Hey, guys! So first things first, Happy Halloween! I hope you’re all doing something fun today – even if you’re not interested in Halloween at all.
Obviously, it being Halloween means that tomorrow is the 1st November, which means we’re moving ever closer to the end of 2015. I was thinking a while ago that November is kind of a ‘meh’ month – the weather gets worse, there are no major holidays (for me, anyway) and generally it’s just a long wait until Christmas and New Year.
But then I realised that I have two cool things going on this month. One of them is NaNoWriMo, which has absolutely nothing to do with this blog but I figure most of you will have heard of it. The other is another 6 Week Challenge – the final one of the year!
Now, I did write this post back in April, my five tips for preparing for a 6WC – so if you haven’t done one before but you’re interested it might be worth checking out. Today’s post is just for me to declare my intentions and list the resources I’m going to be using.
So for November and a little of December, I’m going to focus on Slovak again. I’ve been stuck in a little bit of a rut with Slovak and I’m hoping that this will help me out of it and that I’ll see some real progress for the first time in a while. I’ve had Slovak as my target language for the last two 6WCs, with a total of just under 27 hours logged between the two (16h24 for August 2015, 10h12 for May 2015). I’m setting my goal this time to 18 hours for the entire challenge. That’s about 26 minutes a day. Should be doable.
You can see in the picture above that I’ve already mapped out when I’m going to study my other languages (I’ll talk a little more about that in the Clear the List post tomorrow), but here’s a better view:
I have a couple of weekends there where I’ve anticipated not doing any work because I’ll have visitors here – I might study, but I probably won’t, and that’s okay. (It does bump my average study time up to ~33 mins a day to achieve my goal, though!)
I also have a list of resources – some of which I’ve used before and some of which I’m going to try out for the first time. I’ve been having a few problems with Slovak; partially because it’s the first time I’ve tried to seriously study a language without having a single class (or without having at least a vague understanding of a related language) and partially because resources are hard to find! Czech is very similar to Slovak and about a thousand times more popular, so I’m going to have to deal with what I have.
Right now, that consists of:
- Colloquial Slovak. I’ve been using this book for a while and though I mostly like it, I am having a lot of issues with it. Some of those are my fault (I need to slow down sometimes and actually try to memorise things) and some of those are just that I don’t like the way the book handles things. It is however pretty comprehensive and I do want to get through it.
- Krížom krážom A1/A2. These are very much the standard textbooks you’d get in class, but they’re entirely in Slovak which has been a bit daunting thus far. However, they seem to cover a lot of topics at a bit of a slower pace, so I might use them alongside Colloquial Slovak, especially with those subjects I’m finding difficult (I’m looking at you, past tense).
- Memrise. I haven’t been on Memrise in aaaaaaages, probably not since September. Oops! I’ve got a Colloquial Slovak deck and there are plenty of other Slovak phrase decks and things like that, so this should be useful.
- uTalk app. When I first started learning Slovak back in January, I got the uTalk app and I’ve not really used it too much. It has a lot of useful phrases though and I think they’ll be easier to learn now that I have more of a grounding in the language, so I’m looking forward to using this again.
- HelloTalk/Tandem apps. I’ve had HelloTalk for a while but not really used it; I switched my learning language to Slovak today though, so we’ll see how that goes. Tandem I downloaded today too and I’m not so sure how I feel about the video chat feature (I feel like video chats are only about 1000% times more awkward than talking on the phone, which is not my fave thing to do) but it also has a text chat feature, so I might just use that for a while.
I also have a few online resources that I want to try – and I’m hoping to visit Bratislava on Tuesday (yay various Austrian holidays!) and then again later in the month. I am also going to post regular updates about my progress, as I feel this blog might be getting a bit German-heavy, even though I do in fact learn other languages too!
Let me know if you’re taking part in the 6WC (or NaNoWriMo). What language(s) do you want to focus on before the end of the year? Oh, and if you know of any other awesome Slovak resources, I’d really appreciate a heads-up!