At the end of 2019, I set some (pretty lofty) language learning goals for myself. I documented them in a pinned tweet on Twitter so I can keep myself accountable. It’s been a tough year so far (understatement), but it’s good to check in with myself as we’re almost a quarter of the way through 2020.
Here are my original goals for my 12 focus languages:
But first, a change in study schedules
I was planning on taking the TOPIK exam in April, but it got postponed twice, and now it’ll be in June. This throws off my study plan quite a bit. The aim was to focus on Korean until the TOPIK is over and then deep dive into other languages. I even created a solid grammar study schedule for Korean to allow me time to go through a textbook and still have enough time left to review stuff before the exam, but now I feel like laziness has kicked in because the deadline has been extended. I’m also mentally exhausted from Korean, so I’ve taken a slight pause and started playing around more with Vietnamese, Tagalog, Hungarian and Cantonese (?!).
A good thing: lots of audio immersion
Netflix has been super fun for me. I watched a French series and watched two Filipino movies. Not that this counts as active studying, but it’s always good to get a lot of immersion in via audio when learning.
So how is it tracking?
Goal: Reach level 4 in the TOPIK II exam
Progress: The exam got postponed by 2 months, so we’ll see. I did set up a pretty robust study plan, so it’s looking OK so far. You can see how I study vocabulary for the test here.
Goal: Take JLPT N2 in December
Progress: It’s not December yet, but I don’t think I’ll take the exam this year. Realistically speaking there’s no way I can reach N2 without having started studying much earlier. The jump between N3 is and N2 is quite large. I don’t need a Japanese certification for work, and generally I only use language exams as study motivation, so I feel OK to change/remove this goal for now.
Goal: My goal was to get comfy speaking again & read more.
Progress: Definitely feeling comfy and I have been speaking more French to a French friend who lives in Singapore. I have, however, been watching more shows than reading articles though. I made one video in French to refresh my speaking muscles a bit, though.
Goal: Be able to help myself get around in Mexico, reach B2.
Progress: Hmm, I don’t know if I am still going to go to Mexico this year anymore, but I’m more comfortable speaking slowly, and listening to podcasts in Spanish. My vocabulary and grammar sucks though but fear of speaking is not a problem. I made a video with Pablo from Dreaming Spanish recently and it was great practice as I was forced to use only Spanish!
Goal: Have a 30min convo in Vietnamese.
Progress: I can probably do this if I talk about extremely basic stuff, but still working towards this goal! Does chatting to a Vietnamese architect on Tinder count? I managed to keep the convo going in Vietnamese for a while but once it got to technical design terms I got stuck. I am really lacking in vocabulary. I have a friend who’s been helping me with grammar, so now I just need to put effort into remembering the structures. Slow progress.
Goal: Set a really lofty goal of reaching B1 in Hungarian.
Progress: No progress yet apart from refreshing old notes and working a bit in my Hungarian textbook. Very disappointed with myself to be honest!
Goal: Learn to read and write, reach A1.
Progress: Absolutely did not do ANYTHING towards this goal at all. Oof. waiting for TOPIK to be over until I start tackling Burmese writing system.
Goal: 30min convo in Bahasa without English.
Progress: Uh, I spoke to someone for like 5 minutes. There is still time until the year is over, so I’m hopeful.
Goal: Refresh reading & writing, reach A2.
Progress: Played around with some resources, refreshed my reading and writing, but nothing solid yet. It’s difficult finding resources for Emirati Arabic. I don’t want to get confused with MSA pronunciation and sound like a robot or a textbook, and I want to make sure I leverage the base I have in Arabic when I learnt it at school living in the UAE.
Goal: Learn to A1 level, be comfortable speaking with colleague.
Progress: I am quite surprised that I actually did start learning! Watched a movie and learnt a lot of new phrases, but can’t speak yet. Absolutely in love with the handsome Filipino actor Marco Gumabao, so watching his interviews online has given me good listening practice.
Goal: Read/write devanagari, reach A1.
Progress: this did not happen. Will it happen? Stay tuned. Lindie is doubtful.
Thanks for reading! I’ll make another update in the middle of the year. How is it going with your language goals? Leave a comment!