Language Learning Goals – Clear The List: October 2017


Well September came with some unexpected and exciting experiences! Let’s take a look and set some language learning goals for October with this month’s Clear The List.

Clear The List is your monthly chance to check in on your language learning goals + share with a supportive community. Click through to get your free planner!

Missing The Internet

We spent most of September in Cuba and we always knew that internet would be complicated and definitely not easily available in most accommodations. This was as expected.

In Cuba, it’s (mostly) illegal to have the internet in private homes and there are very few (if any) internet cafes, and as far as we saw at least, zero actual cafes with free wifi as a little bonus.

Instead, to use the internet, you have to purchase a scratchcard and connect with a long numeric username and password each time you wish to check your Facebook, post to your Instagram or stream some Spotify.

Actually scrap that last one – I couldn’t get Spotify to work at all.

And you can only connect from designated wifi hotspots, normally parks, and normally noticeable from the mass of locals and tourists alike stood around in the hot hot Cuban sun heads down in smartphone screens.

And as I said, we knew this, so planned to run Lindsay Does Languages (a business that completely relies on the internet) offline for three weeks.

To help out and keep things online moving, I brought the wonderful Jo on board – you maybe met her over the past few weeks over in the #WeDoLanguages Facebook Group.

But I knew that I could definitely do plenty of things offline – mainly lots of planning for October’s Teaching Takeover Month. If you’re interested in starting to teach languages online or you’re already doing it, then there’s plenty of exciting stuff happening this month!

The best thing to do is sign up right here for everything that’ll be going on.

Other Stuff That Happened In Cuba

There were also plenty of unexpected things that happened in Cuba too, from witnessing our first hurricane (Irma) to ending up with a local farmer on his horse cart in Viñales taking us through the impassable mud to swim in a cave.

One thing we’re really keen to do this year is share with you some of the best personal tales from our travels that happen thanks to language.

This is the first in this loose series. And, honestly, I’m so glad we were able to capture what will, I’m sure, be a very memorable day for years to come, all of which happened through being able to speak Spanish.

If you’re interested in following more about our travels this year, Ashley is mostly posting over at Mundo Trundle both on the blog and YouTube.

Join the #IGLC this month!

As always, there’s a brand new prompt list for the Instagram Language Challenge this month. If you’ve never done it before, find out what it’s all about right here.

Clear The List is your monthly chance to check in on your language learning goals + share with a supportive community. Click through to get your free planner!

Language Learning Review for September

Sigh. This is where I’m hanging my head and scuffing my heels.

Being offline in Cuba meant I knew I’d lose my Duolingo and Clozemaster streak (of 50 days!).

So I guess, in many ways I’d already resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be learning much Guaraní in Cuba.

I did still have the Peace Corps Workbooks on my laptop, which I can use offline but on their own they’re really not overly inspiring so not much got done.

Feeling pretty bad about this, I did use some of that precious precious wifi time after connected to let people know we were safe after Hurricane Irma to download a Memrise course in Guaraní after enviously watching Ashley use his downloaded Memrise courses for Spanish in the two weeks or so previous.

After that, things picked up a little but not much, so I’m looking forward to having the wonders of the internet at my disposal again to boost my Guaraní time now we’ve hit more stable internet.

Language Learning Goals for October

As I mentioned earlier in this post, October is Teaching Takeover Month so there’s lots going on workwise.

But seeing as the majority of the offline planning was done while I was in Cuba, I should be able to dedicate some regular time back to language learning again, specifically Guaraní. Woop!

Here’s what I plan to do with it…

Duolingo + Clozemaster + Memrise streak

It’s something small I know, but it’s a great way to do something each day, even when things get busy…as long as you’ve got internet access, which this month should be ok.

Peace Corps Workbook 1

While offline, I worked through what I’d already studied making notes and audio recordings on my computer but at a pretty minimal and sporadic rate.

In October, I’m going to restart using this regularly and study one lesson per day from Monday to Friday with the weekends to review and catch up if needed.

italki lessons

Now we’re on the same side of the world, the timing might be a little easier to get lessons with my italki tutor.

I’ve booked a couple of lessons already to get back on that horse and I’m planning to have a lesson once a week.

WhatsApp Group

After my presentation at LangFest, Rapael, a participant and volunteer at the event told me about a WhatsApp Group for Guaraní learners and speakers, which I’ve now been added to.

I’ve never been a great user of WhatsApp so this’ll be a good chance to get used to it and see how useful it can be for language learning!

Language Reading Challenge

The theme for Shannon’s Language Reading Challenge in October is “A book/magazine/etc about your personal interests in your target language”.

I’m still using the Challenge as motivation to read but due to travelling and not having access to my library (miss it but haven’t sent a postcard just yet) I’m not really following the topics right now.

I’m currently reading Karl Pilkington’s The Moaning of Life (he’s so wise!) and Leyendas en Guatemala, a book I swapped in our accommodation in Havana.

We had a few nights in the luxury room at the same place in Havana, which had a small collection of books left by previous guests. I read a paper book for the first time in weeks, which probably accounts for how quickly I read it.

It was called Champagne Supernova and told the stories of Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen and Kate Moss as their fashion careers grew at the same time.

Although it was in English, it was about fashion, which is something I’ve never really studied or learnt about previously, so it was great to read about something new to me.

Your Free My Month In Languages Planner

As always, your monthly planner is ready and waiting to go for October. Just click below to download it.

Join Clear The List

If you’re after some accountability to help you reach your goals this month and you have a blog, join us for Clear The List! Here’s how it works…

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.

3. Follow the hosts: Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages, Shannon from Eurolinguiste, Kris from Actual Fluency and Angel from French Lover.

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.


Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste, Lindsay Dow of Lindsay Does Languages, Angel Pretot of French Lover, and Kris Broholm of Actual Fluency #clearthelist

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What are your language learning goals for October? How did things go in September? Share in the comments below!

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About Lindsay Williams

Why hello there! I'm Lindsay and I do Languages. I blog, vlog and teach all things language. I blog about languages right here at Lindsay Does Languages, and about travel over at Mundo Trundle. If you're looking for language learning inspiration then stay a while. You might find just what you're looking for. :)
  • ¡Qué aventura, Lindsay! Me ha encantado el vídeo. I really enjoyed the video. It’s incredible how foreign languages can lead you into the greatest experiences in life. ¡Buen viaje!

    • Absolutely! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the video – hope we end up in some similar situations that language helps out with! 😛

  • Alberto Moragon

    I was in Cuba last summer and I have no doubt that it is a very interesting place to visit in spite of the lack of a good internet access.

  • Hi Lindsay, Ash and Jo!
    So excited to be here for Month 2! 🙂 Being apart of this link party helped Midge stay accountable to her goals, and she looks forward to learning all the #IGLC words in Spanish this month. Thanks for all your support and encouragement!

  • Marie Noëlle

    Sometimes it feels good to unplug and focus on non-tech learning strategies. I have decided to find snail mail pen friends to practice some of the languages that I study.

    What an adventure indeed! I love how knowing a language can totally change one’s travelling experience. Good luck with your goals in October!

    • Yeah, I’m really missing non-tech resources right now! 🙁 Not having a paper notebook or books with me is hard, but I know it would be too heavy to lug around all year! :p

  • I am glad you were both okay during the storms. Watching the video made me think of the quote that if you speak to a person in their own language it goes straight to their heart. Just goes to show what amazing experiences can be had when you can speak other languages. Awesome, thanks for sharing Lindsay.

  • theElectricHare

    I’ve just watched your video – what a wonderful story!