GCSE German #007: Culture – Nationalfeiertage

Hi there! Yet another Monday is upon us and we’re well into autumn now, right? The clocks went back this weekend (in Europe anyway) so as I write this it’s already dark outside, boo.

Still, going into autumn means that winter’s coming up soon and although that heralds cold weather, it also means there’s going to be lots of holidays just around the corner! Austria, at least, are big fans of the public holiday, with many of them being religious holidays and dates, but there are a few that are in there because of their national significance, like today, for instance.

You don’t know what’s happening today? Don’t worry, you’ll find out more below. 🙂

GCSE German 007

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So, I have to confess…

Right, so I’ve just spent the past three days in Munich – which was fun for so many reasons – and I’ve been using my German, we went sightseeing, etc., but then on the four-hour train ride back to Vienna I started reading Fluent in 3 Months by Benny Lewis.

I know there are lots of divided opinions in the language-learning community about Benny’s approach and how he presents it; and I do want to point out, quickly, that that is not really the point of my post here. I do want to review the book at another time (probably in the first week of February, when I’ve had some time to digest it) but right now, I’m not thinking about that.

What I like about Benny is that – in spite of opinions about all of that – he gets me incredibly enthusiastic about learning languages. I can see the flaws in his methods, but his enthusiasm is infectious and if I feel a dip in my motivation, sometimes reading his posts picks me up again.

So, the book got me thinking about what I’m doing right now. And I thought about it – and I thought about a conversation I’d had with one of the teachers I work with at school on Thursday – and I realised something.

I don’t know why I’m learning German, and – worst of all – I am not using my time here in any way effectively.

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100 Days of Spanish

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.

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