Language Learning Goals for October 2017

This year, it was still snowing at the and of April and now the dark, rainy part of autumn rushed in the moment October began, and I found myself feeling as tired as I usually would in the darkest days of November. Oh well, to even that out, the autumn colours couldn’t be more beautiful than they are this year. Always look on the bright side.

(By the way, I spent a while looking for a word there, and finally accepted that it doesn’t seem to exist in English – the changing of colours of tree leaves in autumn is called “ruska” in Finnish. Is there a word for that in some other languages?)

This post is inspired by the Clear the list challenge hosted by Lindsay Williams from Lindsay does languagesShannon of EurolinguisteKris Broholm and Angel Pretot.

Clear The List

Review: September 2017

As I predicted, September wasn’t the best in terms of routines – quite understandably, as life was on the doorstep of a new phase. I graduated and didn’t yet know what would happen next. And there was the week-long trip to Iceland, which was obviously a break from all the routines.

My main goal for September was to learn some Swedish every day (except while in Iceland), and I pretty much managed that, until… The week after Iceland I got a job (!!!) and that started the last week of September. Well, you can guess – starting a new job means a lot of learning and new information. There wasn’t much energy left for anything else.

So all in all, there was only two weeks of efficient Swedish learning in September – but those weeks I’m quite happy with, mainly because there was more speaking involved than ever. I had a chat on Skype with my new tandem partner several times a week – just for ten to twenty minutes, but still, I already feel a lot more confident about speaking.

As for listening, which is usually the easy part – that has been suffering from the fact that I have too many alternatives and can’t seem to decide so I end up doing nothing. I’ve been listening to several podcasts, and choosing which podcast and which episode to listen to hasn’t worked out for me.

Writing I’d decided not to worry too much about – and I basically didn’t do any writing at all.

For reading, I had two books, a novel called Där vi en gång gått by Kjell Westö and the behavioural science (or “science”) book Omgiven av idioter by Thomas Eriksson. I actually put the former on a break and only read the latter. I didn’t get through the whole book, though. To be honest, the book was a disappointment, I didn’t find it interesting at all. It was full of annoying and stupid oversimplifications and generalisations. I had to return it to the library before I managed to get half-way through it and I couldn’t loan it again right away because there is such a long queue of reservations to the book… But I say good riddance. Boo.

For Russian, my goal was to have two tandem meetings, which I did, and start listening to audiobooks again, which I didn’t. And for French, I just said I’d keep reading my light airport novel – and I read just a bit, maybe once or twice.

I also sort of had the goal to write something on the blog between these Clear the list posts. And I did! I wrote about my impressions of the Icelandic language during my visit to Iceland.

So, not a month of amazing accomplishments, but it was ok. Now, as you could perhaps already tell, there are a few things I’ll do a bit differently this month.

Fil 8.10.2017 19.31.46

Learning Goals for October 2017

Because my new job is still new and a bit overwhelming, and I have a whole new routine to create as my weeks have now become a lot more regular that they have been during my student days, I’ll take it easy this month. I still aim for a bit of Swedish every day, but really just a little will do. I aim for 5-15 minutes every day.

I’ll focus on building habits, such as:

  • Listening during bus trips and when I go for a walk or jogging (another habit I’ll try to re-establish), and maybe sometimes when I tidy up or cook at home. I’ll go for an audiobook when I go jogging, and podcasts on the bus and at home. Produktivitetsbloggens podcast whenever there’s a new episode, and Respodden otherwise. There, now I won’t need to make the choice later.
  • Writing my diary. I have a five year diary and at times I’ve been writing in it every day, but this whole year I’ve struggled with that habit. Now, one more attempt.
  • Having a Skype with my tandem partner after work – we’ll see how often we manage to schedule this, but I’m hoping for a couple of times per week.
  • Reading… Hmm. I’ll go back to reading Där vi en gång gått, but I don’t know where and when I could stick to the habit of reading a bit. Reading just before bedtime doesn’t work for me, I’m always too tired in the evening. But I guess I’ll start carrying the book around with me and trying to find a place and time for that habit.

What’s really exciting is, I might also actually need my Swedish at work! I actually already had a task that involved reading some documents in Swedish. And Danish, mind you! Haha. Seriously, though. Apparently I can read Danish quite decently (as long as you don’t ask me to read it out loud!).

With Russian, I’ll try to have two tandem meetings again. And listen to some audiobooks the weeks I don’t have a meeting.

Aaaand I’ll read my novel in French if I feel like it.

And I’ll try to write at least one blog post before November’s clear the list.

There. My plans for October – slightly less ambitious but still moving forward. We’ll see, where these little steps will take me this month! I’m also preparing to take it even easier if I need to, as it gets darker and colder and I get more tired towards November… I’ve realised the secret of surviving the dark time of the year is to accept that I can’t manage the same amount of stuff, as less daylight means less energy.

And whenever there’s a ray of sunshine, one must truly enjoy it:

Fil 8.10.2017 19.36.02

 

8 thoughts on “Language Learning Goals for October 2017

  1. Congratulations on your graduation Tiia!!! I like the way you’ve taken into account the fact that October will be busy, sometimes life gets in the way. Great idea to focus on building habits at this time. I’m looking forward to seeing how you get on next month. Best of luck!

    Like

  2. Congrats on graduating and the new job! Still very jealous you went to Iceland too…
    With everything going on it sounds like you did really well to squeeze it in.
    Having to use your languages at work will be a good motivator. Doesn’t happen often to me but when an italian email is dropped on my desk to translate it is always exciting 😁
    Good luck this month and I look forward to seeing your blog post 👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

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