Capitalising on post-IATEFL momentum and motivation, I’ve decided it’s time to renew my language learning goals – and practice what I preach! I’m always telling learners, ‘it doesn’t matter if you’re busy, even ten minutes a day is better than nothing’ and encouraging them to maintain motivation. Meanwhile, what about me? Well, it could be worse, I suppose…
- I DO write my diary in Italian (nearly) every day (I missed a couple of days while at IATEFL, for example!). My reading is slightly more sporadic – at the moment I’m listening and reading along with Per dieci minuti written and read aloud by Chiara Gamberale. It generally happens while I am having a bath in the evening but sometimes I am just too tired! (I’m also in the middle of a translation of the third book in Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy. But I haven’t dipped into that since I got back home from my most recent trip to Sicily, at Easter!)
- I also have a stack of magazines that I don’t dip into as often as I should (read: erm, when was the last time I did so?!)
- I’m reading in German a few times a week at the moment too, am quite enjoying the book I am in the middle of. It’s about horses and aimed at young teenagers (!) – good fun. 😉
- I’m also in the middle of a book in French (Au Bonheur des Dames by Emile Zola) but it’s been a while since I dipped into that properly – though I did read about one page recently!
It’s Polish that’s the real problem. I decided I was going to learn Polish in late May last year. Suffice to say, it wound up on the back burner. However, last night, for the first time in ages, riding the wave of post-IATEFL motivation, I dug out my ‘Harry Potter 1 in Polish’ audiobook and listened a bit, just enjoying the sounds and rhythm. (I had want to listen and read along but I’ve got to work out where my e-book of it is stored, was unable to find it quickly enough…) I still want to learn Polish. However, it doesn’t end there. I’ve also got a little bee in my bonnet telling me to try another project: Project “see how much Spanish I can pick up purely through using graded readers”. Unlike Polish, Spanish graded readers are fairly easy to come by – including those with audio discs, which are the sort I would go for. I think it would be an interesting experiment!
Using the theory I’ve used on my learners, I am going to communicate my learning goals to you lot who read this blog in the hopes that it motivates me to achieve more than I would have otherwise. Even if I don’t always manage to meet my self-inflicted contractual obligations, it will hopefully still be more than I would have achieved if I hadn’t made them in the first place.
Lizzie’s Learning Contract
I solemnly do declare that I will (attempt to) do the following this week:
- read and/or listen to something in Italian
- read and/or listen to something in French
- read and/or listen to something in German
- use my 1000 first words in Polish
- “read”/”listen to” Harry Potter in Polish
- use Memrise and/or Quizlet for Polish
- use my Polish for Dummies book
- use graded readers in Spanish
Signed: Lizzie Pinard
That’s all! It’s not a huge ask. The first three are very vague, but that’s fine – it means they encompass any kind of input I wish to use (books, audiobooks, magazines, radio, tv etc) As as sub-goal, I will aim to vary it if I can…
Let’s see how it goes. There will be updates at various possibly semi-regular intervals!
Is anybody else trying to learn a new language at the moment? How are you going about it? Is it working?! 🙂