Summer Language Goals: Clear The List

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Hola! 你好! Živjo, Bonjour…

Welcome to my summer language learning update through #clearthelist. Hosted by Shannon of Eurolinguiste and Lindsay of Lindsay Does Languages. Clear the List is an awesome monthly support and accountability linkup for language learners who like to set regular language learning goals.

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The official Language Learners Journal notebook and BBC Talk Spanish Complete

I have a strong local accent and struggle with pronunciation. This can be more of a problem with the tonal languages I’m learning, such as Chinese Mandarin. So my main goal over summer is to really focus on my pronunciation of Spanish and Mandarin, whilst adding a brand new language to the equation – Slovenian (Slovene).  I’ll be updating this article once a month with the progress I’m making until September…

This summer I’ll be joined by my Little Learner who is wanting to improve her French, Spanish and has just started learning Mandarin Chinese with me…


August – Little Language learning did her presentation on China and spoke in Chinese Mandarin for 2 minutes. 😀 I have learnt how to say hello in Slovene, count to 10 and do very basic Captureintroductions. This is brilliant as before June I knew nothing of the language!

July – I signed up for the Languages of Slovenia Challenge! As I am already familiar with German, Italian and Romani I’ll be learning Slovenian in 90 days. I have NO experience WHATSOEVER with this language and currently unable to even say hello!

June – I am really excited to announce that I am now CELTA (Basically a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) qualified! This was one of the hardest courses I have ever done and it made me realize just had difficult the English language is. I am currently doing another course with the focus on business English for Professionals. In June, whilst attempting to chat in Spanish with some natives I ended up going French! It was both rather embarrassing, but equally hilarious at the same time! This made me realize that I really need to knuckle down and regain my focus.

How will ‘we’ be learning languages this summer? 

Slovene, Slovenian, mood board
Learning Slovenian with some inspiration from an interactive mood board.

This summer I have been grasping the basics with LingoHut for both Spanish and Chinese and using The 50 Languages website for Slovene. I’ve ordered BBC Talk Spanish Complete from Amazon and will be using Language Transfer. I have also booked lessons on Italki for Chinese and found some potential language study partners for Slovene.

My little learner is excited about the new Chineasy for Children book that is launching in July and I’ve pre-ordered a copy for her. I’m excited too as my new notebook has arrived and as much as I love bullet journalling I’m going to get creative with an interactive language notebook. However, little learner also has her eyes on my new notebook too…I’m going have to order another one! (UPDATE: Little language learner STOLE my notebook and used it to plan her Chinese presentation and write vocab for French and Spanish).

Pronunciation is key for me and I’ll be using Speechling to really get to grips with any areas of weakness. What I love about Speechling is they share the same values as Language Learners Journal Ltd.

“Everyone in the world deserves access to quality language education.”


Finally, I will be using Flash Academy for gamification of Spanish and vocabulary building on the go. To keep language learning fun and help with my motivation I’ll be using The Take Action Calendar for Language Learners. It’s designed to spread a little kindness across the language learning community too.

The Take Action Calendar for Language Learners.
The Take Action Calendar for language learners to help with motivation.


Our August Goals

Little Language Learner

Little Learner will be continuing with her Chinese over the summer holidays and will be using the Hello Chinese App. She will also be using Duolingo for Spanish. As of September, the school has announced they will be teaching Chinese Mandarin to students!

Mama Language Learner

In August my main focus will be on Slovene, but I’ll still be using Duolingo for Spanish and helping the little learner with Chinese. I have booked an Italki package for Slovene and will be posting regular updates in the Languages of Slovenia Challenge Group and on my blog Learning Slovenian in 90 Days.

Our Goals for July

Little Language Learner

My little language learner is taking part in a speaking challenge at her school. Were she will be doing 2 whole minutes in Mandarin and preparing a presentation in Chinese! The school has given options so children can now choose the language they want to study. My Little Learner has switched to Spanish because she has been learning that language since Primary School and it’s the language of her ancestors.

