A new year is rarely a blank slate, but I find it useful to make time to plan things out in January – though often life gets in the way during the year!
Writing on a new blog really feels like a fresh beginning, and sharing my goals makes me accountable and helps to work hard on achieving them.
I have a bit of an ambitious plan for language learning in 2017, as it will involve three languages.
It is the first time I take on the challenge to tackle more than a language at the time, and I am actually thrilled at the idea to experiment with this and even to make mistakes.
There are two factors to support my attempt:
1. I am going to deal with three separate language families, so the risk of confusing vocabulary and grammar structures is very low.
2. I am at a different level of knowledge for each language, so I am going to use different study methods.
So, here they are!
I started to pick up some Swedish in the second half of 2016, and for now, I am not in a huge rush to get fluent. For 2017 I aim at upper beginner level (A2). I want to get familiar with the everyday vocabulary and acquire a clear understanding of sentence structure and grammar fundamentals and to get basic conversational skills.
I am using a combination of apps to memorize words and I am focussing on elementary grammar to start building my first sentences. Depending on where I get by the middle of the year I might adapt my learning routine accordingly.
I studied French in middle and high school, and being quite similar to my native language (Italian) I still have a good understanding of both spoken and written language. My goal for the end of 2017 is to get to working proficiency (B2) and to bring my production skills to the same level as my comprehension skills. I am going to focus on properly assimilating grammar rules, spelling (all those accents!) and on expanding my vocabulary. To do so I am using texts and videos aimed at native speakers as a source material for writing and speaking.
I know Japanese at an advanced level, but since I passed N1 (the highest level) of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test I have been neglecting it, obviously getting a bit rusty.
My goal for 2017 is to polish it and feel confident once again about my Japanese skills. I found myself struggling with the pronunciation of some kanji characters I used to know well, so I am going to do a lot of intensive reading – approaching a text and looking up every word I am not sure about. I am then going to practice that vocabulary through the spaced repetition method to make it stick in my head again.
Also (and I am super excited about this!) I am going to test myself and create some learning resources for different language level. I figured it will be an alternative way for me to improve while producing some useful material for others to enjoy!
That’s all about language learning in 2017. It all sounds a bit overwhelming, but I’ll give it a go nonetheless. You never know how many things you learn by trying!