#Clearthelist January 2020: The Dutch Journey Continues…

WOW it’s 2020 already!!!

As a child I thought flying cars would be a thing by now and I would own one! Clearly influenced by Back to the Future!

I also saw myself as being old, really old! What I didn’t see was by 2020 I would be able to order coffee in several+ languages!

I’ve been tracking my goals and progress with #Clearthelist since about 2016!

Just in case this is the first time you have heard of #Clearthelist let me welcome you and explain what this is all about…

Clear the List is a support and accountability group for language bloggers to share their monthly language learning goals. It is hosted by the awesomeness that is Lindsay Williams and Shannon Kennedy.

January Theme: Hygge 

#Hygge, it is the Danish way of enjoying quiet moments and simple pleasures. I think the closest equivalent in English is the word ‘cosy‘, which means nice, warm and snug.

For me, hygge is being wrapped up in a fluffy blanket with warm thick socks or slippers on, a good book, and coffee  How do you Hygge? Let me know in the comments section below. #Hygge is going to be my theme for January. 

Goals for January 2020

To kick off the new year, I’ll be doing another 100 days in Dutch! Hoping to get to at least a B1 level by April. My daughter starts her GCSEs this year and has selected Spanish. I’ll also be brushing up on my Spanish so that I can best support her and maintaining my Mandarin Chinese.

See the source image

The Goal Breakdown

Listening

Daily – Binge listening to Dutch radio, Netflix or Youtube.

Weekly – Recapping on any difficult materials that I have struggled to understand.

Speaking

Daily – Getting some daily speaking practice in with my language partner or recording some videos/audio in Dutch.

Weekly – A weekly Skype lesson and/or language exchange (45 minutes).

Monthly – Hosting the monthly Duolingo Dutch Group at my local library.

Reading

Daily – In 2020, I’ll be applying a 2020 rule as I do 20 minutes Duolingo/Memrise in Dutch and 20 minutes in Spanish. I’ll also be working my way through Short Stories in Dutch and doing some puzzle books too!

Weekly – Clearing my LearnDutch Flashcards and checking out the reading materials avaliable on Parleremo.

Writing

Daily – Post on social media in Dutch (15 mins).

Weekly – Write in my bullet journal and on update online journal in Dutch (1 hour)

Monthly – At the end of the month I plan to take a placement test to ascertain my level of Dutch and focus on any areas for improvement.

Other News

#BiLingoBoxes

In 2020 I am really excited to launch #BiLingoBoxes. I am running a Crowdfunding campaign during January that is being supported by NatWest’s #BackherBusiness.

I am passionate about languages and if you are reading this maybe you are too? I have also been obsessed with stationery for as long as I can remember! I love tangible stationery supplies and language products that give me a rush of motivation to learn a new language. #BiLingoBoxes will provide one-off mystery boxes, packed with books, a journal and stationery for language learners of all abilities, to help inspire learning. 

Avaliable in:

  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • French
  • Dutch
  • German

What Are Your Language Goals?

What are your language learning goals in 2020?

🥳🎊🥳 Happy new year!!!🥳🎊🥳

#CleartheList is a goal setting network of dedicated language learners. I have to say I really enjoy reading the other blogs and I am inspired deeply by the dedication of the #CleartheList community. I would like to say a big thank you to the hosts Lindsay (Lindsay Does Languages), and Shannon Kennedy (Eurolinguiste). The aim of Clear the List is to set and share your language learning goals for any given month and then obviously try your best to achieve them by the end of it!

Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste and Lindsay Williams of Lindsay Does Languages

Boost Learning with the Parleremo Language Study Marathon

The Parleremo Language Marathon is one of the most underestimated language learning platforms 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 website.

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! The first 26-day mini-marathon and 100-day Mega Marathon of the year starts on the 5th January 20202.

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

JOIN ME!  I’m taking part in the Parleremo Language Marathon in January to take my Dutch to the next level of fluency!

If you do decide to take part, let’s help each other and share our language learning experiences using the hashtag #PLM2020!  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 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 language learning marathons. This is to cover the costs of creating new resources, hosting the ever-expanding site and paying professional translators to ensure the accuracy of the resources we use.

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Help build vocabulary and test understanding with interactive quizzes and Vocabulary Units.

What I love most of this challenge is unlike most language challenges out there this is hosted on its own platform and actually has language learning resources and tools! I am a very 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 supportive language learning community designed to help 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!

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The site has many resources to support reading from interactive texts and timed word searches to links to online newspapers and magazines.

There are 3 options available…

  • The Parleremo Community: Parleremo is a language learning website and online community. Free to any who wish to learn about languages and cultures, Parleremo uses a mixture of static and interactive resources as well as peer to peer sharing of knowledge and experience.
  • 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 language marathon is open for registration, but spaces are limited! We start on the 5th January 2020.

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

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…

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.