The kids are back to school, finally some time for myself again! And finally some time to set myself some language goals again. Since I have decided to quit completely with language school and take matters into my own hands, I have to set some goals for myself and I thought sharing them with you would make me more accountable. But I have learned from last year. I found that setting goals that are too tight (or just goals in general) gives me stress. ‘Have to’ doesn’t sit that well with me.
Therefore a list of goals to strive for rather than to reach.
English and French, these are my main working languages and I translate on a regular basis from these two into Dutch. So my only goals here are reading some books (no fixed number per month, remember the ‘have to’). Books by authors Marc Levy and Guillaume Musso are easy to read, so I might go and get a few of those from the library. I also record a series in French about history and I would like to watch a few episodes of that to practice my listening skills. Anything I watch on Youtube is mainly in English.
Two more working languages are German and Danish, but I get substantially less work in them, so I need to actively keep them on a good level. How do I do that? For both, I have the Tutor book and it is a good thing to have the grammar all together, but it can get a bit boring at times … I am a grammar nerd, yes, but I too have my limits and sometimes I really don’t feel like a whole afternoon of grammar, especially the German one (but the Tutor series is good!). So, again, books! German in the library, but unfortunately there is no Danish section, so I am forced to buy them through the internet. Netflix has some pretty good series in Danish (Rita is top!), but for German, I haven’t found any yet. If you guys have any tips, let me know!
And then the languages I am currently studying.
Spanish: this school year I want to finish my Aula Internacional grammar series and reach a B2 level. I am currently starting book 4, level B2.1, so that goal should be a winner! If there is no C1 grammar book available, I will just read Spanish books (El amante japonés is patiently waiting on my book shelf until I am confident enough to get started), revise the grammar books I have at home and watch Netflix series (they are filming season 4 of Casa de papel … can’t wait! In the mean time, I am binging Velvet). Last thing I plan to do for Spanish, is check the podcast Español automático, to practice my listening skills. No Youtube tips for Spanish, apart from Tu escuela de español, which is basically just grammar.
Next one, Italian. O I love Italian! I can’t wait to speak it fluently. But I took a big gamble. I decided not to start my school course again, but try and study the language at home. I got myself Nuovo Espresso 3, 4 and 5, which should give me a B2 level. So my biggest goal is to finish these before the end of June next year. I am currently going through book 3, which is mainly review from last school year, so that should be no problem. Let’s see how book 4 goes. I plan on following the same Youtube channels as I do right now (listening really improves your knowledge of the language and it gives you a good idea of the flow of the language, I am a big fan of listening, even before you speak the language at any decent level – my favourite channels are Learnamo, Doppio Espresso and Podcast Italiano, I will also see if I can listen to 1 or 2 episodes of Italiano automatico) and continue reading. The library has a few good Italian books and I am currently reading my second book this year in Italian. A big achievement since 2 years ago I didn’t speak a word yet!
Language number 3 I wrestle with at home is Bulgarian (yes, you can call me crazy!). I have written a blog on how I ended up starting Bulgarian, in case you wonder. I have to be honest here. I love Bulgarian, but I have had so much on my plate with work, family and school that I just lacked the time to study it properly and in the end just gave up (although I had reached an A2 level). So for this school year I want to revise my A1 and A 2 level and then hopefully continue in the Intensive Bulgarian course (if you plan on studying Bulgarian, this is your go to book!). I have bought a fairy tale in Bulgarian and I hope to be able to read that and get an understanding of what is going on by the end of June. Let’s see if I make it! Our plan for the summer holidays 2020 is to go to Bulgaria, so I hope to have a decent enough level by then to be able to have a little conversation with the people there (but we might also just change our minds and to go to another country, but hey, I will in any case have revised my Bulgarian!).
And finally the last language I am tackling, is Korean. Now speaking of a challenge! I won’t bore you with how I have started this incredible journey of trying to study Korean, there is another blog post about that somewhere in the archives. No plans at all here, I have tucked my dream of being able to speak it at any level, far far away … I use different resources for this language: Talk to me in Korean, Korean from zero, the Tuttle series and I have bought a few books from TTMIK that I hope to go through. They all go about the grammar in a different way and I kinda like that for Korean. Right now I am all into Korean from zero, so I think I will just finish book 1 this school year and see what my heart says then. For TTMIK, I have finished all the lessons up to level 3, but I do need to revise them and hopefully I will finish level 4 this school year. Last thing on my list for Korean is finish book 1 in the Tuttle series, Elementary Korean. Big goals, I know …
Halfway through the school year, I will write an update and see how all is going! Happy studying!