It’s been fun to focus on French this month. I’ve been working on getting to an A1/A2 level. I love this language. J’aime la langue! I’m discovering more about the culture of Francophones as well. I’ve spoken to native speakers from various countries: France, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, and Algeria. Many of them are kind enough to teach me a bit about the language and their country. All this language learning has definitely widened my worldview and connected me to other people from different parts of the world. It feels good to grow, learn, and teach with others.
I’ve also been watching a lot of French movies on Netflix. First off, LUPIN…it’s a must see on Netflix. The plot is fascinating plus the characters and acting is amazing. I enjoyed this show by watching it in French with French subtitles. I got away with understanding it from context and piecing together the words that I know. I plan to watch it again. Some other great French films include: He even has your eyes, The Climb, Bad Seeds, and Let’s Dance.
At the beginning of January I signed up for fifteen small-group classes from Lingoda. Each sixty minute lesson goes by so quickly. I wish the lessons were longer. I enjoy the interactive lessons and the assortment of teachers. I enjoy seeing different teaching styles and personalities. I think the type of teacher that I prefer is someone who is upbeat, optimistic, creative, resourceful, patient, empathetic, and articulate. Those are just some qualities that I think makes a good teacher. We’re only at a beginner level right now so many of them are able to explain grammar points in English if need be.
I’m happy to make progress and get additional guidance from live classes. I hope to continue taking classes next month. I’m reducing it to one class per week for the months of February and March. I want to focus on the phrases that I need to know to make small talk and get to know new language exchange partners. I haven’t selected a teacher yet but I plan on doing that soon. I have some teachers in mind.
Spanish has been taking a back seat this month. However, I’m still incorporating it in my daily life someway. I’ve been using Lingopie which is a website that allows me to watch shows with subtitles. If I don’t know a word I can click on it and it immediately gives me the definition and makes a flashcard of the word used in context with the original audio. Lingopie is relatively new but they are always adding more content on their site.
Luckily, I have a few language exchange partners to practice Spanish with. I use Hellotalk, Whatsapp and sometimes Skype with them. I have a bilingual book of stories from various Latinamerica countries. I meet with a friend, Brayan, once a week and sometimes we read a story together. First we read it in English and then in Spanish. After each page we correct each other’s pronunciation mistakes and answer each other’s questions.
Reading out loud is a good way to practice the pronunciation and cadence of the language. Spanish seems to flow better when a native speaker reads it outloud, but I’m making progress. Reading out loud and journaling in Spanish are two activities that I aim to do daily.
I find it difficult to squeeze Korean into my schedule. I have had a handful of study sessions but I’m not studying consistently nor am I in daily contact with the language. Therefore, I’m not retaining the content of the lessons and it’s just not effective. I have the realization that if I want to build a strong foundation in this language I will have to give it a lot more time and energy on a daily basis. I’m sure that I can work something out this year so that I can make more time to focus on Korean.
One idea I have for Korean is to attempt to learn in bite-sized chunks. The level one TTMIK lessons are fairly short so I’m hoping to complete a few lessons per week. I will build up the amount of Korean that I have in my life little by little. I created a few youtube playlists of videos that teach Korean. I also started following Teacher Julia on Hellotalk. She posts mini Korean lessons every day which are super helpful. Everytime I open the app I get a notification each time she posts something. Typically, she records audio to go along with the content so I can hear her pronunciation.
I hope to expose myself to more Korean through music and film. I wrote a list of popular Korean dramas and movies that I want to watch in my bullet journal. It would be great if I can watch everything on my list within the next year and a half.
Overall, it’s been a good start to the year. I’m looking forward to next month and private lessons. 😀
P.S. I’m thinking about starting monthly Skype calls so that we can chat about our language goals, progress, and connect. Let me know if you are interested!
Con una sonrisa,