I recently came across something cool on Twitter, #ClearTheList, a support and accountability blog group sharing monthly language learning goals. It’s hosted by Shannon of Eurolinguiste and Lindsay of Lindsay Does Languages. I decided to jump in, as it seems like a fun way to keep myself on track. So, without further ado:
What I Did In July
- I continued systematically adding words from Using German Vocabulary to Anki. I suppose some might think this a bit crazy, as I’m basically working towards adding the whole book to the program. But I’ve found that it’s an excellent way to plug holes in my vocabulary. (It’s also something I just enjoy doing, an important factor!) This is a project I’ve approached many times over the years but eventually gave up on; not this time! To be clear, I’ve also kept up on reviewing all of these words – usually 200-400 repetitions per day.
- I did 15 or 20 pages of exercises from Die neue Gelbe; mostly focused on passive constructions.
- I watched all of Babylon Berlin on Netflix. I did this with the original German audio and German subtitles enabled. It proved to be a great exercise in listening comprehension, and I was super pleasantly surprised to find that I comprehended about 90% of the show. Also, if you’re looking for an excellent TV show to watch in German – this is it.
- I listened to a lot of podcasts; specifically, many, many episodes of Wissen from SWR2. I also listened to a lot of content from Deutsche Welle.
- I had about 4 hours of speaking practice with a German friend of mine (4 separate sessions); and one one hour session with a German tutor from italki.
- Lots and lots and lots of chatting with German friends (text).
- I started listening / reading to the German translation of Jurassic Park. I’m listening to the audiobook from Audible while simultaneously reading it on my Kindle. I’m treating this as extensive reading, as I’m not really looking up very much vocabulary – just reading and moving through the story.
- I read a lot of articles from Deutsche Welle, usually in Readlang. This is more intensive reading, as I tend to look up any and all unknown words / grammar structures.
- As I mentioned on Twitter, I’ve thought about getting back to French for too long now, and decided to actually do something about that. As I am primarily focused on German right now, I wanted to stick to (mostly) one course / resource for French. At the recommendation from a fellow language learner on Twitter, I decided to sign up for Babbel. While I completed Assimil French a number of years ago, since it has been so long, I just started over at the very beginning with Babbel. A refresher won’t hurt! I’m now about 15 lessons in. It’s still all review for me, but I’m enjoying it.
- Going against what I just wrote above about one resource (I know, I know), I pulled out my copy of Assimil French and copied out some lessons by hand. I’ve also listened to a number of the lessons.
- Doubly going against what I just wrote above, I signed up for LingQ and have been reading a bit of French there.
What I Want To Do In August
- My biggest goal for August is to complete “phase 1” of my work with Using German Vocabulary. The book is broken down into 3 levels, and phase 1 for me is to have entered all of the level 1 words into Anki. Now, at this point, a lot of these words are already known to me, but for completion’s sake, I wanted to add them all, just to make sure they’re learned and learned well. I believe I’m about 75% done adding the level 1 words, so wrapping up this stage in August should be easy.
- I want to make some serious headway in the German translation of Jurassic Park. Ideally I’d like to finish it this month, but I’m not sure if that will happen – so I’m going to set my goal at reaching the 50% mark. If I get further than that, great.
- I ordered the German version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Buffy – Im Bann der Dämonen). This should be arriving in a few weeks. My goal is to sort out how to watch it (I don’t own a region 2 DVD player!) and how to rip the German subtitle files from the discs. And, once I do those two things, the goal is to just plow through the series!
- Continue listening to podcasts a lot, chatting with friends, and making phone calls. Basically, just using the language a lot every day.
- Continue working with Die neue Gelbe (grammar book).
- Continue talking / chatting with German friends. Basically, just using the language daily as much as possible.
- As French is still my secondary target language, I mostly just want to continue with Babbel and reviewing Assimil lessons. For some concreteness: I’d like to finish the Beginner 1, 2, and 3 courses on Babbel, and review through Lesson 20 of Assimil.
- If I get super ambitious and have my German goals under control, I might pull out my copy of Using French (Assimil), but I doubt that will happen in August.
All of those things should keep me pretty busy. If I find some extra time (unlikely), maybe I’ll dig into some more stuff with French, or take a look at one of my other long neglected languages. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself! We’ll see where I’m at in another month.