Clear the List: July 2016

Hey guys! I hope everyone’s well and I hope, at least for some of you, that summer has well and truly arrived. It certainly hasn’t here. Of course, as usual, it’s that time of the month where I set out my goals for the next 28-31 days and take a look back at how the month before has gone. June was an… interesting one. 😉

Clear the List July 2016

So, first things first: a lot of things happened in June. I didn’t get anywhere near as much done as I’d hoped to, a combination of moving home (aka going to see everyone for the first time in five months, trips out and about, etc.); desperately searching for a job (aka getting rejected a LOT) and losing all motivation after the referendum stuff last week.

Still, I’m getting myself back together now – and I think I’m off to a good start – so I expect July to be much more fruitful than June was. I also spent a few days there thinking long and hard about this blog (not about shutting it down; I have no intention of doing that), about what I want it to be and where I want it to go in the future. I have lots of ideas, but I need to get around to implementing some of them.

But I will talk about that a little later; for now, let’s look at what I aimed for last month.

Language Goals

  • Study the language of the day for 20m/day. – I didn’t keep very good track, but though I know I didn’t manage this, I did get back into Spanish a little more again. So, yay!
  • Study Japanese for eight hours total. – Nope. I did a bit more work and I’m well into reviewing the lessons I’ve done already from the Easy Japanese book, but as you might have seen from my complete lack of updates, I’ve not been on it with the Japanese. I think I got a couple of hours in at least, though.
  • Read one chapter a day (German). – Oh, God. I read a few pages of a book on the flight back from Austria, but then I didn’t read anything in German (aside from the occasional tweet) for the rest of the month. I’d got a tiny buffer for the Super Challenge from May but I definitely blew through it.
  • Do one translation a day (German). – No, though I did do some work on organising my preliminary reading and I’m hoping to get stuck into this in July.
  • Write one text a week (German). – Nope. I wrote one text, period, and I haven’t done anything with it.
  • Hit my Super Challenge and New Year goals (German). – Yeahhhhhhhhhh, no.
  • Study more (Mandarin). – I still need to formally study. I still need to follow some kind of course. I literally don’t know enough to not do that; there are gaps in my knowledge that I need to work on. However, I’m having difficulty pinning a course down, so this didn’t get done.
  • Instagram (Mandarin). – I did a few of these, but it takes a lot more time than I thought – and I didn’t always have that time. However, I’ve already posted one, so I think I should get through a bunch in July.
  • Write (Mandarin). – Nope. Rolled over to this month.
  • Hit my Super Challenge and New Year goals (Mandarin). – Nope. Gotta work on this.
  • Study more (Spanish). – I may not have hit exactly what I wanted, but I have turned my Spanish up a little bit and I’m working with the Living Language Ultimate Spanish course now. I’m feeling pretty excited about it, so I’ll count this as accomplished.
  • Hit my Super Challenge and New Year goals (Spanish). – This one I will not count as accomplished. Oops.

Non-Language Goals

  • Workout. – I joined the gym! I don’t think I hit all my workout goals, but since I’m paying every month, I’ve been going pretty often (I just took a week off, but we’ll ignore that) and I’m starting to hit my stride again with it. It does help that the gym has wifi, so I get to watch YouTube videos as I run.
  • Write. – I did a good job on this, too! I got involved in both the #JuneWritingChallenge on Twitter and the Summer Writing Project on Jukepop Serials – and I wrote almost 33,000 words last month. I almost finished my story too, which was pretty awesome.
  • Get a job. – Uh, no. It’s driving me crazy, but no.

So, what does that mean for July?

Language Goals

  • Study the language of the day. – I’m not giving myself a time goal for this, but I am going to keep track of which days I study and how long I study for. Hopefully this will inform my decisions on this goal going forwards.

Japanese | 学习Sprachen

  • Study for 20 minutes a day. – Right now, that means reviewing lessons I’ve already done and getting the kanji and grammar to stick. It’s going okay, though I need to practise writing the kanji some more and drill the pronunciation. I also wrote a short text and put it on lang-8 today, so that’s some more good practice in.
  • Finish reviews. – These are my reviews of the lessons I covered in Easy Japanese. I think I managed to get through twelve before I realised I wasn’t really retaining the information. I also need to review as I go and I’m going to do a large review every five lessons, which will involve collecting the grammar together and working on texts and reading.

German | 学习Sprachen

  • Read one chapter a day. – I barely read anything last month and that’s not going to help me much come September; so I’m going to try and push myself to read one chapter of something a day. I’ve been reading YA books so the chapters are generally short, so this isn’t a goal that’s time-consuming, either.
  • Do one translation a day. – I’m hoping to do as much as possible; it may not end up being one a day, but I do hope I manage to do the translations more often than not. I also need to work on my preliminary reading for uni (I start in two months!), but I’m not having that as a goal here.
  • Write one text a week. – They don’t have to be long (long ones don’t tend to get many corrections on lang-8 anyway, in my experience), but I need to practise my writing.

Mandarin | 学习Sprachen

  • Post one HSK picture to instagram a day. – Hopefully I’ll do this; it’ll take me up to the 40-something HSK 1 character by the end of the month. I’m also planning a tie-in with this on the blog, so look out for that if you’re learning Mandarin, or might in the future.
  • Do two NPCR5 lessons. – I haven’t found a textbook or coursebook I particularly like for this level, but I’m used to the NPCR books so I’m going to go with this one for now. I want to get through two of the lessons in there this month.

Spanish | 学习Sprachen

  • Do ten Living Language lessons. – I did lesson three today. They’re not long and right now, I’m rehashing a lot of stuff I already knew, but I imagine it’ll build up as I get into them. Still, I’m hoping to get through ten lessons in this book by the end of July.

Super Challenge/New Year’s Goals

I’m hoping to read six books and watch six films for each language this month (300 pages/9 hours), with the priority being getting through the German stuff pretty fast and then working hard on the Mandarin. (Spanish sort of plods along anyway and will increase as my knowledge does.)

As for the New Year’s Goals: I’m not going to write a massive breakdown here, but suffice to say, I am working on it. I’ll keep track this month and let you know how it went at the end of July.

Okay, so there’s my goals. As for the blog, I will say this: there won’t be a Super Challenge post this month, as I did absolutely nothing that counted towards the challenge last month. So you’ll see that again in August. I want to bring back some of the series posts I was doing (think German readalong) and I want to put some new series in place, though some of them will be monthly posts.

I am also excited to say I’ll be going to the Open University’s LanguagesMK Show in Milton Keynes next Saturday (9th July)! I really can’t wait so if you’re going, come find me! I’ll be at some taster session or lecture most likely, but I’m not getting my coach back home until a few hours after it finishes, so I’ll be about for a bit. Can’t wait to try out some Polish, too. 😀

So yes, that’s it for this month’s Clear the List post. See you this time next month!

(And, as ever, if you fancy joining the Clear the List linkup, here are the rules:

Maximize Your Month

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 if you wish.

3. Follow the hosts: Esther from Local Adventurer, Lindsay from Lindsay Does LanguagesMariah from Food, Booze & Baggage, and Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

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.

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