Language Learning Goals: Clear The List May 2017

Welcome to May’s #ClearTheList! This month, my language learning goals are pretty unexpected and very fun!

Hosted by myself, Kris Broholm, Angel Pretot 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.

Clear The List is your monthly chance to check in on your language learning and life goals. Click through to read mine for May 2017 and download your free planner! >>

Your free planner for May!

Before we get started, it’s a new month, which means a new planner!

Click the image below to download your free monthly language learning calendar for May. Use it to keep track of your language plans and goals for the coming month. Woop!

Join the #IGLC in May!

Did you join the Instagram Language Challenge last month? If you’re learning a new language (like me this month!), then this month is a good time to get involved.

It’s totally free + you get to learn a little language each day for free. Woop! Click here to find out more about how to join in.

Clear The List is your monthly chance to check in on your language learning and life goals. Click through to read mine for May 2017 and download your free planner! >>

Language Learning Review for April


Complete Indonesian – My goal for April was to complete the Memrise course for Complete Indonesian. The Memrise course is done and it’s the greatest feeling in the world. Honestly, I wish I’d done this initially when I was studying each Unit of Complete Indonesian as the process became kind of repetitive when not doing much else.

Memrise – Easter. I blame Easter. When I wrote last month’s post and mentioned how I’d be taking advantage of my Pomodoro sessions to keep my streak but as soon as the Easter holidays kicked in and Ashley was home and Easter was happening…argh! I hate Easter! Stay still Easter! Pick a date! (P.S. I totally get why Easter moves. I like Easter. I’m just kidding.)

Lang-8 – I have a shameful 1 entry on Lang8 in Indonesian. Just gonna squint my eyes at Easter again.

Glossika – This was good! Completing the Memrise course was easy to combine with listening to Glossika and it worked well. I’m winking at Easter now.

Language Reading Challenge

The theme for Shannon’s Language Reading Challenge in April was ‘a book written by an author from a country that speaks your target language, either translated or original’.

I didn’t really follow the theme and decided to read Dobu: Ethics of Exchange on a Massim Island, Papua New Guinea by Susanne Kuehling.

Clear The List is your monthly chance to check in on your language learning and life goals. Click through to read mine for April 2017 and download your free planner! >>

I’m over halfway through but it’s quite heavy going and, well, EASTER!

So I haven’t quite finished yet but I’m going to do so in May.

Language Learning Goals for May


Firstly I have to thank my friend, Mairín, who helped me with 9 Reasons to Learn Scottish Gaelic, for making me aware of TWO new language challenges this month – which is the big reason for such a dramatic unexpected switch in my language plans!

The first challenge is the Polyglot Gathering Language Challenge.

This is the first time that the event will be held outside Berlin, which is pretty exciting, and which means that the regular Language Challenge that’s held in the build up to the event includes both Esperanto and Slovak this time around.

Having already studied Esperanto last year, I decided to opt for Slovak, which will be my first “proper” learning of a Slavic language.

What do I mean “proper” learning?

Well…it feels wrong to say I’m learning completely from scratch. I’ve dabbled in Polish, Russian, Czech, Macedonian, Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian…and Slovak! But this has been mainly for travel and I’ve never taken things further once returning from trips.

So although, I’m very loosely familiar with things such as the word ‘dobre’ and ready to expect lots of cases, I know very little at this stage.

Aaaaand…I only have 1 month to get my Slovak to a level where I can give a short 1-2 minute presentation at the Polyglot Gathering. So it’s time to get moving!

Here’s my plan…

30 minutes of study Mon – Thurs – As well as daily doses of Memrise, I’ll be studying for a minimum of 30 minutes every Monday to Thursday. This will be part of my regular “language hour” each morning to make sure it gets done.

1 hour italki each weekend – To give me a chance to consolidate what I learn each week and actually speak to a human, I’m having 1 hour of italki tuition each weekend. I’ve already booked my first session! – This is the website recommended by the organisers and from what I’ve seen so far of the Introduction course, it looks pretty useful. The sections in the Introduction course are pretty small, so I’ve scheduled to do at least 2 of them in each 30 minute session.

Memrise – Like I mentioned, Memrise will be a daily habit and the thing that happens even on days when I’m not having a study session or italki lesson. I’ve picked this course to begin with and aim to have it done by the end of this first week.

Documenting my studies – You know how important documenting language learning is for me! For Slovak, I’ll be writing a daily sentence or two and recording myself speaking on Snapchat.

HelloTalk + Lang-8 + the Facebook Group – Once I’ve written my daily text, I’ll share it with someone on HelloTalk (both written + spoken), Lang8 (written) and some days also in the Facebook Group for the challenge (written).

Plan presentation + topic – Having such a short time to learn a language is made better by having a solid focus goal at the end. In this case, it’s the presentation I’ll have to give in Slovak at the Polyglot Gathering! Exciting, but also kind of scary, which is a good thing.


The second language challenge Mairín introduced me to is The Step Up Language Program, a new project from keen language learner, Jefferson. This is a 3 month language learning challenge that’s free. Unfortunately, by the time you read this sign up is closed but as soon as I know more about the next round, I’ll let you know.

In case, you don’t yet know much about Guaraní, well, neither do I, so we’ll be learning together!

30 minutes of study Mon – Thurs – Back to studying multiple languages means less time dedicated to each one each day. After May, it’s likely that my study time for Guaraní will increase, but for now, this suits me fine.

1 hour italki each weekend – I’ve already contacted a tutor on italki who teaches Guaraní and am planning on taking 1 lesson each week on the weekend.

