You may remember the one month update coming from three different language learners about a month ago. All three are back and ready to let us know how things are progressing at the month two point. This discusses an issue that we all have to deal with – life getting in the way of our language learning projects. What do we do when this happens?
To see our three learners perspectives, I'll let the Add 1 Challenge organizer Brian take over once again:
When the initial excitement wears off after you take on a new language or after you start a new language learning program/book on your own, what usually happens?
Distractions, travels, unexpected events, boyfriends/girlfriends, work, school, family, it may even seem like “life”, is on a mission to ruin your language learning plans and preventing you from finishing what you started.
This is when thoughts like, “Let's put language learning on hold.” or “I will get back to it next week.” show up and where most people quit.
Will learning in a community collaboratively in the Add1Challenge magically solve all this for you?
Of course not, but it will be a place where you can practice dusting yourself off and getting back up on the language learning wagon with the support of other language learners who are going through the same journey.
Since the last update 30 days ago, let's see how Emily, Kenneth and Kevin dealt with “life” in the past 30 days of the Add1Challenge!
My name is Emily Corral and here is my Day 60 Add1Challenge Update: Studying Spanish went great for the first 30 days, but then life happened.
Coming back from vacation meant catching up on emails, work, etc. I was so busy; I didn’t practice Spanish for a week and a half! If it weren’t for the Add1Challenge, I would have completely placed language learning on hold. Luckily, I had accountability partners to keep me on track 🙂
I realized I needed to become more creative with my time. So I adjusted my goal from studying 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week to studying 60 minutes a day, 2.5 days a week. Tailoring my study plan to fit my changing schedule made all the difference. I now have a much more attainable goal.
My favorite resource over the past 30 days has been a podcast called Show Time Spanish. I enjoy listening to Show Time Spanish because I can multitask while the podcast runs in the background. If there is an interesting phrase or section, I am able to write it down and come back to it later. I’ve learned many interesting phrases this way!
Another way I’ve found to sneak in language learning is to download apps on my phone. When I’m stuck waiting somewhere, such as on an airplane, I take out my phone and play fun Spanish games. One of my favorite apps is Mindsnacks Spanish. Some days it helps to learn like a little kid 🙂
In the next 30 days, I hope to continue my language learning progress. I plan on incorporating fun activities to keep me interested, such as reading Harry Potter in Spanish!
I’ll keep you updated! See you on Day 90!
Hi! I am Kenneth.
When I first moved in with my current housemates, one of them, Damien, was fluent in French and Spanish, had basic Welsh and was learning Russian.
I would get home and he would be listening to Spanish music, when I was watching TV he would be watching Russian cartoons on the iPad, and when we got drunk he would ‘forget his English’ despite it being his mother tongue. It sometimes annoyed me and I would make fun of him but he always told me how proud he was that he could speak and understand these languages.
I began my Romanian challenge 60 days ago, and I have found myself listening to Romanian radio at work, watching cartoons at home, and reading news stories on the train; all that annoyed me previously, I am now doing myself! I have also found myself talking to Damien about the language learning process and finding similarities between Romanian and the languages he speaks, I come to him with some of my problems and look forward to telling him about my success and the new resources I have found.
This is also the same community the Add1Challenge provides, I may be the only member learning Romanian at the moment, yet any problems I have, they band together to help and advise, any achievements I make (big or small) they cheer me on, likewise I feel motivated in myself seeing others successes and helping them through troubles.
Friends and family will always be supportive, but another language learner will understand what you are going through.
Fluent in 3 Months and its forums has created such an environment, and the Add1Challenge take us even further by putting us in the same boat from the beginning, in our smaller groups I am making friends and talking to fellow learners who are striving for the same goal in 90 days.
I had begun to feel myself reaching a plateau in this second stage of the challenge, feeling complacent that I could understand enough, even though I couldn’t speak properly yet. Without this community spirit, the plateau would have hit me hard, but the excitements and shared resources within the group keep us all going. Brian shared Bliu Bliu, such a simple concept yet I want to check it more and more each day. I have also just begun using Memrise along side one of the books that had been gathering dust.
Taking each “Yay” (day) at a time, I have fought through obstacles, come through (what I think was a) plateau, and entering the final stage before our 15 minute conversations on day 90. I need to shake my routine up a little, keep it fresh and have fun. I have made great use of Anki (for iPhone, for Android, and for everyone else), iTalki and BliuBliu, and now I will begin using Memrise to work my five minutes of talking into a real conversation learning grammar rules and creating sentences!
Talking of community spirit, please feel free to follow me on Memrise and my own blog at www.thesilentharp.co.uk and remember, whatever your language objectives or resources, be a part of the community and above all, have fun!
My name is Kevin and since the last post, I'm pleased to report that I have been maintaining a daily language learning routine. It hasn't been easy, but I believe the key to success when learning a language and in the Add1Challenge is maintaini
We all know that eating a healthy breakfast sets us up for the rest of the day; so for me every day begins with a thirty minute “Memrise breakfast”.
It's good because on the days where I don't feel I've made so much progress, seeing that dashboard notch up a few more items grown dispells my doubts and reminds me that yes, I am actually making progress. As the day unfurls, no matter what anti-language learning forces push against me; the nutrients of my “Memrise breakfast” release themselves through occasional pockets of downtime.
For example, the other day, Memrise taught me によると and throughout the day, whenever I found myself put on hold in a telephone queue, rather than sit there listening to the cheesy music, I played a little game of seeing how many sentences usingによると、I could make before my call was taken. My record was 23 sentences whilst waiting to speak to someone at the electricity company!
Since I will be moving to Japan soon (YAY), I've been putting my belongings into storage. One of my friends had recently moved house and said they could empathise with my pain. It was then that I realised,
Wow, I'm moving country, I'm renting my apartment out, I'm starting a new job, I'm starting the final module in a masters degree and I'm also doing a language challenge, I'm still managing to do regular memrise breakfasts, italki sessions around lunchtime and occasional evening dinner with Japanese natives at meetups or via Skype.
Sometimes feels like I'm in the eye of a storm; with so many things whirling around wanting to sweep me off my feet and into a language learning void. But that's the thing, the sweetest thing of all: doing these language challenges teaches you how to avoid getting swept off your feet; how to avoid getting distracted, demotivated, stressed, pushed and pulled by all the immense forces conspiring against you learning a language.
This is the power of participating in the Add1Challenge; I'm no longer making excuses as to why I haven't been learning Japanese; in all honesty, I don't even contemplate not fitting in an hour of Japanese into my day. I feel like the Add1Challenge gives me the power to be an effective Memrise farmer on the verge of harvesting my crop! See you in 30 days!
Accountability partners, “taking each ‘yay' at a time” refers to completing a day's learning goal and “checking in” in the Add1 Accountability Spreadsheet, seeing other language learners' progress and being able to help others, learning how to dust yourself off after a fall with a community of language learners who've got your back are just some of elements that the Add1Challenge can support you to stay in the game.
Add1Challenge can make things easier and more fun, but ultimately, you still need to show up for practice, get yourself on the court and play your heart out if you want to get breakthrough results, because at the end of the day, no one can do that for you.
So if you like to join the Add1Challenge team to support you to finally make progress in speaking the language that you've always wanted to speak, you can sign up here and you will be notified once we open up for applications.
And finally... One of the best ways to learn a new language is with podcasts. Read more about how to use podcasts to learn a language.