Welcome to February’s #ClearTheList! This month, it’s ALL about Guarani.
Hosted by myself and Shannon of Eurolinguiste, Clear The List is your chance to set monthly language learning goals + achieve them as part of the community. We share our monthly goals and encourage you to do the same. Check the bottom of this post for more info on how to join in.
Your free planner for February!
Before we get started, here’s your chance to make the most of February for language learning completely free with this month’s My Month in Languages Planner.
Click the image below to download your copy for February. Use it to keep track of your language plans and goals for the coming month. Woop!
Or, if you want something with more detail to take things further, then grab a copy of the brand new Solo Language Learner Planner, which contains calendars, goal setting pages, reviews, and a daily study session planner. Woop!
And you may have already spotted this month the release of the first Lindsay Does Languages Notebook Collection!
I’m very excited to finally share this with you as it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a loooong time now. You get to pick between hardback or spiral bound, and ruled, graph or blank paper (blank currently only for hardback). THEN, the tricky bit, picking between the three designs (all created by yours truly, of course!)…
You like the green one? You’ve got A Case of The Cases.
Prefer the yellow one? You’d Rather Be Learning Languages.
Pink one your favourite? Go show everyone that This Is How You Language.
Join the #IGLC in February!
Did you join the Instagram Language Challenge last month to learn or share the basics of a language? This month it’s all about useful little words to take your language learning further.
It’s totally free + you get to learn a little language each day. Woop!
This month it’s all about taking your language further.
Language Learning Review for January
I didn’t really set myself any language learning goals for January as I wanted to reflect on the whole year in 10 Things I Learn About Language Learning in 2017.
So nothing to review here this month!
Language Reading Challenge
The topic for Shannon’s Language Reading Challenge over at Eurolinguiste last month was “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”.
I’ve been focused on getting through a bunch of PDFs about Guaraní that various people had sent me and I’m almost there…a few of the very academic ones remain!
Language Learning Goals for February
italki – I’ve just had a session my tutor and gone ahead and booked as many lessons as I can for next week. And next week I’m going to do the same. I’m doing the italki Language Challenge, which has always proved useful for my language learning progress.
Instagram Speaking – I mentioned on a recent Language Study Club call (you’ll learn more about that later in the year…!) that I’m going to speak some Guaraní every day and share those clips on Instagram. Number one, to hold myself accountable. Number two, to watch back and see my improvement.
Verbs on Memrise! – my verbs are weeeeaaak in Guaraní! I know how they work, I know all my pronouns and my suffixes, but the verbs aren’t sticking in my brain. So I’m working on constantly adding verbs and conjugations to Memrise to help them stick.
Clozemaster – I’m almost finished with the Clozemaster course, so may as well finish it, right?
Duolingo – one of the first resources I used for Guaraní, so I definitely need to finish the Guaraní course on Duolingo. I should be on track to finish mid-month at the very latest.
Get ready for my course – I’m planning on doing an actual Guaraní course when I arrive in Paraguay for the first week to enhance what I’ve studied the past few months. I want to be ready for this.
Mandarin, Vietnamese, Khmer, Lao, Burmese
Memrise – I’m going to keep ticking over in these languages on Memrise as best as possible. Travel dependent it’s not every single day I get the chance to do it but I do my best!
Language Reading Challenge
The topic for Shannon’s Language Reading Challenge over at Eurolinguiste this month is “History of the region, culture, or language that you are studying”.
So, this month I’m going to be reading up on Paraguay and the history of the country as best as possible, not with one particular book but at least with the intro sections to some travel guides I’ve got downloaded on the Kindle app.
Here’s my first video update in a few months. Belated but necessary! Aaaand speaking Guaraní…!
I’m writing this a day before we head to the Galapagagos Islands, which is my dream. I’m a little worried I’m just gonna spend the whole time there crying with excitement and unable to move but we’ll see…!
