Clear the List – 2019 (Annual & January Language Learning Goals)

Hallo Allemaal! Hoe gaat het in dit nieuwe jaar with your language learning goals?

It’s 2019… wow! I am absolutely not sure where 2018 went to, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I actually understand a bit of French now, I would be sure I had slept through it all! But I didn’t… and I have a language to prove it :).

Usually I am well sorted by the start of a year as far as direction and so on… I like to start thinking about it all in mid-November, and sit down mid-December to actually plan things out. However, the last three months of 2018 were sucked into a blurrrrrrrr of one child moving out of home, both girls having their birthdays, helping another person who got in a bit of a bother, and then leaving for a month holiday! I am literally only getting my thoughts together since January 1st!

Well… not completely. I already know what major language effort I am going to make this year, and what languages I want to keep ticking over. Today it is time for my January, and 2019, #ClearTheList post… and you get to see what my language learning goals are too!

(If you’re wondering what #ClearTheList is, it’s a support and accountability blog group sharing monthly language learning goals – for more information see the end of this post.)


Starting French

My only goal at the start of 2018 was to get my French to a conversational (B2) level, and start learning Langue des Signes Francais (LSF). I had no idea how I would do it, and no idea what resources were available… and which I would like.

I started with Duolingo – but when they changed to the Crowns system, they lost me. It was pretty boring learning what the French was for “wolf”, “bear” and “turtle”, and Crowns just added layers of monotony, so… bye bye Duolingo.

I discovered the Coffee Break French podcast… and loved it. For a beginner, it was a good balance of English explanation and French. Mark, the teacher, has a very easy-to-listen-to Scottish accent (as does Anna, the student), and it’s a good amount of content in a 10-15 minute lesson. I found it easy to consume 2 or 3 podcasts in one go, and will use them again for Spanish.

I entered into the Add 1 Challenge #A1C33 in April to keep myself more accountable, and really felt that helped me a lot. And I got a tutor – that worked well. Then he went home… *sad face*.

Mid-Year Crisis

In July I joined the next Add 1 Challenge, called Add1Advance, with the intention of really consolidating my French. Then I had some bad personal news, and I sort of got lost for a bit… For a month all I did was listened to some YouTube, particularly Porte Ouverte (a church that streamed live), Le Monde des Langues channel, National Geographic… a little Echappees belles.

I tried to find another tutor, but wasn’t getting my money’s worth, so I stopped. I tried the local Alliance Francais French Chat, but there was only one native speaker, and I had little in common with the other learners. Then I started going to Mundo Lingo meetups… free, but only get to speak French every third or fourth week, if that.

Finished Strong

Then in September, I finally started to get more systematic again… and started doing the Linguaphone course I picked up second hand. That was super easy for me now, which was nice. At least I had learned something! I borrowed some books from the Alliance Francais library, with 600 or 700 words in them. I got to the place where I could read them.

Oh yeah… I borrowed Read and Think French (1st edition) from the library – it didn’t have the CDs inside, but it was a great resource, and I have bought Read and Think Spanish for when I am up to that level. (NOTE: the first editions of this book have hard copy CDs… the newer editions have MP3 downloads, which have received many negative reviews for accessibility – be careful!)

So… did I get to B2? No. Maybe A2. I have lots of holes. But for the first time learning a language when I am NOT living in the country (not to mention, since the availability of the internet!), I did learn a lot. I can:

  • Follow the gist of things.
  • Read simple French and French subtitles on YouTube videos, and have a fair idea of what they are saying.
  • Follow a conversation in general terms, and contribute a little.

Not amazing, but not terrible. I definitely know more now that a year ago!

And LSF? Well, not so much. I was learning the French to help with it, and it has, but now I need a tutor. I think I know who I will ask, but we’ll see.

December In Review

December was a focus month for me – seeing how much Afrikaans I could learn, and continuing with French. But it all fell apart with some personal stuff and going on holiday, so in brief, it looked like this:


Vocab5 mins/day
5,000 most frequently used words
30 mins, 3 times/week
Linguaphone French Language Kit (1971);
French Conversations” from  IWillTeachYouALanguage.com
ConversationWeekly online Skype calls & MundoLingo meetupsTwo ML meetups
JournallingI will do it if I feel like it!NUP


As I did with German last month, this month I was intending to do a one month focus on Afrikaans…. intending.

Vocab5 mins a day on Memrise, using a course I designed myself learning frequently used verbs;
2 x per week researching the vocab and phrases I identified as needing straight away to use the language quickly
30 mins, 3 times/week in Teach Yourself Afrikaans coursebook (2010), by Lydia McDermottNUP
Listening/SpeakingMy ideal would be 1 Pimsleur track each day – but I don’t have Pimsleur for Afrikaans. IF YOU KNOW OF A GREAT PIMSLEUR STYLE PRONUNCIATION COURSE, PLS COMMENT BELOW! 😀Decided to start again with AfrikaansPod101, but I really don’t like it… so …. NUP



Dutch/French Laddering – with Frans Leren en Oefenen , and Snel en Vlot Frans Leren Spreken en Begrijpen. Just as I feel like it. As with German, I don’t want too much overlap with Afrikaans this month. – NUP


Once through my Memrise alphabet course – DONE


Memrise course – NUP


Vocab – Just a bit of Memrise as I feel like it – too much else going on – NUP

And in preparation for 2019…


Getting prepped with tools – YUP! (Yay… one win!)


My big goals for 2019 are:

  1. Spanish to B2 (And maybe sit the DELE)
  2. Modern Greek to A2
  3. To get some exposure in an Australian Indigenous Language

Extra goals:

  1. French to B2 (Maybe sit the DELF)
  2. LSF to A2
  3. Lengua de Signos Española (LSE) to A2
  4. Dutch (written) to B1
  5. Afrikaans (spoken) to B2

The difference between the first and second list is only one of priority. When life happens and something has to give, the second list will go first. They are “hobby languages”… the first list has purpose and deadlines associated.


SPANISH (Each activity 4 times/week minimum)

All RoundLinguaphone Spanish Language Kit (1971)60 mins
PronunciationPimsleur CDs30 mins
Grammar Coffee Break Spanish podcasts30 mins
5,000 most frequently used words
15 mins
Reading/SpeakingShadowing Bible with audio15 mins
Listening/RecreationYouTube/Podcasts in Spanish60 mins


5,000 most frequently used words
5 mins/day
CourseLinguaphone French Language Kit (1971)30 mins, 3 times/week
ConversationSkype calls & MundoLingo meetupsWeekly
Listening/SpeakingFrench Conversations” from  IWillTeachYouALanguage.com30 mins, 3 times/week



Dutch/French Laddering – with Frans Leren en Oefenen , and Snel en Vlot Frans Leren Spreken en Begrijpen. Just as I feel like it.


Decide between Yolngu (Arnhem Land), Arrernte (Around Alice Springs), Yuggambeh (Logan city) and Yuggerah (Brisbane city)

And you? Und Sie? Et toi? En jij? Og þú? En jy? What are your language learning goals for January and 2019? Let me know in the comments below, and join the community over on the #ClearTheList page.

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.

#ClearTheList is a community goal setting activity, run by Lindsay over at Lindsay Does Languages, and Shannon of Eurolinguiste , where they review their past month’s work, and set new goals for the new month, and invite us all to join them. It is your chance to set monthly language learning goals and achieve them as part of the community. We share our monthly goals and encourage you to do the same.

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