I guess it kind of seems like I’d given up on this blog.
Not really, though I’ve been absent of late. I’m so glad that I managed to get through 26+ posts in August – but I do not know how people keep up with daily posting on a regular basis; it wore me out. Then mid-September, I moved to mainland Europe and started my job in Austria at the beginning of October. …I’m not sure what happened after that, because here I am, having left the UK over two months ago and I’ve not updated this blog at all.
So, first things first: the currently-running six week challenge. I’ve entered with Chinese, which kind of is a massive cheat language for me (though saying that, I can’t break into the top ten; those people are hardcore!) but I could literally feel it trickling out of my brain and it was time to act fast. Plus, I’ve been looking for a course and a friend found me a B2 level one – but that covers the last handful of lessons in NPCR 4, which is the book I used at uni last year. So I found out that apparently I’m at C1 level (what the what I don’t believe that at all) but also that there are no courses in Vienna that will accommodate that. So I’ve used the six week challenge as a way of prioritising Chinese (obviously I’m doing a lot more in German, but still) and getting back into the swing of studying after a couple of months of neglect.
But as you can guess from the title, that is not the point of this blog post.
My plan is, over 100 days, so from 00:00 on 1st December 2014 to 23:59 10th March 2014, to study as much Spanish as I can.
I am going to keep track of time, keep track of what I do and attempt to put a lot more effort into this language that I’ve been trying to learn for such a long time (albeit not that consistently).
So, I started learning Spanish in school and did two years of it, which was fun – then I didn’t touch it for another two years, until I went to university and did a year of study there, which was difficult as all hell. Spanish is my love-hate language. I love it because it sounds nice and because it’s kind of easy. I also hate it because it’s kind of easy – I feel like I should already know everything and I’m frustrated now that I didn’t keep it up throughout school. Plus, I kind of want to go to Mexico and South America in a couple of years, so there’s that.
Why 100 days?
I love the six week challenges, but I can be a bit temperamental with them. I wanted something that was a little longer-term but that didn’t sound too long – I needed a number that would keep my motivation up so that I won’t give up halfway through. I’m also really interested in this site Give it 100. I’ve been interested in the concept since before the site was opened; the woman who created it made videos of her efforts to learn to dance in 100 days and it was really inspiring to see her progress. I want to use that site, alongside this blog and other tools, to document my journey.
What’s the aim?
So, I’m a sucker for numbers and levels and references and all those sorts of things because they give me a sort of framework, which I like – so while I have a few short term goals to help me get to each stage, I do have one larger one. When I finish this challenge, I would like to be at least a B1 level in Spanish.
Just for reference, at the B1 stage, a speaker:
- Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
- Can deal with most situations likely to arise while traveling in an area where the language is spoken.
- Can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.
- Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
This might seem like too high a goal – but then I’m not an actual beginner; my understanding is much higher than my ability to produce anything, but I could probably read a children’s book now and get the gist of it – or it may seem too low, but I feel like it’s within my reach – and if I find halfway through that I’ve surpassed it, well then I might just aim for B2! Goals are changeable and if I don’t reach them, then I’m not going to beat myself up.
Ultimately, my aim for this challenge is to actively work on improving my Spanish. I want to be excited about this language again (and languages in general). I want to be able to talk to people in their language and consume media they consume. I want to see, as well, what I can achieve in 100 days.
How about it? Does anyone feel like joining me? This challenge of mine begins at midnight on Monday (well, not really – I have to be up early for work so it will begin at some point in the early afternoon) – so let me know if you want to do something similar. We can be language learning buddies!