#Clearthelist – Language goals for April 2017

Now March has been a challenging one!
As I wrote last month I took an intensive course to become an Italian teacher at International House London – it is the Italian equivalent of CELTA.

They warned me that it would be intensive, but I didn’t have a moment for me over four weeks. It was a great experience, a good way to test myself and to be sure that teaching is what I want to do. I learned a lot and I feel prepared to be a teacher now, so it was definitely worth the effort.

Language goals for February 2017


How did I do last month?

As soon as the course started I knew I had very little time left for language studies. In the mornings and weekends, I had to work on course-related tasks, while on my commute I was mostly exhausted. Moreover, getting home at 10.30 every night didn’t help with the idea of watching movies in my target languages.

With Swedish it didn’t go too bad: not only I finished the deck 3 on Memrise, but I’m more than halfway through the deck 4. Yay! I did my reviews on Babbel (*), but I got only two new lessons done. Reading didn’t go that well: I underestimated the quantity of material I had to prepare for the course on the weekends and it turned out this was not doable.

I did listen to Swedish music and practised a tiny bit of writing and speaking.

I listened to some music in Japanese as well and unexpectedly had to play a little scene in Japanese in front of the class.

As for French, I took the chance to practice speaking at the language school.

Finally, I managed to publish a blog post per week despite being busy, so that’s something I’m happy about!

Goals for April

Life will slow down a bit in April, though I have some more things planned: a trip back home to Bologna, job hunting, and Lindsay‘s Online Teaching Starter Kit course. Exciting stuff coming my way this spring!


I’m satisfied with the Swedish learning routine I created, so in April I want to go back on track with it. The plan is:

  • Finish deck 4 on Memrise and start working on deck 5.
  • One Babbel (*) lesson per week + one Learningswedish.se lesson per week.
  • Two hours of Swedish music per week + two Swedish movies per month.
  • Practice those writing and speaking skills every week!

I want to consistently create blog content about Japanese language and culture, so in April I will write two posts, doing research on original language material as well.

Also, I will practice a bit of writing on my Instagram profile: check me out there too! I am beyond rusty with my Japanese writing and speaking, so it’s time to do something about it.


I want to watch two French movies in April, recommendations for good ones are more than welcome.

To practice reading, I am going to look for blogs about Japan. There’s nothing I can do about it, I always end up thinking about Japan!

April comes with sunny days, new perspectives and challenges: I can’t wait to dive into all of these adventures!

Disclaimer: some links in this post are affiliates, which means that if you buy something through them I get a small commission at no additional cost for you. Thank you for supporting Hitoritabi. 🙂

I’m Elena Gabrielli, introvert, grammar geek & proud Ravenclaw :)
I’m on a journey to help introverts and other quiet learners make language learning into a tool for self-care (and keep anxiety out of it).


  1. 4th April 2017 / 10:52 am

    Hey! Well done completing your teaching course! It sounded really intense!
    Will you talk a bit more about how the teaching course went with Lindsay? It sounds really interesting, and I might get into this myself as well, so I’d just like to know what your experiences were with the course. 🙂
    I’m really excited for your articles about Japan as well!
    Keep up the good work! All the best for April!

    • Elena
      4th April 2017 / 5:41 pm

      Hello! Thank you!
      Yes the course was 7 hours Monday to Friday for four weeks. We were teaching to a class everyday, so on top of course hours in presence we had to prepare lessons for our students. Plus we had an assignment to write. It was intense but otherwise I couldn’t have learned so much in a month!
      I will definitely talk about Lindsay’s course along the way. The first impression is great, lots of quality material and I’ve been a fan of her teaching style for a while now, so I decided to go for it.
      Thanks again and I wish you the best for April as well!

  2. 4th April 2017 / 10:55 am

    What’s your level in French? I can recommend you a lot of French movies (I’m French ^^). Also do you need subtitles?

    • Elena
      4th April 2017 / 5:43 pm

      Hello and thank you for the comment!
      I would say my overall level is intermediate, but I understand pretty much everything without subtitles – assuming there isn’t too much slang or idioms. I would love to get some recommendations!

  3. 5th April 2017 / 10:48 am

    try these movies:
    l’auberge espagnole
    je vais bien ne t’en fais pas
    jeux d’enfants
    le prénom
    les adoptés
    ne le dis à personne
    nous trois ou rien

    I got many more if you want. But these are among my favorite French movies.

    • Elena
      5th April 2017 / 1:20 pm

      Merci beaucoup! Now I have quite some material to start practicing French this month!

  4. 5th April 2017 / 2:27 pm

    I’m so impressed that you managed to fit some language learning and blogging around your course – I did the TEFL a few years ago and I know how time consuming it is! Well done and best of luck with your new teaching career 🙂

    • Elena
      5th April 2017 / 8:43 pm

      Grazie Katie! 🙂
      Fingers crossed and good luck with all of your goals too!

  5. 6th April 2017 / 11:24 am

    Yay! So excited to have you in Team OTSK! 😉 Looking forward to the group coaching calls starting next week and hope it doesn’t get in the way of your language learning too much! ;P

    • Elena
      9th April 2017 / 10:28 am

      Thank you Lindsay! Looking forward to the first call, I’m so excited about starting this new adventure! 🙂

  6. 6th April 2017 / 3:20 pm

    You are doing great. Sometimes, it’s necessary to slow down our language learning process, because of other things that have a higher priority, but fortunately, we can still make some progress.

    Keep writing about the Japanese culture. I really enjoyed the posts you wrote earlier and I can’t wait to read more! And I hope you will pass your teaching exams and good luck with your language learning goals of this month.

    • Elena
      9th April 2017 / 10:31 am

      Thank you Kamila! It’s good be reminded of that sometimes, I tend to start too many activities at once.

      I have some ideas for posts about Japan, now that I have more time I’ll work on it. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed them! And thank you again for the supporting words, good luck for your goals as well!

  7. 7th April 2017 / 1:19 am

    I’d love to know more about the course you took to become an Italian teacher.
    I’m glad it was a great experience.

    All the best for your teaching career! I’m so happy we found each other, so we can swap ideas and enjoy this journey together 🙂

    • Elena
      9th April 2017 / 10:33 am

      I plan on writing a post about it later on, but if you want more details feel free to drop me a mail anytime.
      Thank you for your support, it would be great to collaborate somehow in the close future. The best thing about the online language community is meeting so many like minded and inspiring people! 🙂

  8. 14th April 2017 / 11:10 pm

    Congrats on finishing your course! Wishing you much success with your goals in April.

    • Elena
      15th April 2017 / 2:33 pm

      Thank you Shannon!

  9. 17th April 2017 / 3:04 pm

    Hi Elena
    Wow! awesome list of goals, where do you find the time for all these languages? You much be a master at time management!

    Regarding French movies, I have a goal of watching French movies with my wife and I always share the movies we watched on my #clearthelist post at the end of the month. We generally go for funny movies. The last two we watched were Supercondriaque and Un indien dans la ville.
    I also have a French movies pinterest board – although I confess that I should be taking care of it better.
    it’s here –> https://www.pinterest.com/frenchloverorg/french-movies-series/
    Hope you find something you like in there.

    Good luck with y our goals in the end of April. Keep up the good language learning!

    • Elena
      18th April 2017 / 10:20 am

      Hello Angel!
      I’m not super good at that actually, I’m just trying to plan and to adjust things from month to month, to see what worked and what didn’t.
      Thank you for the movies recommendations, it’s always good to have some funny titles on the list so I’ll keep an eye on what you and your wife watch. Also I’ll go and check out your Pinterest now! 🙂
      Good luck for your goals in April!