Month in Review- January 2021

Whoa, the first month of 2021 is already over! I haven’t done one of these “Month in Review” posts in a while. I don’t always have to look back or analyze how my month went, but it is nice sometimes to be able to visualize some progress.

In general: I have taken advantage of more language content on youtube this month! I also feel like I had more free time in January. It’s always a bit of a quieter month after the holidays, and I tend to relax at home more with my out-of-season Christmas tree.

French: I found a few language learning discord communities online, and I’ve tried to do some text-chatting in French for practice. It’s okay? I’m not sure if they have the right vibe for me, but it’s at least good language output practice. I also went through a bunch of French podcasts that I’ve had on my list to check out. I’ll have to make a post about podcasts at some point, but in the meantime there is a “Lang Podcasts” Story that is saved on my instagram if you need some suggestions. I’ve also tried a few new French tv shows on Netflix (Au service de la France, Lupin).

Spanish: I did finish “Short Stories in Spanish” by Olly Richards! I had already read it in Italian, so the stories were familiar. They were a little below my level for Spanish…I bought the beginner book, not realizing there was also an intermediate level.

Italian: I read more in Olly’s intermediate “Short Stories in Italian”, but I haven’t finished it yet. I’ve worked more in my Italian textbook this month, and focused on grammar. I’ve also kept up with my short Italian podcasts.

Chinese: My Chinese learning has definitely changed and improved this month. I started reading a manga story in the MangaToons app. I definitely don’t pass the “5 finger” rule- where you put down a finger when you don’t understand a word, and if you reach 5 fingers, you need to read at a lower reading level. But, I don’t mind struggling through it- it’s honestly pretty fun to be checking characters in the dictionary, as I slowly read down the page. I picked a story that is action based, thinking that it would be simple vocabulary and easy context clues with the illustrations. And so far, that has been the case, with a martial arts sequence, some discussion about an important family in town, and talk of the weather & upcoming season in the kingdom. I’m still using Drops & Lingodeer on and off. I didn’t touch my New Practice Reader textbook this month, but I’m still using that as well. I also took some simple online quizzes to test my character knowledge, and I’m familiar with between 300-400 characters. Which is what they suggest you know to pass the HSK1 exam, so I’m hopeful that goes well when I eventually take it!

Polish: I watched some youtube & read some internet articles on grammar this month. It’s coming along as I expect, and I’m enjoying what I’m learning.

Icelandic: I watched some youtube & read some internet articles on grammar this month. I also found some new Icelandic learners on instagram, and some new Icelandic blogs. It’s coming along as I expect, and I’m enjoying what I’m learning.

ASL: I didn’t reach my goals this month, but I’m trying to schedule in the time for the upcoming month. I did watch some ASL tik tok videos, but I don’t think I engaged with them enough to count that as learning. It counts as exposure to the language, sure, but not actual practice when I just watch and swipe on by.

German: I picked my old notes back up from when I learned basic travel German in 2017. So I’m back in the groove trying to memorize some basics- numbers, colors, days of the week, “I am” statements, etc. I’ve also been watching some Easy German and Learn German with Anya videos on youtube, to start wrapping my head around listening to the language. I borrowed some materials from the library, but I haven’t played with them yet.

Japanese: I’ve looked into a lot of beginner learning materials, but haven’t engaged with much yet. I’ve watched videos and reading articles about learning Japanese , and I’ve learned some really cool facts! I also started watching a Japanese anime show called “Haikyuu!!” (yes, I’m obsessed with it now), and I keep picking up interesting things in Japanese, but related to my Chinese knowledge! I’m not sure how much my Chinese will ultimately help me learn Japanese, but it’s really cool when things happen like that. I’ve also been practicing “I am” statements, and I looked up online resources for numbers/colors/basics to learn from.

*Phew* okay so that’s my January month in review. Here’s a quick list of what I’d like to see in the upcoming month (February!) for my language learning.

  • French- watch more French tv shows/movies on Netflix, as well as My French Film Festival. Start reading “Gigi” by Colette.
  • Spanish- Pick a novel/short story to read, watch more youtube
  • Italian- Short Stories in Italian, Textbook
  • Chinese- I ordered a graded reader in Mandarin, so I’m going to start reading that. I also want to create more of a written-out study plan to prepare for when I take the HSK1 test in the spring.
  • Polish/Icelandic- Textbooks, youtube, online engagement
  • ASL- I’d like to hit 2 practice sessions this month, whatever kind of learning that might be.
  • German- Continue learning the basics, maybe play around with Memrise, maybe decide on a textbook I’d like to buy? Or am I fine without buying one for a while? There really is so much learning content available on the internet for German.
  • Japanese- Continue learning the basics, maybe play around with Memrise/Lingodeer/other apps. I will definitely need to buy a textbook to work with, and I’d also like to find a Kanji practice book for learning to write the characters.

がんばろう!Ganbarou! 君なら出来るよ! Kimi nara dekiruyo! xx

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