Introducing: #BiLingoBoxes

At Language Learners Journal we believe in a mindful approach to language learning. This means using more tangible products in addition to online resources.

We are delighted to announce our Crowdfunding campaign for #BiLingoBoxes. It is supported by NatWest’s ‘Back her Business‘. We have been working closing with top publishing companies and stationery suppliers to be able to offer premium quality materials.

We will be officially launching this campaign on the 16th December, but we wanted to share the news with you, our dedicated subscribers as the first edition boxes are limited!

Dutch in 100 Days: Top Tips for New Learners

Hoi! Back in September 2019, I started learning Dutch.

For this 100 day language project I wanted to demonstrate that…

  • There is no secret ingredient to learning a language. You really can make good progress in 15-30 minutes of daily consistent study over a 100 day period.
  • I wanted to prove that you don’t need to move to a country to learn the language!
  • Finally, I wanted to demonstrates that you can learn a language independently and without breaking the piggy bank.

The Goal: To learn to speak and read in Dutch to a minimum of A2/B1 cusp level within 100 days. I wanted to be able to have basic conversations in Dutch – and make sense of the menus!

Getting offline I hosted my very first Duolingo Dutch meetup in my local community.

Progress so Far…

It has been a heck of a journey and no plain sailing! Just as I thought I was making progress something would knock me off track! However, I persevered and enjoyed the process as well as having my eye on the final goal. Being part of the very supportive Parleremo Community really helped me.

I recently did an online Dutch proficiency test that has now put my level at A2. I have had conversations in Dutch and now have no problems reading menus in Dutch. I’ve also learned a little about the history and culture and the close connections between the Netherlands/Belgium and England. I have made new friends who are Dutch. This month I also became a Volunteer Duolingo Ambassador and now host free Dutch Meetups in my local community.

Top Tips for Dutch Learners

1. Struggling with grammar? Familiar with Star Wars? Speak like yoda!

2. Struggling with some Dutch Pronunciation? Put on a Scottish Accent! The Dutch ‘G’ can be a hard sound to pronounce for native English speakers. However ‘CH’ in ‘Loch’ is a similar sound and great practice. Other words such as the Dutch word for Brown can also be hard to pronounce, but try saying it in a Scottish accent (Bruin)

3. The Input Method! Watch Dutch TV with subtitles and listen to Dutch Redio stations. Parleremo has a huge collection of radio stations in over 30 different languages. Don’t worry if you you are not understanding everything you can hear. Become familiar with the accents and patterns of the language.

4. Less is more approach. Have a daily focused goal and working towards that goal for as little as 15 to 30 minutes a day over a consistant period can really help with achieveing over all fluency goals.

5. Practice makes Permanent! It may seem morning to repeat same materials, but in doing so you are building those memory muccles.

Goals for This Month…

Complete the 100 Day Dutch Project, then I am taking a break for Christmas! In January, I will be continuing my Dutch Journey for another 100 days to work towards mastering the B1 level.

Resources For This Project

During my 100 day project, I used Parleremo. A free language learning platform and community of language learners. The website is packed with useful tools and materials.

I took part in the Parleremo Language Marathon to help keep me motivated whilst learning Dutch. Many challenges tend to use Facebook Groups, but what I liked about this challenge is that it is hosted on the Parleremo platform. It has a wide range of tools and resources in 35+ different languages to help build a consistent study routine within a very supportive language learning community!

I used the free 10 week video course on Kick Start Languages. This showed me the key words phrases to use to really ‘kick start’ learning a language.

I have invested in the Dutch in Three Months Course from DK and the Lonely Plant Dutch Phrasebook, Bart de Paus Grammar Course which is available on Amazon.

UTalk is one of another one of my favorite resources for learning languages. It uses verbal, visual and fun exercises to teach languages. A fabulous free alternative to this is LingoHut.

Not to forget that I also used Duolingo and Memrise to build my vocabulary.

The Parleremo Language Marathon Challenge

The Parleremo Language Marathon is one of the most underestimated language challenges out there! Unlike a majority of the higher-priced language challenges, Parleremo has its own resources and tools. It is also hosted on its very own language learning platform.

I’ve enrolled! 😀

Are up for this language challenge too?

Keep reading if you have no idea what the Parleremo Language Marathon is?

BUT if you are ready to sign up to complete the challenge, the big blue registration button is below 👇👇👇

Not heard of the Parleremo Language Marathon? Then I am pleased that you have discovered this blog post today! Registration for the last 26-day mini-marathon of the year closes on Thursday 7th November 2019!

I’ll explain what you can expect from the challenge in this short video below…

JOIN ME!  I’m taking the 26-Day Parleremo Language Marathon in November to kickstart learning Scots!

If you do decide to take the challenge, let’s help each other and share our language learning experiences using the hashtag #PLM19!  Although the challenge is hosted on its very own platform, we have created a private Facebook Group for marathoners who have registered (or are potentially interested in registering) and graduate members of the language marathon. JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP HERE!  

What is Parleremo?

Parleremo means “We will speak” in Italian. It is a free language learning platform where you can learn 30+ different languages from the usual English, German, Spanish and French to Dutch, Mandarin and even Arabic online.

Although the language learning platform is free there is a small entry fee for the challenges. This is to cover the costs of creating new resources, hosting the ever-expanding site and paying professionals to ensure the accuracy of the resources.

What I love most of this challenge is unlike most language challenges out there it is hosted on its own platform and actually has language resources and tools! I am a busy person so not having to find my own resources saves me tons of time that I can then re-invest into my language learning ❤️

Also, a lot of challenges focus on the conservational approach, whilst Parleremo does not neglect the literacy aspects of language learning. You can choose to post updates in a video, audio or written form.

The Parleremo Language Marathon is a challenge designed to take your language learning to the next level providing you put in the work!

Motivation is great, but it will only get you to the halfway mark! Just like a real marathon, if you want to be successful at learning a new language it is going to take commitment, discipline, consistent practice, and community peer support to give you a boost in fluency within 100 days!

There are 2 options available…

  • The Mega-Marathon: If you want to boost your fluency. Commit to a minimum of 15 minutes per day language training for the next 100 days. Challenge starts in January 2020
  • The Mini-Marathon: If you want to get a ‘taster’ of a language. Commit to a minimum of 15 minutes per day language training for 26 consecutive days. Recommended if you are new to language challenges or want to check out the randomizer feature. Challenge starting shortly, register today!

You can take the marathon in whatever language you are studying (we have resources for 30+ languages on the platform).

When does it start?

The next mini-marathon starts on Friday 9th November and lasts 26 days. This will be the last marathon of 2019 🙁 BUT we will be back in January with our popular 100-day mega marathon 😀

Want to know a little bit more about the language Marathon? Check out some testimonials of previous members too, click the button blue below?

Do let me know if you register as I’m doing the marathon too!!!

I’d love you to join me on the next language run! If you register for the Parleremo Language Marathon come and hang out with me and our supportive community in our Facebook Group. So we can help keep each other motivated and accountable!

Did you know….?

Parleremo is a big supporter of the Language Learners Journal’s mission to make high-quality language learning resources more affordable. I am also a really big fan of the Parleremo language products and the free resources that they provide to language learners globally.

I am excited about the opportunity to kickstart my learning of Scots for the 26-day challenge and continue with Dutch for the next 100-day challenge starting in January. Time to push through the comfort zones and level up our language learning together!

If you are interesting in taking part in the challenge, have already taken part in one of the challenges OR just have any questions please post them in the comments section below…