I love a good challenge! So that’s why I’m participating in my second Clear the List Challenge hosted by Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages, Shannon from Eurolinguiste, Kris from Actual Fluency and Angel from French Lover.
December 2016 Recap
My goal this December was to study Italian 30 minutes a day to make it a part of my daily routine.
I planned to use some of the resources that I already had, like the Italian in Your Pocket Course for listening & speaking, as well as ITALIAN in 10 minutes a day, and Easy Italian Reader for readying & writing.
I also find it very motivating to use Italian to create my own content on my YouTube channel, and I had wanted to make at least 4 videos in Italian.
Did I succeed? Some days I wasn’t able to focus on learning Italian at all because I barely had enough time to complete urgent tasks. I didn’t get to check everything off my list, but I do think my Italian improved in terms of my vocabulary and speaking ability.
Even though 30 minutes a day sounds like a humble goal, it was challenging for me because it was the end of the semester (I teach college writing = lots of essay grading) and also the holiday season. Some days I needed to focus on other more urgent tasks (like grading essays so that I could submit final grades on time) that unfortunately, I wasn’t able to squeeze in Italian.
As far as YouTube goes, filming & editing videos was a lot more time-consuming than I had expected, and the internet is quite slow at my house (nearly 2 hours to upload a 2 minute video). I’m getting the hang of it though.
In past challenges that I’ve successfully completed, like NaNoWriMo and the Whole30, I had an accountability partner (hi mom!). I also used a graph to chart my progress and placed it on the fridge so I saw it all the time (I’m such a visual person and it helps me to SEE the progress I’m making). I am going to bring these two elements into my language learning in January.
I have never been good at making and keeping a schedule because I run on inspired action, rather than planned action. And so, I spontaneously found myself taking an Italian AND French lesson on Italki. I started teaching English on Italki, so I decided to put myself in the shoes of a learner and take a few lessons myself.
I found an Italian teacher that I like who also speaks French (my first foreign language). Even though I think my Italian is beginning to surpass my French, there are still moments when only the French word comes to my mind. So when I wanted to say “nobody” the only thing that came to mind was “personne.” I was able to ask my teacher how to say it in Italian (nessuno), which was very cool.
I was inspired by others participating in Clear the List who are learning multiple languages simultaneously. After a 7+ year hiatus from French, I wanted to see if I could even speak it at all, and scheduled an Italki lesson. To my surprise, my French was still there! Not great, but enough to have a conversation. At one point though, I said “tre cent” and my French teacher was like, “tre???” Oh, right. Trois. In a way I was happy that Italian is really at the forefront of my mind.
January 2017 Italian Goals
I am going to keep pretty much the same goal as December: study Italian at least 30 minutes a day, but this time give myself stickers on a calendar for each day to track my progress (yep, those visuals still motivate me, lol).
As for materials, I am going to make the following modifications:
- Bring in more authentic materials – listen to Italian music in the car, watch vlogs on YouTube in Italian, make Italian recipes, etc. so I’m really getting a lot of input.
- Continue with Italian in Your Pocket – I’m nearly 50% completed.
- Make at least 4 YouTube videos in Italian (trying again!)
- Do a private Italian lesson on Italki once a week, focusing on developing everyday vocabulary.
- Post and respond to a daily prompt in Italian in my English-Italian Exchange group on Facebook.
- Participate in Lindsay Does Language’s #IGLC challenge (post a video a day in your target language on Instagram).
- Bonus: Even though I’m not actively studying French, I’d still like to have at least one conversation on Italki this month.
Are you an English-speaker learning Italian or an Italian-speaker learning English? Join us in my English – Italian Exchange Facebook group!