Clear the List: December 2016 recap & new goals for January 2017

Italian Goals 2017 #clearthelist

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.

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

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.

A-ha moments

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Continue with Italian in Your Pocket – I’m nearly 50% completed.
  3. Make at least 4 YouTube videos in Italian (trying again!)
  4. Do a private Italian lesson on Italki once a week, focusing on developing everyday vocabulary.
  5. Post and respond to a daily prompt in Italian in my English-Italian Exchange group on Facebook.
  6. Participate in Lindsay Does Language’s #IGLC challenge (post a video a day in your target language on Instagram).
  7. 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!


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Ciao, I'm Kelly!

Welcome to my adventures in learning Italian, often while cooking authentic Italian recipes and wine tasting! I love discovering the traditional regional cuisine of Italy and trying to recreate those dishes when I'm back home in the US. I'm also on my way to becoming an Italian citizen through jure sanguinis (by ancestry).

WSET Level 2 Certified Wine Blogger


Join me for a virtual "aperitivo chat" to get exclusive updates on my Italian progress, dual citizenship journey, plus food & wine adventures in the Bel Paese and beyond!

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3 years ago

Great goals! I’m hoping one day down the road I’ll be able to pick up Italian but since I’m studying French I don’t want to have many romance languages going at once. But one day! 😊 good luck!

3 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

I do the same at times with French and Spanish! The other day I was doing some Duolingo and I had to translate what I heard and it said “Le gâteau est noir et rouge.” And I wrote automatically “The cat is black and red” because cat is gato in Spanish which sounds like gâteau 😂😂😂 Thank you so much! I can’t wait to follow your Italian journey as well! 😊 French is my first foreign language that is not native and I let it get rusty, it’s been 7 years since I studied it so I am starting from… Read more »


Hi Kelly, I am also participating in the clearthelist challenge. I am learning French myself and am interested to see how you’ll get on with French and Italian and keeping them seperate.

Bonne chance!

Alexandra Brosens
3 years ago

Watching your favourite TV shows in Italian with Italian subtitles or in English with Italian subtitles (I always read them) is a great way to improve a language. I know that Netflix has different subtitle options in Europe – maybe it has them in the US too? Good luck xxxx

Shannon Kennedy
3 years ago

Fantastic goals for your Italian studies, Kelly! I love the idea of working on recipes in Italian. The two go together so beautifully.

Lindsay Williams
3 years ago

Sounds like a really nice mix of resoruces you’re using! Good luck for your Italian in January! 🙂

3 years ago

Using authentic material is what keeps me motivated to learn languages too. Good luck with your Italian learning in January, Kelly!


[…] had a long list of Italian goals for the Clear the List challenge this January, BUT this is what happened in January: I studied (mostly) French. Sometimes you just can’t […]

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