Hi everyone! Hope everyone is doing well! November was incredibly busy month that you may have notice this blog has gone silent after the first of last month. The main focus of last month was NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which brought to my attention how much time I could have not only used for language learning but how much fun it was for me to get back into the habit of writing again. So most of my creative energy went directly to NaNoWriMo as a result. Which was not my intention but it’s something I only do once a year. So I figured I would take a slight break from language learning. I still did some immersion for my Japanese and German with Catalan on the back burner.
Reassessing My Language Learning Goals or Tasks
My language learning goals for the year have been a bit too haphazard to the point where I feel like I am not progressing on to the next level. While I have continued the Instagram Language Challenge for this month, I know that I need to do more than just learning a new word or phrase and then forgetting about it after it’s posted on Instagram. Back in October, I was able to use and review the app: HelloTalk, which is a great app to practise your target language with a native speaker via phone call and SMS messages through the app itself.
While I am still tutoring students through italki, I wasn’t taking any sessions myself with native speakers of German, Japanese and Catalan. Which means that this month needs to have more dedication with meeting with a language tutor. Even if I am only able to speak with them once a week. It is better than not speaking at all. My goal from the beginning of this year was being able to speak more with native speakers. I did do it but I wasn’t able to keep it consistent when life got busy and depression got in my way.
So my intention for the new year is to have regular conversations with tutors in my target languages. This may or may not mean that I will have to cut back on teaching students for a while. Or even having a better sense of time management without having to schedule too much of my life. Sometimes, I feel it is a necessary evil even though things don’t always go according to plan. To do lists seem to be the most beneficial for me. So I will be keep a monthly to do list to help get my language learning and other goals back on track to where they need to be.
When it comes to practising my writing skills, I am thinking about doing at least one entry per week about a topic I am passionate about and discussing it in my target language. Just like I have been doing with my 日本語で書くブログシリーズ which I plan on continue on doing along with one for German and perhaps later for Catalan. I find that writing helps make it easier for me to think in my target language in combination with speaking, listening and reading.
My listening lately has been a bit too passive instead of active. Meaning that I am able to understand a good gist of what’s being said but I find that I am not learning anything new from it. So I am going to practise my listening skills actively in order to be able to understand more and more.
One of the areas of my language learning that has been lacking this year has been reading. I have not allowed myself to actually use my reading skills as actively as I would like to. Especially when it comes to learning Japanese. This also means using the websites and apps more often without distractions.
One of the apps I have been using for time management during the NaNoWriMo challenge was the ClearFocus app. This app follows the Pomodoro Technique. Which is basically a timer that allots you 25 minutes at a time and then gives you a 5 minute break after each twenty-five minute interval.
I found this app incredibly useful when it comes to getting specific tasks done by becoming more focused on them. I will be using it as a way to get what I need to get done but also have it to help me stay focused on language learning.
Overall, I felt like my language goals serious needed some direction, especially since most of my language learning seemed to only be at the beginning of the year. Well, when it comes to progressing further with my Japanese, German and Catalan. Then it just started to fall backwards to where I was barely getting thirty minutes in a day.
Which to me is NOT nearly enough time especially since I’m learning multiple languages. But at the same time, I feel the need for a consistent routine to learn languages would have helped in the long run.
Next year, this will be alleviate and more personal accountability will be put into my language learning. Starting today! Because waiting until New Year’s will cause it to be easily put aside after a while, which is not something I want to do.
Website Redesign and Updating Pages
During the past several months, I have been getting emails from people with essentially the message: “Great website but I want to discuss with you on redesigning it to look more professional.”
Now I have considered doing a design change just to keep things fresh but I just hadn’t had the time to actually spend time doing it. Because it is simply more than changing a theme, it is also adapting it with CSS and HTML to make it look the way I want it.
Since I actually learned how to code at a basic level, I decided to just go ahead and doing it myself. It’s also cheaper that way too! To those of you who have emailed me about designing my website for me:
Let me make it clear that I will be the only one designing my website. I am open to suggestions but ultimately, I am going to create it the way I want. No offense, but I would rather do it myself especially since I enjoy learning how to code. It’s one of the many things I consider to be “fun” just like language learning! 🙂
No, I am not redesigning my website because of these emails but because I simply want to.
I still have resource pages that I need to update with resources for specific languages: Italian and Dutch namely.
The Language Resources page will be updated and transformed into my recommended tools and resources as opposed to whether I recommend something or not. Just to keep the website better organised. If you have any resources you would like to share, feel free do so in the comments below and I will add them to the resource page of that particular language.
I also want to be able to make more videos for my Koko The Polyglot channel. I did manage to make a few this year but I still would have liked to have made more. Especially to go along with my blog posts. I will consider trying to do that more with blog posts just add a bit more to my blog and to be more active on YouTube as well. Even if it’s only one video a month!
These are more or less intentions I have which I will try to make happen in one way or another. I don’t do the whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing like I’ve said before, because I feel they don’t end up happening when I do make them.
What are you language learning goals or intentions for the upcoming year? Do you set “New Year’s Resolutions” if so, have they worked for you in terms of learning language? If not, what do you do instead? I would love to hear from you!