Monthly Language Update – September 2014

No point in beating around the bush:

My goals for the month of September were much too ambitious, and I didn’t even come close to accomplishing them.

Too many things happened this month. We sold our house (well, conditionally – we just have to do a million small things and a few big ones first), we bought a new house, we cared for – and said good-bye – to our beloved dog. It’s been crazy.

Next month will no less crazy. We’re moving halfway across the country, where I’ll have to find a new job. Oh, and we have to decide: do we want to spend the next few years travelling, or do we want another puppy? Tough call, guys. Seriously.

Even if it hadn’t been a crazy month, my September goals for languages – and for Tagalog in particular – were just too stinking big.

Lesson learned: my goals for the month of October will be much, much smaller.

Spanish Update for the Month of September:

Goals for September:

  • Read Los juegos del hambre (The Hunger Games) – DONE! I finished The Hunger Games and I’m currently halfway through the second book in the trilogy.
  • Watch at least eight TV show episodes – almost, but not quite. I watched seven TV show episodes in September.
  • Take a class in Spanish on coursera: Innovación educativa con recursos abiertos – Errrr…half done? Sort of? I audited the first two weeks of lectures, then realized that I wasn’t really enjoying it. I decided that RTVE podcasts were both more interesting and more challenging, so I’ll stick with those for now.

Super Challenge Update

I’m still working on the Super Challenge, a massive-input challenge with a goal of reading 100 50-page “books” and watching 100 90-minute “films” in Spanish by December 31st 2015.

spanishchildrensnovelsreading – 38.1 “books” completed

This month I read Los juegos del hambre, by Suzanne Collins. I absolutely loved it! I got my hands on the other two books in the series and immediately started on En llamas, the second book. The book count doesn’t include the reading that I’ve done in En llamas, since I only log a book when I’ve finished reading it.

Reading this series has been a great experience so far! It’s the first time that reading in Spanish feels as good as reading in English. I’m no longer using a timer to keep myself on track. I just read…and read…and read. I feel liked I’ve really levelled up – I’m now at a point where reading a young adult novel in Spanish is as enjoyable (if not as quick) as reading the same book in English.

tiempoentrecosturaswatching – 19.9 “films” completed

I watched two more episodes of El Tiempo Entre Costuras on DramaFever. It’s a period drama about a seamstress who secretly sews coded messages into the seams of dresses during the Spanish Civil War. The costumes and the setting are fantastic!

I also watched five more episodes of Aqui No Hay Quien Viva (“No One Could Live Here“) on YouTube. I’m really loving this show! I’m comfortable with the characters and actors, and each episode is easier to understand than the last.

Other Spanish this month:

Honestly? Not much.

As I mentioned earlier, I audited two weeks’ worth of lessons in a coursera course. While the lectures were easy to understand, I just didn’t feel that I was getting much out of them, so I stopped after week two.

During the month of September, I only spent three hours talking on Skype with Spanish tutors.

I listened to Buenos Días América two or three days per week. I also listened to a few  other interesting podcasts, in particular:

Goals for October:

  • Read at least five days per week
  • Watch at least six TV show episodes

Tagalog Update for the Month of September:

Yikes. Tagalog didn’t go well this month. I’m slowing way down in October, focusing more on review and less on new material.

Goals for September:

  • Finish lessons 10 and 11 of Elementary Tagalog – almost. I have a few exercises left in lesson 11.
  • Finish units 9 and 10 of Teach Yourself Filipino – DONE!
  • Learn to sing two new Tagalog songs – no. I did listen to Freddie Aguilar’s Anak a few times.
  • Transcribe two more short Tagalog cartoons – no. 
  • Translate four more Napoleon easy readers – no. I translated only one easy reader this month, and have yet to have my translation corrected.

tagalogbookCourses: Elementary Tagalog and Teach Yourself

I’m still chipping away at my two courses. Elementary Tagalog jumped several levels in difficulty in lesson 11. For the first time, I found myself reading paragraphs and having absolutely no idea what I was reading! It’s very frustrating to understand every single word, but not be able to make sense out of the sentences.

This month, I’m going to slow down. I know that I have less time to spend on Tagalog, and I also want to spend more time reviewing.

Other Tagalog this month:

  • Spoke on Skype for three and a half hours with two italki tutors
  • Listened several times to Freddie Aguilar’s famous song Anak
  • Kept up with my anki and memrise decks

Goals for October:

  • Keep up with anki and memrise decks every day
  • Spend at least 15 minutes five times a week reviewing past learning
  • Finish lessons 11 and 12 of Elementary Tagalog

Happy October, everyone!

2 thoughts on “Monthly Language Update – September 2014

  1. Chris Broholm

    Looking good Steph, you are very productive and hard working. Even if you miss your goals once in a while.

    However, it’s always better to aim high and miss than it is to aim low and make it.

    Go crazy in October 🙂

    1. Stephanie Post author

      Normally, I’d absolutely agree with you! But October is definitely an “aim low” kind of month for me this year. Ha! I’ll go crazy again in November.


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