Duolingo via Spanish – Perhaps surprisingly, there’s a Duolingo course for Guaraní…in Spanish! So I get double the lingo in. Win win. I’m doing 1 unit per day, similar to how I did with Esperanto.

Videos for pronunciation + basics – There’s a good number of videos on YouTube teaching basic vocab in Guaraní so I’ll be watching these as much as possible.

The rest of my Guaraní study time is still quite open and I’m looking forward to seeing how things develop as the month goes on and I learn more about where to find resources.


Memrise – I’m not stopping Indonesian completely. There’s no way I made my Memrise course to not study it! I’ll be doing Memrise daily.

Friday language focus – You may have been wondering why I’m doing 30 minutes Slovak and Guaraní only on Mondays to Thursday. The reason is that Fridays are going to be Indonesian day to make sure I’m still having fun with the language. This is pretty open but will include things like Lang8, music, mistake goals, and video clips on Facebook.

Language Reading Challenge

The theme for Shannon’s Language Reading Challenge in May is “A coursebook/lesson book (chance to finish up one you’ve been working on or work through a new one)”.

Starting two new languages may seem perfect for this theme but considering that I’m only doing Slovak for one month, Guaraní has less resources, and I haven’t finished my book Dobu from last month’s Reading Challenge, I’m not actually going to be taking part this month.

Instead, I’ll be focusing on finishing the Dobu book I started.

And, completely un-language related, I’ve also been reading The Casual Vacancy for months now and want to finish that too. A month to wrap up some reading!

Trip Update

Things are moving fast now and I can’t believe we’re getting so close!

Last month we had our first flight booked taking us to New York. In April, we’ve now confirmed the first few steps beyond that.

We’re catching a bus(!) from New York to Montreal and then spending a couple of days in Quebec City before flying to…CUBA!

Cuba is somewhere that’s always intrigued me and although we’ll be flying out in hurricane season (the perils of travelling with limited time!) we’re beginning to plan our a rough route to include lots of interesting places and caves. Did I ever mention I like caves? I like caves.

Another exciting development is the podcast planning.

If you took the survey (firstly, thank you!) then you probably spotted my plans to start a podcast during our travels about languages around the world and meeting the people who speak them.

Well, the feedback on this was good, which means it’s happening! Yay!

There’s lots to learn about the tech side of podcasting but it’s a new challenge I’m looking forward to.

Video Update

And finally, if you scrolled all the way down here + prefer to watch rather than read, here’s my latest video update.

It’s been WAAAY too long since I shared a video on YouTube. I’m kinda sad about that because I love making videos but there is a reason!

Ashley was working hard on helping me update lots of video content for the Online Teaching Starter Kit so we had no time to get videos on YouTube while we were doing that and by the time we were done? Well…EASTER! Getting in the way again!

We like to film in batches and I already have my list of videos to do (including lots of updates for Successful Self-Study!) + I promise it’s high on my to do list to script + film them.

Anyway, enjoy this video!

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.

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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Which language are you learning this month? What do you want to achieve? Join Clear The List to share your goals or comment 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. :)

  • dandiprat

    Sounds like you’re going to be quite busy in May! I hope you have fun at the Polyglot Gathering.

  • You rule breaker, you. I love it! The point of the challenge is just to read, so you’re winning at it as far as I’m concerned. I wish I was going to the conference in May, but you would not believe air prices from here to there… But I’ll see you in Montréal! Yay! Good luck with your languages this month.

    • OH MY LIFE! HOW AM I JUST FINDING OUT YOU’RE GOING TO MONTREAL!!??!!! :O You realise I’ll be feeding you poutine every. single. day? You won’t be able to get rid of me! 😉

  • andreaclaire

    Cuba is beautiful. My favourite place was Trinidad de Cuba on the south coast. I went hiking in the mountains there and met a guy who made horseshoes (and nails) by hand. I still have the horseshoe he made me.

  • I’m SO happy that the podcast is happening! Yay indeed!

    Two new languages at the same time? Lindsay, how do you manage to get so much done? What’s your secret? 😛

    Cuba sounds so exciting!

  • I was about to ask you the same thing as Chiara. What is your secret to get so many different things done? Learning two languages, vlogging, and blogging at the same time sounds like a challenge.

    I can’t wait to watch more of your videos!

  • Claire Boardman

    I’m learning Guaraní too (ish)! I must’ve passed through it when I was in the south of Brazil/north of Argentina but never learned any then. Then I discovered it on Duolingo at Easter and started poking it and haven’t been able to quite put it down. Now Level 5 and trying to work out why drinking water is sometimes “ho’u y” and sometimes “ho’y u”, neither of which I can pronounce without a run up.

  • Kelli Singrey

    I am so excited for this podcast! When and where should we expect the first episode?

    • We leave mid-August and I have an idea for episode 1 before then. I’m saying summer for the time being! 😉

  • looking forward to seeing your progress in Guaraní! good luck with your new languages!

  • Dorothée

    +1 for the dedicated days for special languages!! Else I would always study the same^^
    Good luck with your goals 🙂

  • Angel – French Lover

    Hey! Congrats on your lovely Indonesian level. It’s so nice to hear you speaking it on video.

    And I’m definitely looking forward to the podcast! Its going to be awesome.

    Good luck with this month’s list. And see you in Brastislava at the end of the month 🙂

  • Tiia M

    I’m really interested to know what Guarani sounds like because I’d never even heard of such a language! Is it related to Spanish…?
    Good luck for your both new languages!

    • I just recorded my monthly update video yesterday (a little early I know!) and I talk in the language a bit so you’ll heard it! 😀 Glottal stops and nasals galore! Love it!