After the Galapagos, we’ll be on the mainland of Ecuador and parts of Peru before we head down to Cuzco for an episode of Language Stories (you can probably guess which!) and then onto Paraguay.
After Paraguay, we’re heading to Asia ready to film the second season of Language Stories. If you or someone you know are doing something interesting with languages in South East Asia, we’d love to hear about it! Just get in touch right here and let’s talk!
In other news…
As I mentioned up top, the first Lindsay Does Languages Notebook Collection launched last week! Woop!
There’s three designs to choose from (all created by me for you!) and you also get to pick if it’s hardback or spiral bound, and ruled, graph, or blank paper. So it really will be your language notebook.
Click here to learn more + get your Language Notebook!
Also, this week only (until 5th February) you get two bonuses when you join Successful Self-Study – a 1:1 Language Coaching Call with me + The Solo Language Learner Planner. Both totally free when you join Successful Self-Study this week! Yay!
So there’s no excuses to feel like your goals for 2018 are done because you had a bad January. I’m here for you + I want to work with you to make this your best language learning year yet.
Ash Does Spanish
From Cuba, through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, for the past 5 months, I’ve been living and working in a Spanish speaking world. 90% of the interactions with strangers in shops; on the street; and as part of filming Language Stories have been in Spanish, even talking about another language in Spanish.
My world has been Spanish….so has my ability to hablar español improved?…..No sé.
Memrise tells me I’ve learnt more words; Duolingo reports that I’m 40% more fluent but as for real world use of the language, I still feel very unsure of myself.
In many situations when I need to use Spanish, I know exactly what I should have said… afterwards. And when listening to Lindsay converse with someone in Spanish, I know the perfect way to add to the conversation…later on.
My Spanish speaking skills, at the moment, feel like a vast Argos warehouse of words and phrases. It’s as if I make an order for the appropriate statement and then have to wait for the warehouse language munchkins to go down the aisles of verbs, adjectives and nouns, looking for the illusive phrase that will make or break the conversation.
Sadly, much like Argos, the time between making the order and picking up the package can range from 30 seconds to 14 hours, depending on the language munchkin working that shift.
However, sometimes I’ve surprised myself with how much I know or how confidently I can use the language. In fact, in Guatemala, I survived quite happily at a homestay using only Spanish for almost a week!
But has it been consistent? Strangely, no.
I think much of the inconsistency has to do with who I’m speaking with. If I think the other person can speak English, my confidence to use Spanish plummets faster than a skydiving potato. But when I’m in a situation where I know for a fact that the other person can’t speak English (and time isn’t as precious), I’m much happier to bumble along.
So how do I overcome this? What next steps could I take?
Logically, I need to try and speak more but I feel like I need to stretch my vocabulary. I’m very good at ordering a coffee but asking what time the bus leaves is still a ridiculously difficult concept.
As a way of overcoming this and training my language munchkins to work faster, I’m going to try and start recording myself speaking and communicating each day. I’m hoping this will help develop my pronunciation, as well as actually forcing me to say the words I usually just mumble, when clicking through a Duolingo course.
I’m also going to try and overcome a few of the hangups I have about what people may think and just speak. I’m obviously a foreigner, so me not speaking won’t make them think I’m just a suave local walking about town.
We’ve still got 3 more months in Latin America and I want to leave this continent knowing I can survive and communicate in Spanish. I’m not looking for absolute fluency but absolute survival beyond buying a coffee.
Here’s my video update this month:
Join Clear the list!
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 code below if you wish.
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.
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Your free planner for February!
If you missed it up top, click below to get your free My Month In Languages Planner straight to your inbox for free. Woop!
P.S. If you’re already on my mailing list, use your password to get it direct from the Little Language Library.
And remember, if you want the beefy version of this planner, click here to grab your reusable copy of The Solo Language Learner Planner. Yay!
Which language are you learning this month? What do you want to achieve? Join Clear The List to share your goals or comment below!