Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year!

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Thank you for your support during 2018.

We hope you reach all of your goals in 2019.

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Language Learning Goals: July 2017 #Clear The List

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你好, Hola

So here is my goal round-up for July 2017. I am now in the final month of the Step Up Language Program, #SULP. I have been focusing mainly on Mandarin Chinese.  I have also been continuing to work on my side project Positively Productive, looking at how positive psychology can be incorporated into language learning to help achieve better results.

Last Month:

  • #SULP – Sadly I have slipped a little in my progress due to illness so I really so need to ‘step it up‘ for the final month.
  • I launched my own little business coaching motivation, self-esteem, and confidence back in April. It has really taken off and I have had to put a little waiting list in place. I am also doing some freelance consultancy and promotional work for some fabulous language learning products, websites, blogs and services. Thank you, everyone, for your support.

This Month’s Goals: 

  • Study Mandarin Chinese for about 40 minutes, 5 days per- week.
  • Learn 5-10 new Chinese characters per day. I am using Chineasy products to help with this.
  • Build vocab – Learn 5-10 new Mandarin words-per-day. I am using Language courses on Udemy.  To help me with this.
  • Get up to speed with my video updates for #SULP.
  • Help other language learners to the best of my ability. Providing free resources. I created a FREE PDF Planner to help people write down and review their goals. You can download it here. I’ll be using a copy of this too!
  • I have a Mandarin Meetup in my local community AND this month it’s our birthday! We are a year old!
  • Use ‘Hello Chinese’ / ‘Memrise app for at least 5-10 minutes on a daily basis.

Lesson Learnt

I did not meet my goals this month (apart from learning Chinese characters) so feel a little sad, but I am only human and prone to illness. Sometimes we need to take a break and that is okay. I have been studying various languages almost non-stop for nearly a year.

Join Clear the List!

For more information and to join #Clear the List, click here.

Language Learning on a Budget

So you are planning to learn a new language…Exciting! Language learning does not have to be expensive. This is my guide to language learning on a budget.

The Journal 

First things first invest in a journal/notebook/ Loose paper file. Whatever works for you. I picked up a rather nice looking notebook with tabs for only £2.00!!! The first few pages are where you can plan a budget for language learning. Check out this post on how to use a journal for language learning.

What?, Why?, When?, How?

What language are you learning and why are you learning the languages? Believe it or not, the answers to these questions could impact on the budget. Pick a start date and plan for how many weeks or months you plan to study? What is the end goal? What do you hope to achieve?

Example:

I am learning Spanish for 3 months starting October 2016 and by Christmas, I plan to have a basic 10-15 minute conversation in Spanish. I will achieve this by choosing a different topic each week and focus on adding 10 – 20 new words per day. 

Make the most of the FREE trials!!!

So if you also plan for 3 months think about the resources you are going to use. There are lots of resources available and some are FREE or offer a free trial from anything from 7 days to a whole month. Take advantage of these offers. Often the free trials give you a good grasp of the basics but make sure you go to a reliable website.

Invest in a good tutor or two

Language exchanges are great and have a lot of benefits. They can help you get speaking from day 1. However from personal experiences budgeting early on for a tutor on Italki is very beneficial. Tutors can vary in price, but they are a good investment. Community tutors are often cheaper than professional tutors. I currently have both for learning Mandarin. I bought about 700 credits costing around £65 and this will last a couple of months for me. The lessons tend to work out cheaper the more credits you buy. I also have a few language exchange buddies that I chat too in between sessions that help with any language homework.

Make use of apps (especially FREE ones)

I love Duolingo and this can be a great and fun way of learning a language, but this should be used in conjunction with other resources. The tiny cards app, by Duolingo, is also great. For Mandarin, I used the Hello Chinese app, which is very similar to the style of Duolingo.

Libraries 

I have been making great use of libraries since learning a language and it is also a great way of testing out books before you buy. Don’t forget most libraries have gone digital now so you can get books out on a Kindle or use a special reader up on the PC.

Invest in Motivation 

I don’t just invest in language learning equipment, but I invest in my motivation too. I just completed the #add1challenge and I am currently taking part in the free Language Learning Amplified Program in June. Challenges really help to boost my level of motivation and kept me going when I felt I had hit a wall. It is a very positive environment and I feel that is very important when you are learning a new language. Also, don’t forget to apply soft skills when learning a language, it’s not all about grammar books and Italki tutorials!

Meetup Groups 

Check out any local learning groups in your area. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a language Meetup in my local area – so I created one! These groups are often free or have only a small charge, but it is better to learn a language with others rather than on your own. If you want to start a Meetup checkout The Complete Guide to Organising a Successful Meetup Group

I will be adding more cost-saving ideas shortly so bookmark this post! Please share your money saving ideas in the comments section below or on my Twitter or Facebook page, thank you.


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