(True to my old CTL habits, I need to start with a weather report.)
Spring finally seemed to be here – March was colder than average, but the last few days, we finally got plus degrees during the day (and less than five minus degrees during the night, yay), and the patches where the snow has melted have been growing!
But today I woke up to the sound of snow ploughs driving up and down our street and new what to expect when I looked out the window. More snow! Yesterday I learned a new phrase in Russian, which already proved to be useful: снег уже надоел – I’m already tired of the snow.
In terms of language learning, March was a month of waking up again, and trying to figure out what I want to start working on now that I’m back on the game. I started with the bigger picture of my goals with Russian and Swedish, and now I feel ready to plan how I want to work towards them next month.
Learning Goals for April
I’m still a bit off course when it comes to habits and routines. One important way to try and fix that is to start tracking my study time again.
I identified some themes I want to focus on in Russian this year, and the one I’ll start with is describing things I’ve done and experiences I had.
Writing – I’ll try to write a bit every day. I’ll do diary entries of just a few sentences in my 5 year diary, and occasionally longer texts about things I’ve done/experiences I had.
Listening – I’ll start listening to the “Пять минут” (5 minutes) podcast from Proper Russian (Thanks Katherine from Street Russian for sharing ideas for Russian learning resources) and make it deliberate practice e.g. by writing down what I hear or key words. Besides that, I will keep listening to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in Russian.
Speaking – I’ll try to find the time for a meeting with my tandem partner, we had a long break but we both agreed it would be great to meet up again. I’ll also finally check out HelloTalk and see what comes out of that, perhaps I’ll find someone to chat to.
Reading – I don’t know!! I want to improve my reading but can’t think of where to start and haven’t had the energy to look up resources. Ideas are welcome!
I determined my goal for this year to be finding a reason to need advanced level Swedish.
A reason to need Swedish in April turned up sooner than I expected: at work, we have a new project starting soon, and related to that, I was asked to participate in a seminar in Stockholm the 12th of April.
A seminar. In Swedish. About the environmental impacts of road pavements.
I’ll mainly need to be listening and understanding, which wouldn’t be a problem, if it weren’t about a topic that I’m not an expert on in my own language. And then there’s going to be coffee breaks when I guess I should be able to at least exchange a few words with someone.
I’m thrilled and terrified at the same time.
Preparing for the seminar will pretty much determine my goals for Swedish in April. Here’s what I’ll do for the very least:
- Find some background reading about the topics of the seminar to help me familiarise with the special vocabulary, and the topic in itself.
- Ask someone at work to help me practice eg. giving some basic information about our company’s work related to the topic of the seminar, if possible
- I’ve been thinking of trying to find a tutor on italki again, so if I manage to find one soon enough, I might ask them help me prepare a bit, as well ask ask my tandem partner to help me if we manage to find some time to chat
At some point this year I think I’ll make an effort to revise a bit again, but for now, I’m taking a break from French.
I’m currently contemplating on the question, should I start learning a new language or not. A part of me is telling me I shouldn’t – I have my hands full with Russian and Swedish as it is – but another part of me has had this idea for such a long time, and so many little things have been telling me that now could be the right time (against all reasonable thinking).
And apparently there’s a new Add1Challenge enrolment opening next week…
What to do?
What about you? What are your April plans looking like?