Multilingual Learning Plan–April 2016


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 for the month of March 2016.    The purpose of today’s post is to review the plan, and improve upon it in drawing up a plan for the month of April.

  1. 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 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).

Level Goal Language
C2–Mastery
C1–Advanced Japanese, French
B2—Upper Intermediate Chinese, German, Spanish
B1–Intermediate Italian, Portuguese
A2–Elementary Arabic
A1–Beginner Korean, Dutch, Hindi, Irish, Vietnamese

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

Language Goal (Test/Textbook) Priority
Japanese JLPT N2, Tobira High
French DALF C1/C2 Medium
Chinese HSK 4, eChineseLearning (online lessons) High
German ZDfB (B2) Medium
Spanish DELE B2 Medium
Italian Italian Now Medium
Portuguese Portugues Actual Medium
Arabic Mastering Arabic, Rosetta Stone 3 Low
Korean Integrated Korean Beginning 1 Low
Dutch Living Language Beginner Low
Hindi Beginning Hindi, Rosetta Stone 1 Low
Irish Living Language Essential Low
Vietnamese Elementary Vietnamese Low

3.   Multilingual goals–March 2016

Here were my goals for March 2016.

Language Goal (Test/Textbook)
Japanese–DONE! Kanji review level 10 (grade school level 1)
French–DONE! Duolingo (complete entire skill tree)
Chinese–DONE! 2x/week Skype lesson with eChineseLearning, HSK 4 listening comprehension test #1 prep
German–DONE! Duolingo (skill tree level 4)
Spanish–DONE! Duolingo (complete entire skill tree)
Italian Duolingo (complete skill tree level 3)
Portuguese Duolingo (complete skill tree level 3)
Arabic–DONE! Mastering Arabic ch. 1
Korean Integrated Korean Beginning 1 (reading Hangul)
Dutch Living Language Beginner (pronunciation guide)
Hindi Beginning Hindi (reading Hindi script)
Irish Living Language Essential ch. 1
Vietnamese Elementary Vietnamese Pronunciation Guide

Based on what I actually accomplished in March (whichever goals are listed as DONE), here’s how I will improve my plan for April.

a.  High-priority languages–having the Chinese lessons twice a week already gives me enough practice for Chinese; 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 10 (grade school 1) by going all of the readings in a workbook and putting them on flash cards.  I’m practicing 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.   Now I’m starting the 5th level of the German skill tree.   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 work on completing the German skill tree in April for example, followed by Italian in May, and Portuguese in June.

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.  I found that is way better than the one I had been using before.    I will pick ONE language, Korean, to finish doing the preparation work for studying by going through the chapter on pronunciation and writing.

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.

4. Multilingual Goals for April 2016

Here were my goals for the next month..

Language Goal (Test/Textbook)
Japanese Kanji Kentei review level 9
French Start review of Foreign Service Institute French course level 1, units 1 and 2
Chinese 2x/week Skype lesson with eChineseLearning, HSK 4 listening comprehension test #2 prep
German Duolingo (complete entire skill tree)
Spanish Start review of Foreign Service Institute Spanish course level 1, units 1 and 2
Italian NONE
Portuguese NONE
Arabic Mastering Arabic ch. 2, 3
Korean Integrated Korean Beginning 1 (reading Hangul)
Dutch NONE
Hindi NONE
Irish NONE
Vietnamese NONE

Those languages which are in bold are high priority, those that are in regular font are medium priority, and those which are in italics are low priority.

Let’s see what I accomplish in the month of April!

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