
    8. August // A book written by a language blogger (you can find books by bloggers such as Steve Kaufmann, Anthony MetivierKerstin Cable, Benny Lewis, Barbara Oakley, yours truly, and more)
    9. September // A book about a language, a family of languages, a writing system, or something related to linguistics
    10. October // Read a Wikipedia article in your target language
    11. November // A book written in your target language (originally, not a translation)
    12. December // Read a book about your native language

    A Few Notes Regarding the Challenge:

    The challenge doesn’t have to focus on one language, if you are studying multiple languages (or have an interest in languages you’re not studying), feel free to go for books in or about those languages.

    You are absolutely welcome to read books of any level. Graded readers, children’s books, academic books or any other genre are acceptable for the challenges that require you to read in your target language(s).

    You do not need to participate every month to be a part of this challenge. You can choose the months that align with your interests.

    If you do not complete the book you take up in any one month of the challenge, that’s okay! You can still join in the conversation and share some of what you’ve learnt from the sections of the book you were able to get through.

    Language Reading Challenge Linkup Rules:

    1. Share your post discussing the book that you’ve read this month. Submissions unrelated to the theme or links to your homepage will be deleted. You can share in the comments or use the link below to join us on Facebook.

    2. Follow the host: Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

    3. OPTIONAL: Join us on Facebook.

    January 1, 2019 • Language Resources • Views: 532

  • Clear the List | Language Learning Strategies Update | January

    Happy New Year to you and yours – a little early. I wanted to get a jumpstart on my language learning goals because I am excited about what I have planned for the new year.

    What’s in store? As a preview, I can tell you that my next language – Japanese – is a big feature. And a huge part of why I’m ecstatic about 2018.

    Onto #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.

    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 Dec 21, 2017 at 2:15pm PST

    Last Month’s Blog Highlights

    Travel

    Why Do You Travel? // I asked you what gets you out exploring, and you gave me an incredible of reasons to travel. 

    Language Learning

    10 Minimalist Gift Ideas for Language Learners // Not all language learners want new books or sets of flashcards. Here are a few more ideas for gifts for language learners – whether you’re treating yourself or a friend.

    How to Choose Language Learning Resources // An update of an old, but popular post. I’ve learned a lot since I originally wrote the post, so I revised it to reflect that.

    My New Language Learning Project // I announce my next (and likely, final) new language. 

    Last Month’s Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // Yes! We have several new books he received as Christmas gifts that we’re reading together.

    Plan out the Language Reading Challenge prompts for next year. // Done! You can find them here and if you haven’t already, you can join us on Facebook!

    Decide what I’m going to do next. // Also done. It’s Japanese!

    This Month’s Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // Like I said, we have lots of books we’re enjoying together.

    Read the next Language Reading Challenge book on my list. // In February we’re reading about the history of the language or culture you’re learning. My brother got me a book about the languages of China, so that’s probably what I’ll read that month.

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // Even though this wasn’t on my list, I watched more than 200 of the language lessons and videos in my queue. Woot woot. I want to keep slowly pecking away at what’s there. 

    Read something in Chinese, French, and/or Spanish and Russian. // It’s important for me to maintain these languages. 

    Finish distilling my Japanese notes. // I started studying Japanese for about a week before I did the Add1Challenge. For Christmas, my gift was a set of new notebooks. One of these is my new Japanese-dedicated notebook. I need to transcribe all my notes into it. I want to stay organized with this language from the start.

    Overall language maintenance. // Even though I’m taking on a new language (which I will ultimately focus on for a short time), I want to be sure to continue to maintain all of my old languages. Now that I’m done taking on new languages, I plan to do more short-term, dedicated projects to keep growing my past languages.

    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
    • Lingoci

    What I am Using to Learn Russian:

    What I am Using to Learn Korean:

    • I am on a break from Korean

    What I am Using to Learn Spanish:

    What I’m Using to Learn Japanese:

    What I’m Using for Little Linguist

    Resources That Aren’t Language Specific

    • None

    The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month

    The art of focus. 

    There are so many languages I would love to learn. But it’s come to the point where it’s more important to me to get much better at the languages I’ve already studied than it is for me to get just okay at a few more.

    It’s definitely a hard decision. There’s at least one more language that I’ve always wanted to learn, but focusing on the 8+ languages I’ve already invested so much time into is now my priority.

    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 and Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

    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
    An InLinkz Link-up

    Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste and Lindsay Williams of Lindsay Does Languages #clearthelist
    <div align="center"><a href="http://eurolinguiste.com/tag/clear-the-list" title="Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste and Lindsay Williams of Lindsay Does Languages"><img src="https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.68/0pl.7ab.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/clear-the-list-sidebar-1.jpg" alt="Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste and Lindsay Williams of Lindsay Does Languages" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

    December 28, 2018 • Eurolinguiste • Views: 85