2020 - Language Goals

Whenever I see someone on social media who has a meticulously worked out plan for all their languages throughout the year, I raise my imaginary hat and wonder in awe how this is even possible. I often fail to make a monthly study plan and I can't even imagine how it must feel like to have everything laid out for an entire year.
I never made or thought about making a plan for a complete year in advance before but inspired by all that dedication and organisation I saw online, I wanted to give it a try myself and see what it does to my motivation and study behaviour in the long run. My language plan for 2020 still isn't too detailed because I prefer to do the in-depth planning (what materials to use, what to learn exactly, etc.) at the beginning of each month but I want to share it nonetheless. I'd also like to talk about how it came into being and how I plan on tackling areas like studying multiple languages each day and throughout the week.

So without further ado, this is what my language plan for 2020 looks like:

Spanish 🇪🇸
Italian 🇮🇹
Japanese 🇯🇵

What languages to study?

Potential languages, current levels and proficiency goals for 2020.
Spanish 🇪🇸 ✦✦✦✦✧ ➞ ✦✦✦✦✦
Japanese 🇯🇵 ✦✦✦✧✧ ➞ ✦✦✦✦✧
Italian 🇮🇹 ✧✧✧✧✧ ➞ ✦✦✦✧✧
Swedish 🇸🇪 ✧✧✧✧✧ ➞ ✦✦✧✧✧
Greek 🇬🇷 ✧✧✧✧✧ ➞ ✦✧✧✧✧
Korean 🇰🇷 ✧✧✧✧✧ ➞ ✦✧✧✧✧
Mandarin 🇹🇼 ✧✧✧✧✧ ➞ ✦✧✧✧✧

In late November, I saw Lindie's video on her language goals for 2020 and got inspired to take my own language planning more seriously. So I made a list with all the languages I ever came in contact with (be it serious studying or just dabbling) and picked a bunch of them that I'd like to study further in 2020. While Spanish, Japanese and Italian already have a firm reservation, I picked the rest spontaneously and I am pretty sure this list is going to change again and again as the year goes by. (I made it a month ago and I can already feel my interests shifting, cough cough.) I didn't do any language proficiency tests beforehand, so the assessment with the ✧s and ✦s is just an overall guess at my ability to comprehend and produce a certain language, melting together the different skill levels of the four main areas (reading, listening, speaking and writing).

How to fit them into my daily schedule?

I then started thinking about how many languages I can make time for each day. Past experiments experiences have shown me that a maximum of two languages per day is doable and won't stress me out to the point where I throw in the towel and stop studying altogether. I would study the "less motivated" language (because let's be honest: There's always one you're more thrilled to learn) in the morning right before work when my energy level is on its peak, and the "more motivated" one in the late afternoon after work. With the motivation built up throughout the day, it's easier for me to sit down and throw in another study session, even though I might feel exhausted or tired already. The only thing is: I'd like to get a third language on board because 2019 has been mostly Spanish and Japanese and I got that tingling urge to start something new.

How to juggle more than two languages?

Alternating multiple languages throughout the week.

Now, with Spanish and Japanese remaining my main languages for the first six months, there wouldn't be much "new" at the beginning of the year and I'd really like to liven up my schedule with some "new language excitement". But since three languages a day would definitely be too much to handle, I came back to Ophelia's approach of juggling multiple languages throughout the week which has worked wonders for me in the past. That means, language A will be studied every day, and languages B and C on alternating days throughout the week. The graphic shows a schedule for a whole week but depending on how busy I am with work, I will adjust this plan and limit my study days to workdays, leaving the weekend for spontaneous study sessions or non-language things.

The big picture

And then finally, the plan for the next 12 months as can be seen at the very top of this post. Japanese will accompany me the whole year. Spanish will be my number one priority until June, hand over its status to Japanese and then get replaced by Italian for the rest of the year.
You might wonder why I even bothered to add an extra row for three additional languages when all I wrote in it is "???". The reason for that is that I'd like to decide spontaneously what language of my list to choose. January will be a busy month and there is no way I know at this very moment what language I'd like to pick up at the beginning of February. I do have tendencies (and a list) but you never know what happens. Maybe I dabble in three languages, maybe I stick to the first one and study it for the rest of the year or for the rest of my life. I'll take things as they come.

As always, I will try to keep you updated on my progress, change(s) of mind and monthly goals in particular! As the year progresses, you can find an updated version of my annual plan under Language Goals!
Thank you for coming here to read about my language plans and good luck with your own in 2020!

31st December 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!