Mama Language Learner

I’m delighted to have my little language learner by my side and I’ll be helping with the preparation for her speaking challenge in Chinese as well as posting my progress videos in the free #LLAP challenge. I’ll also be helping others to learn English, which I am super excited about. I have scheduled in some Chinese lessons on Italki and will be taking part in their 12-hour challenge for July. Plus I’ve joined the Languages of Slovenia Challenge where I’m introducing Slovene into the mix! You can follow my progress here.

Our Goals for June

So as you can see I’ll be using a range of resources to really stimulate my brain and help me get to at least B1 in Spanish and HSK2 in Mandarin Chinese by September 2018.

My little learner is studying French at school and her goal is to be top set for French. She also recognizes 70+ Chinese Characters now and we are learning Chinese together at home.

HSK Levels – Chinese Levels.

Language Learning Levels – European Languages.

Resource Roundup

Chinese – Mandarin 



French (Little Learner) 


1. Share your goal post whether it includes your aspirations for the month or year. Submissions unrelated to the theme or links to your homepage will be deleted.

2. Link back to this post. You can use our button code below if you wish.

3. Follow the hosts: Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages and Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

4. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Please visit the site of the person who linked up immediately before you and leave them an encouraging comment! By hosting this linkup, we’re hoping to create a positive community where we can all share our goals. If you do not do this, you will be removed from the link-up.

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Clear The List: Language Learning Goals for September 2017

Guten Tag! Hola! 你好!

Welcome to my monthly language learning round up…

German Recap

August was an exciting month for me as I introduced German into my language learning routine. Exposing myself to approximately 10,000 words per-day! It was an interesting challenge that I approached with an open and positive mindset. You can read more about the challenge here Trisha Tests: 10,000 words a day challenge – the outcome.

Whilst doing the challenge I also managed to get to the intermediate section of Flash Academy  – YAY moment. I really do like this app and would highly recommend it. Finally, I have been reading a number of popular children’s books online in German via the fabulous site Amira.

Spanish Recap

I have read “El coloquio de los perros” by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Translated by Interlinear Books. I have also completed the word search section of Spanish Pocket Puzzles.

Chinese Mandarin Recap

I attended the Monthly Mandarin Meetup that I started in my local area over a year ago now. It was really nice to meet other Mandarin learners face-to-face and play some games. We also had some members of the local Chinese community come and join us for a quick chat too.  I have noticed how rusty my spoken Mandarin has gotten.

Recap on Other Language Business 

I hosted an online coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer support and launched the 50 different languages challenge. At the time of writing this, we are at about 30 different languages so far. If you would like to partake in the challenge or simply donate some money to Macmillan Cancer Support check out my post the World’s Biggest Online Coffee Morning.

September Goals: 

September is set to be the busiest month of the year for me so far. Not only is my daughter starting secondary school – feeling very old now. Language learners Journal also turns a year old!

Now for some language goals…


  • I recently purchased ‘German in 30 days‘ by Berlitz. It’s a beginners CD and audio-book. I will be using this throughout September.
  • I will continue to use Flash Academy App for about 10-15 minutes per day.

Chinese Mandarin

  • Continue to learn 5-10 new Chinese characters per day via ‘Hello Chinese’ books and Chineasy: 60 Flashcards: The New Way to Read Chinese.
  • Brush up on my spoken Mandarin.
  • I need to do a lot of behind the scenes admin for the local Mandarin Meetup Group this month, booking rooms and promoting. We are hoping to launch our very own website as many of the members do not use Facebook. The face-to-face group will continue to be free and we hope to attract some more members.


  • Spanish will be popped on hold this month as I have so many things on the go at the moment and I need to remember to look after myself. Which is an important lesson for us all as we can not pour from an empty bucket.

Language Learners Journal 

  • In September Language Learners Journal will become a not-for-profit social enterprise! With the aim of promoting language learning especially in areas of deprivation, improving confidence, self-esteem and cultural diversity both online and externally. I personally feel it is now more important than ever to learn another language and about other cultures. Especially due to Brexit and as race hate crimes also appear to be on the increase.
  • I will be continuing to offer some initial free 20-minute one-to-one online coaching sessions for those struggling with language learning anxiety and confidence issues.

