Hello and welcome to January's recap email! Last month was a huge transition month for me. I left my full-time job as a UX design manager in December to pursue language coaching and building my own language app, Kaards.io. I did minimal language learning as a result, but I kept a log of all my language activities on Twitter.
I'm so excited to see what the year will hold, and I hope you are too.
Today we're talking about integrating language learning into your life - from creating schedules to balancing your time.
Thought for the month 🌸
Take your language resources further. Don't just write sentences down from a textbook. Use those words in conversation, and research more about what you've read. Read a chapter in a book and talk to someone about what you learned.
There are hundreds of ways to use what you have and take it further. You don't even need the "best" textbook. With a bit of creativity, anything can become a language resource. I used to read and write down words from Korean snack packages before I even had a textbook!
After speaking at Languages in Science last November, someone in the audience asked me if I consider myself a “good language learner”.
It was such an interesting question... because what really makes a good language learner? Is it how fast you can remember vocabulary? How well you can speak on the spot? How many great resources you have? How well you manage your time?
Much to think about. My thoughts are in the post below!
I'm excited to announce the language learning flashcard app I've been working on since August last year is officially open for early sign-ups! What a joy to combine my passions of UX design and languages in a tangible way. Kaards makes use of example sentences and spaced repetition to teach specific skills in a language -- great for intermediate learners.
It is a work in progress, but we're building publicly so you can follow our updates. Our first language is German, with more coming later. Opening up for beta testing later this month!
Join my exclusive language learning club on Ko-fi. You’ll get behind the scenes content, a free coaching call, the opportunity to interact with fellow learners, access to exclusive free downloads and resources, and be able to message me privately at any time. There are only 15 spots left, so secure your spot now if you're keen!
Yesterday I spoke at Preply's webinar about How to create your own language learning schedule and stick to it. Over 600 people attended live and it was a blast! If you were there, I hope you had fun too! I loved seeing these notes that Andrew took from the workshop.
Don't worry if you missed it - Preply will upload the recording to their YouTube channel soon and I'll be sure to share it on Twitter. You can also use our hashtag from the workshop to join the conversation on Twitter - just check out #preplyworkshopfam and come join our chats!
Take a look at the free time you have in your schedule and use that to do small language activities. Maybe you take the bus to work - could you review your vocabulary flashcards or read a book in another language during that time? How about learning new vocabulary while browsing the internet using a free extension like Toucan? I like to listen to podcasts or the radio in a new language when I’m doing the dishes or cleaning my room. Listening and speaking are intertwined - the more I listen, the better I feel I can speak over time.
That being said, if I have a language exam to work towards, and I know I have a lot of vocabulary and grammar that I MUST know before a certain date, I plan my time very well. If I know which 20 grammar structures to learn, I’ll see how much time there is until the exam and plan out a schedule where I have time to learn, review, and take enough breaks. You can do the same with a textbook you’re working through – divide the amount of pages by the amount of days you have until you want to finish it – but always remember to leave room for breaks. Learning a language is also like going to the gym – you need rest days in order to function better!
And finally, if you’re more advanced in your target language – that is when you can start to “live like a native speaker”. Change your phone or laptop language to the language you’re learning. Read articles online, look up recipes, write your shopping list in the language, listen to podcasts, and write a diary in the language. This is called “maintenance mode”. The more you do in the new language you’re learning, the more it will become a part of your life. If you don't have native speakers to practice with, there are tons of things you can do to practice a language alone.
In addition to language learning coaching, I've added a new coaching service for content creators!
Are you looking to get your YouTube channel off the ground, grow your blog, or manage your Instagram content and audience? Struggling to define your niche? Book a call with me and let's build and refine your social media strategy for success!
Coaching spots are already FULL for February, so book your spot now for March!