My 2020 Language Goals

my 2020 language goals

Last week I shared a rather ambitious project I plan to see through 2020, but those goals didn’t include the languages I’m already studying. So, this post—my final one of 2019—is me laying out my plans for the next year; hopefully I’ll see them all through!

Since last year I didn’t really make concrete goals, I’m going to go by CEFR levels (or an equivalent) this year. Now, of course, these aren’t great for everyone but they are measurable, which is the important thing.


I’ve been learning German for a long, long time and it’s only in the past year or so that I’ve started saying ‘yes’ when people have asked me if I’m fluent in it. That still sometimes feels like I’m lying but I’m not; I can handle most situations that crop up, though I know I still have a lot to work on.

This year, I’d like to reach a C2 level on the CEFR scale. 

At this point, this means consuming a lot of native media, having more conversations, and working on my weaker skills: grammar points I can’t quite nail down and writing are two things that instantly come to mind.

So, some smaller objectives:

  • Read at least 12 novels in German.
    • In addition to any other reading I do; I want to read 12 titled books. Ones I’ve started in 2019 still count because I’m not a great way into any of them!
  • Write 50,000 words total.
    • 4,167 words/month or 137 words/day. Doable.
  • Attend one language exchange per month.
  • Record 50 hours of speech total.
    • This and the writing goal are for 2020’s Output Challenge. 50 hours is 250mins/4.17 hours/month or just over eight mins/day.

At the end of the year, I’ll sit a C2 practice paper (or maybe I’ll pay for the exam, but it’s expensive) and see how I do. I’ll probably try a Dialang test as well.


2020 marks the tenth year since I started studying Mandarin at university, and considering the incredible levels some people seem to get to so quickly, I want to step up my game. Not that I’m comparing myself to anyone as such, but it’d be nice to take a trip back to China the year after next and I want to feel comfortable travelling around.

This year, I’d like to pass the HSK 6.

Don’t get me wrong, this goal is lofty as hell. I could definitely pass the HSK 3 and I think I’d manage the HSK 4 but there’s a big leap from 4 to 6 and I’m gonna try and do it in one year. And by try and do it, I mean I’ll sit an exam either in December 2020 or very early 2021 (depending on when I can do it where).

Also, I benefitted greatly from the fact that I chose Mandarin as my 365-day challenge language this year, but I’m not doing that in 2020 so I’ve got to try and keep up the momentum!

Smaller objectives:

  • Work through NPCR 4-6.
    • These are the textbooks I have copies of, so these are my starting point. I’m hoping to get through these in the first few months of 2020.
  • Practise reading.
    • Reading is my biggest hurdle when it comes to Mandarin, and it’s the thing that’s holding back my progress the most. I’m going to use Readlang especially here to improve this skill as much as possible.
  • Attend one language exchange per month.
    • Some overlap with German here, of course—I’m hoping to attend some large, multilingual exchanges and then individual ones when time allows.
  • Complete half of the 2020/2021 Super Challenge by the end of 2020.
    • That’s 50 ‘films’ (75 hours) and 50 ‘books’ (2,500 pages) between May and December.


Oh my God, I need to work on this more consistently. I’m planning a short trip to Madrid in May, so there’s a much shorter deadline here (and I’m excited; Madrid is amazing!) to be able to get around comfortably with someone who doesn’t speak Spanish.

This year, I’d like to reach a B2 level on the CEFR scale.

This means I have to actively study—and make sure I’m remembering what I’m learning—as well as begin to consume native media.

Smaller objectives:

  • Complete Living Language Ultimate Spanish.
    • Ideally, have this done by the end of March 2020. Before I go on holiday at the latest.
  • Read two novels in Spanish.
  • Have fun in Madrid!

I’ll do the Dialang tests at the end of the year to see how much I’ve progressed and, based on that, might consider taking the DELE in 2021.


Korean was sort of on my list all year—and I did study it off and on—but I never put any real time or effort in, so it kind of ended up falling aside.

Time for things to change!

This year, I’d like to reach the TOPIK I Level 2/TOPIK II Level 3 stage.

These seem to be the equivalent to A2/B1 level (I was going for just level 3, but A0 to B1 in a year, while achievable, seems a lot of pressure for me to put on myself with all the other languages I want to spend time on), which should give me a good foundation to build on.

Smaller objectives:

  • Complete Living Language Korean.
  • Complete Assimil or Pimsleur Korean.

After I finish with the basics there, I’ll add in some extra things to do—and hopefully, will be in a position to take the TOPIK I or II in November 2020!

Scottish Gaelic

This isn’t just my first language of my 20 Endangered Languages in 2020 project; it’s also the language I want to add to my permanent roster this year.

This year, I’d like to reach an A2 level on the CEFR scale.

It’s difficult to test this as Scottish Gaelic doesn’t seem to have been mapped to CEFR yet; but, there are National 5 papers available which seem to be an equivalent for other languages, so it’s safe to say I can use them here.

Smaller objectives:

  • Complete Teach Yourself Scottish Gaelic.
  • Complete the Scottish Gaelic Duolingo tree.

Aaand, like with Korean, I’ll find some other things to do once I’ve managed both of those!

Whew, that’s a lot—but I’m excited to get going! Only four hours until 2020 here! What are your language learning goals for next year?

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