Join Clear the List!

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

20 keywords to get you speaking your target language from day 1…

My goal is to speak as much of my target language as possible during language tutorials, right from my very first lecture! This post looks at the basic phrases one should learn before your first language tutorial.

I’ve included translations for  Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and French. Chinese is a tonal language, check out my post on The Layman’s Guide to Mandarin Tones.

So let’s get started on these keywords…

1. “Hello”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Nǐ hǎo
  • Spanish: Hola
  • French: Bonjour

2. “How are you?”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Nǐ hǎo ma?
  • Spanish: ¿Cómo estás?
  • French: (formal) Comment allez-vous ?  (informal) Ça va ?

3. “I am good”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Wǒ hěn hǎo!
  • Spanish: Bien!
  • French: Ça va bien!

4. “Thank You”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Xiè xie
  • Spanish: Gracias
  • French: Merci

5. “You’re welcome”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Bù kèqì
  • Spanish: de nada
  • French: Il n’y a pas de quoi

6. “I don’t speak…”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Wǒ bù huì shuō pǔtōnghuà
  • Spanish: Yo no hablo español
  • French: Je ne parle pas français

7. “How do you say …… in ……”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Nǐ zěnme shuō… Yòng pǔtōnghuà
  • Spanish: Cómo se dice en inglés
  • French: comment dit-on en français

8. “Sorry, I don’t understand”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Wǒ tīng bù dǒng
  • Spanish: Lo siento, no entiendo
  • French: Je suis désolé, je ne comprends pas. (masculine) Je suis désolée, je ne comprends pas(feminine)

9. “I understand”

  • Mandarin Chinese: wǒ dǒng
  • Spanish: entiendo
  • French: je comprends

10. “I am…”

“I am” gives you a much broader range of topics to choose from. Such as name, nationality, job etc, etc.

  • Mandarin Chinese: Wǒ shì…
  • Spanish: Soy…
  • French: Je suis…

11. “I’m sorry”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Hěn bàoqiàn or duì buqĭ
  • Spanish: Lo siento 
  • French: Je suis désolé (masculine), Je suis désolée (feminine) or pardon

12. “Yes”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Shì *There is no word for “yes” in Mandarin, but in many cases ‘it is’ works well. Otherwise, just repeat the verb of the question.
  • Spanish:
  • French: Oui

13. “No”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Bú shì  *There is no word for ‘no’ in Mandarin. You need to place the meaningnot” before the verb in question.
  • Spanish: No
  • French: Non

14. “Repeat Please /Say That Again”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Máfán nǐ zài shuō yībiān
  • Spanish: ¿Disculpa?¿Perdón? or ¿Cómo?
  • French: Répétez s’il vous plaît

15. “Speak more slowly, please”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Gèng màn, qǐng
  • Spanish: Más despacio por favor
  • French: Plus lentement s’il vous plaît

16.  “Please write it down…”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Máfan nǐ xiě yīxià, hǎo bù hǎo?
  • Spanish: por favor escribelo
  • French S’il vous plaît écrivez-le

17. “I’d like…”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Wǒ xiǎng yào… 
  • Spanish: Me gustaría…
  • French: J’aimerais…

18. “I don’t like…”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Wǒ bù xǐhuān…
  • Spanish: No me gusta… 
  • French: Je n’aime pas …

19. “See you next week”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Xià zhōu jiàn
  • Spanish: Te veo la proxima semana
  • French: À la semaine prochaine 

20. “Goodbye”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Zàijiàn
  • Spanish: Adiós
  • French: Au revoir

People will always appreciate the effort you have made to speak to them in their own language. Don’t worry about making mistakes as it is how we learn. The more we speak in our target language the better we will become.

Are there any phrases you think should be added to this list or a language you would like me to include? 

Let me know in the comments section below

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