You make more progress than you think + #ClearTheList May

April was not one of my most productive months, and I think I could have made more progress. I have enough excuses for the goals I haven’t achieved this month. But I taught myself a new rule, which I shared with some people on Instagram in French. I embedded the video below but I’m not sure if the video below is working properly.

The rule is, “Always think of what you COULD do instead of what you couldn’t.”

So in this post, I want to give myself some advice and focus on the positive things, the goals I have achieved this month.

 

Note to self

  • Stop asking yourself painful questions and try to think more positively this month.
  • Think about things you could finish at the end of the month and congratulate yourself
  • It’s ok to move the tasks of this month to next month, but you are allowed to do that once!

Things I can be proud of this month + goals next month

Spanish

Okay, I was proud of my Spanish until I started learning French. At the beginning of April, each time when I was speaking Spanish, I automatically used some French words and pronounced them with a Spanish accent.

Since I haven’t practiced French a lot this month, I speak better Spanish now.

Goals of this month for Spanish

Book // I have read half of the book “Aleph” in Spanish and this month, I want to finish this book in May.

Peruvian accent // In the past, I was obsessed with the Mexican Spanish and I wanted to speak with a Mexican accent. But currently, I’m only speaking with Peruvians. My accent sounds now like a strange mix of the Turkish, Mexican, and Peruvian accent.

This month, I’ll try to sound more Peruvian by watching more videos and recording myself.

English + writing a novel

I can be proud of myself when it comes to English. It has improved the most this month, and that’s necessary because I’m going to write my novel (in English). I think I’ll start this month.

I would like to explain more about my novel but I have to find a way to describe the story without revealing too much. I’ll definitely share more information about it soon.

Goals of this month for English

Vocabulary // I’ve tried to make a list of each word I came across that I didn’t know. I took several vocabulary quizzes, searched for ‘vocabulary English’ on Pinterest, signed up for the word of the day, and read some books.

My list has now more than 500 words in English, and I practice 10-20 words a day. And it seems to be effective because sometimes I’m reading a book, and I think, “Yes, I have learned this word and now I understand more details of this story”.

There are so many words in English. It’s unbelievable.

This month, I’ll keep making adding new words to my list and practicing my vocabulary.

Pronunciation // I think I talk faster and better now, but I want to speak with an American accent. Let’s work on that this month.

French

My French… *sigh*

May will be a better month.

Goals of this month for French

Voice messages // I sent many voice messages in French. Unfortunately, not every day. But I will try to do that every day.

Watching videos on grammar // Done. I’ve learned many grammatical exceptions and rules, but I have to find a way to use them in conversations. I will continue watching videos.

Writing // Unfortunately, I haven’t written a lot this month. Sometimes I wrote a page in my diary in French, but I didn’t have a lot of inspiration. In my next #ClearTheList post, I want to write a little part in French.

Okay, nevermind.

While writing this post, I came to the conclusion that I have learned more than I expected. But I think I feel disappointed because I really wanted to make some progress in speaking French. So this month, I will focus more on French.

Have you ever thought you haven’t made any progress (like me) and found out that you actually did? Please let me now!

#ClearTheList is meant to set goals to learn a language each month, hosted by Lindsay ( Lindsay Does Languages), Kris Broholm (Actual Fluency), Angel Pretot (French Lover ), and Shannon Kennedy (Eurolinguiste). You can find the full description of Clear the List and how to join it, here.

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  • Kelli Singrey

    I have the exact same problem is Spanish! After focusing on Swedish this year, I’ll use random Swedish filler words while speaking Spanish. Have you heard of a way to compartmentalize languages more efficiently? To your last point, Clear the List usually forces me to focus on my progress that month and how much I’ve really learned. It sounds like the same for you too. By the way, is there a certain American accent you are interested in?

    • I thought I had this problem because French words are similar to Spanish words. It’s funny to hear that I’m not the only one. I’m not sure how other language learners compartmentalize languages. But I think I will practice French on a different day than Spanish. Do you have any other ideas about it?

      Since I’ve never traveled to America, I’m not sure what each accent sounds like. But sometimes when I’m listening to podcasts, I think, “I want to speak like him”. I think most of them are from New York.

  • Self compassion is so important in language learning. Any step forward in language learning is progress made, well done Kamila and best wishes for the goals you have set for this month.

  • Daniel

    “There are so many words in English. It’s unbelievable” oh, dear, you can’t imagine how many times I thought that, too 🙂

    Keep going with the good work!

    Daniel

    • LOL. Did you know that it’s believed that English has the largest vocabulary? It’s pretty logical for non-native speakers like us to think like that 🙂

  • Dorothée

    Hi Kamilla,
    Don’t judge yourself too hard 😉 Mixing Spanish and French can happen. I mix Icelandic and Hungarian^^ To explain, I have both languages at a beginner level and learn currently the same words on Memrise… At breakfast time, my brain is not always prompt to switch!
    Bon courage avec tes objectifs pour le mois de mai !!

  • I can so relate with what you’re experiencing in Spanish. My Spanish has a ton of Italian words that creep in and it seems like no matter what I do I can’t keep them out! It does happen less over time, so as long as you’re patient, you’ll reap the rewards! Best to you with your goals for this month.

  • Hi Kamila! I agree with all these comments – some progress is better than none! Good luck for your May goals! 😉

  • Tiia M

    Ooh cool that you are planning to write a novel! I’d love to do more creative writing in different languages. I remember when I was a teenager, we were writing these serial stories with my friends – taking turns writing the story forward. I once had the thought that this would make a fun challenge for some bloggers in the language learning community, learning the same language. Reading about your plan to write a novel made me think of it again 😀
    Well, that was a side track, but I wanted to say I love your occasional French Instagram videos, and I wish you good luck for May!

    • OMG me too, I was also thinking about writing in French to improve my creative writing skills. Sometimes, I’m writing on my tumblr blog in French, just to practice my grammar. Maybe we can start a writing challenge, what do you think about that?

      • Tiia M

        Maybe we could! How would it work? Perhaps we need to have a chat about this 😀

  • I definitely think that progress in language learning is almost always more than we perceive ourselves! Sometimes it makes it hard to keep going, but I like to just have infinite faith in the process and that I will one day reach my goal in each one of my languages as long as I don’t give up prematurely.

  • Love the positive note to self – you did well indeed last month so no need to be the slightest bit harsh to yourself.
    And wow, writing a novel is amazing. Let us know a bit about it when you can, I can’t wait to know what it’s about! Best of luck with your goals for May!

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