Language Goals January 2017 #ClearTheList


First, I am so happy to announce that from now on, I will be a host of the #clearthelist blog linkup, alongside the original hosts Lindsay and Shannon and a new host, Kris. This Linkup has helped me so much in setting and achieving my language goals, so I’m totally thrilled to be a member of the dream team who make it happen. We’ll kick some serious language learning butt together in 2017.

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With only a few hours left in 2016, now is the perfect time to look back at the year and sum up all the language learning which happened over the past 12 months. Hmm, actually let’s look back at the past 6 months. It turns out that I only started setting language learning goals in June 2016. Even this website, did not exist a year ago. It’s pretty amazing to look at all the achievements at once, and think that, less than a year ago, none of this existed.

If you still have doubts that goal setting works, here is a summary of what I have achieved in 2016, thanks to goal setting:

2016 Review

1) Fluency in six languages.

Seven months ago, I could speak four languages, and I had some Spanish and some Portuguese entangled in the back of my brain, gathering dust. Then I picked the italki language challenge, and eventually, I could manage to speak both Spanish and Portuguese quite fluently and with much less mix up.

2) Language learning techniques.

Even though I have been teaching foreign languages for almost fifteen years and learning languages for over twenty years, I have never learned/ created new techniques and processes as fast as in the past six months.

I am now teaching those techniques to my students so they can also benefit from them.

Setting your list of goals and kicking your own butt to achieve them really makes you achieve much more than just those goals.

3) Picking up reading again

A couple of months ago, I decided to add “reading” as part of my language goals, first in French and then in English. I have read about ten books, which I would probably never have read without this.

4) Discovering music, movies, youtube channels etc.

Because much of the fun of learning languages consists of discovering the culture, and having goals pushes you out of your comfort zone and onto new territory


And last but not least:

5) New friends

The goal of #clearthelist is to hold ourselves accountable together. Since the beginning of the adventure, I have been blessed to meet many language lovers along the way. We have achieved so much together and I am eager to make even more language fun happen in 2017.

Before we move on to the plan for 2017, let’s quickly check in with the December goals:

December 2016 language review:

🇫🇷 French:

Finish the book I had started reading - Done.

Keep watching movies with my wife - Done.

We watched this super famous trilogy. It’s absolutely hilarious, you should watch it if you don’t know it yet

🇩🇪 German:

Go to the library, find one book and start reading it - Done

I found this book, I just started reading it. The technical vocabulary is really helpful.


🇬🇧 English:

Come up with a list of books to read and start reading them - Done.

I have a growing reading list, and I have read those two books in December:

🇪🇸 Spanish and 🇵🇹 Portuguese:

I had one language exchange in Portuguese, and none in Spanish - December is not the best month for consistency, with all the traveling, celebrating and having to finish the work for the year. We’ll do better in January.

🚀 Productivity:

Keep my morning routine - Done.

Tweak my working routine to reach a pace both sustainable and efficient - working on it. I haven’t yet reached a routine I’m happy with, but I’m getting there.

Now, let’s introduce my Language goals for 2017

I have set three big goals which I intend to reach this year:

1 ) Maintain fluency in 6 languages

I intend to keep my current level in all the languages I speak and not let any of them drift away.

2) Reach level C1 in German

As non-logical as it sounds, since I moved to Berlin, my German has only been getting worse and worse. Time to tackle this situation! Before the end of 2017. I will have reached level C1 in German. I don’t intend on taking an exam (although I might change my mind about this). Instead, I will consider this goal to be reached when I can walk out of an appointment with my monolingual finance advisor without a headache, when I can attend a conference and understand (almost) everything and go to a German speaking meetup and take part in the conversation like a regular human being (instead of smiling and nodding because I understand but I’m not fast enough to answer).

3) Ten new languages in 100 hours.

Aaand the craziest language goal I ever came up with: studying 10 more languages, which I have never (or barely) studied before within the year. I plan on picking one language in the following list each months, and spend exactly ten hours studying it, 30 minutes a day, five days a week. The goal: discover the language and see how far I can get in just ten hours.

I refrained from picking 12 languages because, as we all know, life gets in the way. I figured that leaving two months free would significantly increase the chances of completing the list.

The choice was hard to make and I might eventually switch some languages. So far, the list looks like this:

Swedish - Chinese - Russian - Arabic - Japanese - Italian - Türkish - Korean - Swahili - American Sign Language

Let’s get started in the new year with the

January Goals


🇪🇸 Spanish And 🇵🇹 Portuguese:

  1. Find a new schedule which works for my language partners and myself to have at least one conversation every other week.

  2. Try and find podcast and/or Youtube channels to listen to/watch

🇩🇪 German:

  1. Keep reading

  2. Create a sustainable routine to study German consistently throughout the year and reach level C1. This routine should include ways to train all skills: reading, listening, speaking, writing.

🇬🇧 English:

Keep reading :)

🇫🇷 French:

Keep watching movies with my wife

Across languages:

Recently I have got into the habit of listening to podcasts while cooking. So far they are all in English. I’d like to find podcasts in other languages too.

🚀 Productivity:

Same goal as last month: tweak my routine to reach a pace both sustainable and efficient and integrate all my goals in an harmonious manner.

New Language: 🇸🇪 Swedish

Study Swedish for ten hours and see how far I get. - duolingo doesn’t count ;-)

Make a small video update at the end of the month.

That’s all for now :) Who said that’s a lot?

Ok I agree that’s quite an intense list, plus, when I think that I have goals in four more areas (this is just one out of five lists, albeit the most detailed), sometimes I scare myself a little bit ;-)

And you, what are you up to? Let me know in the comment.

I wish you a wonderful 2017 - as the German say “Guten Rutsch”, literally meaning “slip well”, because they feel we “slip” into the New Year. 🎉😉👍



Join #ClearTheList!

  1. Share your goal post whether it includes your aspirations for the month or year. Submissions unrelated to the theme or links to your homepage will be deleted.
  2. Link back to this post. You can use our button code below if you wish.
  3. Follow the hosts: Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages, Shannon from Eurolinguiste, Kris from Actual Fluency and Angel from French Lover.
  4. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Please visit the site of the person who linked up immediately before you and leave them an encouraging comment! By hosting this linkup, we’re hoping to create a positive community where we can all share our goals. If you do not do this, you will be removed from the linkup.
  5. Share on social media using #ClearTheList.
        Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste, Lindsay Dow of Lindsay Does Languages, Angel Pretot of French Lover, and Kris Broholm of Actual Fluency #clearthelist
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