In March, I went to a local bookstore and got Benny Lewis’ book Fluent in 3 Months. One of his first recommendations for learning multiple languages at the same time is to make concrete goals for each of the languages you intend to focus on.
So I wrote down a multilingual learning plan, which I intend to review every month. The purpose of today’s post is to review the last month’s plan and improve upon it in drawing up a plan for the month of June and July.
- Multilingual language goals–Long-term
I am fluent in five foreign languages if you measure that fluency in terms of B1 level or higher on the Common European Language Framework.
So for those five languages, I have put my goal to become one level higher by 2017.
For the languages I have been studying but which I have not achieved fluency, I am also putting my goal to become one level higher by 2017.
For those languages I have not studied before, but which I want to study in 2016, I’m putting the target as BEGINNER (A1).
|B2—Upper Intermediate||Chinese, German, Spanish|
|A1–Beginner||Korean, Dutch, Hindi, Irish|
Although I put all languages on my level goal list, certain languages have higher priority level, which translates into studying frequency. Also, although my ultimate goal is to speak with native speakers, my intermediate goal is to use textbooks in order to prepare for proficiency tests.
2. Multilingual goals–method, priority level
|Japanese||JLPT N2, Tobira||High|
|Chinese||HSK 4, eChineseLearning (online lessons)||High|
|Spanish||DELE B2, AP Spanish||Medium|
|Arabic||Mastering Arabic, Rosetta Stone Level 3||Low|
|Korean||Integrated Korean Beginning 1||Low|
|Dutch||Living Language Beginner||Low|
|Hindi||Beginning Hindi, Rosetta Stone Level 1||Low|
|Irish||Living Language Essential||Low|
3. Multilingual goals–May 016 (review)
Here were my goals for the past month..
|Japanese||Kanji Kentei review level 9–still working on level 9!!|
|French||Start review of Foreign Service Institute French course level 1, units 1 and 2–now on unit 2|
|Chinese–DONE||Finished 2x/week Skype lesson with eChineseLearning, HSK 4 listening comprehension test #2 prep, will now switch to Intermediate Spoken Chinese and Intermediate Written Chinese textbooks|
|German||Duolingo (complete entire skill tree)–completed up to level 6 out of 8, start Foreign Service Institute German course level 1|
|Spanish||Start review of Foreign Service Institute Spanish course level 1, units 1 and 2–now on unit 2|
|Arabic||Mastering Arabic ch. 2, 3–only completed ch. 1|
|Korean||Integrated Korean Beginning 1 (reading Hangul)–haven’t completed Hangul|
|Hindi||Finished Pimsleur Hindi course units 1 and 2|
Well, I can tell you I didn’t accomplish very many language goals in April. I did complete my three-month course of language learning at eChineseLearning, but the other goals I only partially completed.
But here’s why I’m putting these goals on my blog–because my failure to achieve them is public, it makes me want to rededicate myself to the goals of May.
Let’s see what I accomplish in the month of May!
|Japanese||Kanji review level 9 (grade school level 2)|
|French||Duolingo (refresh skill tree)–start DALF training (C1/C2)|
|Chinese||Intermediate Spoken Chinese Unit 1|
|German||Duolingo (complete entire skill tree), Foreign Service Institute Course|
|Spanish||Duolingo (refresh skill tree)–start AP Spanish (C1)|
|Italian||Start Italian Now|
|Portuguese||Start Portuguese Grammar|
|Arabic||Mastering Arabic ch. 2, Rosetta Stone Level 1 review|
|Korean||Integrated Korean Beginning 1 (reading Hangul)|
|Hindi||Pimsleur Hindi Course units 3-10, Beginning Hindi (reading Hindi script)|
|Irish||Living Language Essential ch. 1|
|Vietnamese||Elementary Vietnamese Pronunciation Guide|
Here’s how I will improve my language plan for June.
a. High-priority languages–after completing a three month Skype course in Chinese, I need review of some basic conversational patterns. I got a textbook Intermediate Spoken Chinese from Tuttle Publishing which does exactly that. What I like is that the conversations are recorded so that you can take the part of one person in the dialog at a time to really see if you can speak Chinese not just correctly, but at a conversational pace.
For Japanese, I found that the first step of the review I can do for the JLPT N2 level exam is to review the Kanji and vocabulary for levels N5, N4, and N3. In turn, the way to do this is to go through the elementary school Kanji grades 1 through 6, which means in terms of the Kanji Kentei (the Japanese Kanji Proficiency test aimed at native Japanese) to review levels 10 through 5. This month I reviewed level 9 (grade school 2) by going all of the readings in a workbook and putting them on flash cards. However, each grade there are more and more Kanji so, although I could finish all the level 10 Kanji in a month in March, I wasn’t able to do the same for the level 9 Kanji in April. I’m practicing my Japanese listening skills by watching the NHK historical drama Ryomaden on Drama Fever.
b. Medium-priority languages–I finished the skill trees for Spanish and French on Duolingo and am reviewing those languages now by listening to the Foreign Service Institute’s courses for Spanish and French.
I’m starting the 7th level of the German skill tree. I aim to be done by the month of July. It works well to concentrate on completing one skill tree at a time while periodically reviewing the ones I’ve already completed. So I’ll complete the German skill tree before I start on Italian and Portuguese.
c. Low-priority languages–I was WAY too ambitious by listing all of the languages. I started Arabic using a great textbook Mastering Arabic Vol. 1, but need to continue with Chapter 2. I found that textbook is way better than the one I had been using before. Korean and Hindi have different writing systems which I need to master before studying the languages in more depth.
d. Metalanguage–I found that Benny Lewis’ book Fluent in 3 Months was a great motivator for my language studies. I’ve decided to get an online subscription to his Fluent in 3 Months website in order to go into more depth the principles that were in his book. The first section is on Language Hacking, using tips and tricks to accelerate my language study of any language I’m studying
Let’s see what I accomplish in the month of June and July!