May: Maintenance & Swedish!

  English Japanese Spanish Swedish
03 × × × ×
04 × × × ×
05 × × × ×
06 × × × ×

Running around in Japan for half a month has somewhat thrown me out of my usual study routine, and because I returned with an ugly and stubborn cold (or maybe pollen allergy, who knows), I wasn't able to study decently for the rest of April either.
That is why I decided to slow down a bit, keep all my languages in maintenance mode and see where this will lead me. My schedule before Japan was rather... I wouldn't say harsh, but I'd study for a minimum of one hour per day and had lots of things in my tracker waiting to be done. I absolutely don't regret concentrating on Japanese only for the last few months and I noticed how my general level increased significantly over time, yet I'd like to not stress myself too much in the upcoming month and take some more time for other hobbies as well.

Making a meticulously structured plan for every day of the month still does not work for me when it comes to language learning because I tend to do whatever I feel is most important at that specific moment anyway. The items below are things that I'd like to work on throughout the month. I don't want to study all languages every single day and I hope this will help me to overcome my internal pressure of having to do something for my language(s) of focus all the time. It got better already, but there is still room for improvement. Therefore, the tracker on the right side is just for the fun of it and to see what language(s) got the most attention by the end of May. (I am sorry for its butchered depiction on mobile devices, it looks pretty neat on a computer/notebook screen, I promise!)

These are my maintenance plans for each language respectively:

English (6/30)

Japanese (19/30)

  • continue with my monolingual vocabulary book
  • continue with audio recordings
  • read more
  • write more
  • keep that fire burning!
  • work through the grammar list I made
  • keep working with the とびら workbook
  • write more

Spanish (11/30)

Swedish* (13/30)

  • start a monolingual vocabulary book
  • review and practice old grammar
  • 30 minute study sessions after dinner
  • talk to Otto as much as possible

*Swedish made its comeback and I couldn't be happier to start studying it (again). Even better, my husband, whom I infected with the language virus a long time ago, decided to learn it with me. Our ultimate goal is to talk in Swedish to each other in daily life and I am super hyped for it and can't wait to get going! The plan is studying together every day for 30 minutes but since we didn't set ourselves a time limit until when we want to reach a certain level, I don't mind deviating from our plan.

I am actually pretty stoked to do less language learning and spend more time with other hobbies that I have neglected over the years. And who knows, maybe I come up with an idea to combine some of them!

Update (31st May 2019)

Now that "Maintenance May" is almost over, let's take a look back. I knew before that I probably wouldn't be able to do much for my languages, yet I can't help the "I could've done more" feeling. I wrote that study schedules won't work for me, but I have the funny feeling that this is just an excuse I tell myself in order to not face the hardships of language learning. It is easier to avoid a certain difficult topic if there isn't a plan to feel bad about, right? Or maybe that is what you get for trying to balance four languages at the same time.
Anyway! My study sessions felt quite arbitrary this month. Japanese is off the hook here, because it was the only language I didn't have any problems with at all. The fire is still burning, maybe even brighter than before, I worked through my grammar list, translated five essays and also worked through some pages of my textbook. 10/10, would study again.
I can't really complain about English either. It's part of my everyday life so the maintenance came quite naturally. I even read one English book, did three audio recordings and threw in some additional vocabulary sessions. (That was when I ticked off the little boxes in my tracker.)
And then there were Spanish and Swedish. Swedish worked out great at the beginning when my husband and I actually stuck to our evening sessions. We agreed beforehand that we would always study together, because I already had an advantage with my Norwegian past and he (understandably) didn't want me to lose him because I have more time to study. But then everyday life happened and the study sessions after dinner turned into smaller Duolingo sessions until they stopped completely. And after some real talk we decided to put it on hold again. It is both our project, I don't want to pull through it without him and I also don't want to force him to study after an exhausting day at work. Especially since language learning isn't as big a part of his life as it is in mine.
Spanish on the other hand didn't make an appearance until half of the month was over and then it was quite dragging. The motivation was there, but I couldn't bring myself to study seriously, so Duolingo was my choice of resource most of the time. It was a nice way to repeat some vocabulary and grammar phrases, but it is Duolingo after all. Keeping in mind that this was a maintenance month, I should probably stop complaining.

So, to sum up this month's language learning in one sentence: I did good. Next to work, Language Jam things and other stuff I did maintain the languages that I wanted to maintain and I should be happy about that. As much as language learning is a process, so is finding a way of making a decent study schedule that works for you. Be it procrastination or wrongly set goals, I definitely need to be more specific in the future, even if I only study passively.

30th April 2019


It's a me!

Hej! My name is Sandra, I am a language enthusiast from Germany and this is where I document my language learning journey.

I will share my study goals with you, talk about the ups and downs in language learning, try out cool challenges and show you study methods that I found particularly helpful. Making myself accountable here will hopefully give me some extra motivational boosts!

All main articles will eventually be translated into the four languages I am most comfortable with: German, English, Spanish and Japanese. Older posts can be found under "Archive" and are sorted in order of date.

You won't find a comment section under my posts, so if you feel like chatting a bit, or talking about language-y things feel free to message me on social media or write me an email!

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Enjoy your stay and happy studying!