Sunday, 4 January 2015

New Year ramblings

Happy (belated) New Year! 

I've been meaning to write a blog post for a while, but Christmas and New Year holidays have taken up a lot of my time. I have been enjoying reading other blogs and all the New Year posts though, especially with all the language challenges and resolutions being made.

I thought I'd list the challenges here that I'm aware of. Please let me know if I've missed any!

The Add1Challenge is running again, but I couldn't find a sign up link...Here it is!

Italki are running a language challenge, which you can read about here.

LindseydoesLanguages has an instagram challenge, which I think is running for the whole year.

Memrise are offering $1,000 (plus runner up prizes) to the person who learns the most words in the January mem-athon.

I've never made New Year resolutions before, but after being inspired by some interesting blog posts I do have a list! Several of the items are health/diet related as I do have issues I need to keep on top of, and I haven't been very good lately. I'm not going to post them all on here, but avoiding gluten as much as possible is one of my goals for this year. I have only succumbed once so far! :)

Language Learning in 2015

I've really struggled the past month to get anything much done with my Russian. After the Toki Pona event I spent a week doing lots and feeling excited about Russian again, but that momentum faded away in the run up to Christmas.  I've studied a bit of grammar here and there, reviewed my memrise courses and a few other random things which haven't added up to much. Christmas is part of the reason, but I'm also struggling with maintaining motivation. I'm not sure where to go with this at the moment, and feel like I'm treading water. I know if I don't push on now I will quickly lose what I've learnt over the past months, but it's a bit hard and a bit boring and I'm not sure what I'm doing right now!

One of my thoughts was to switch to Dutch for this month. I have played around with Dutch a little bit, but in the end realised that it was too hard for me to try and learn both Russian and Dutch. I simply don't have enough time, and decided to just concentrate on Russian. However, I'm still really interested in learning Dutch, and wondering if taking on a Dutch challenge for a month will be helpful in keeping my language learning going while giving me a break from Russian (and maybe coming back with a renewed enthusiasm for it in February?!). It will also be the first time I have ever attempted to learn a language (not including Toki Pona!) without attending a class first, and I am just a bit curious to see how that goes.

Of course it could also be beneficial for me to stick to Russian, and work through my struggles by pushing on with it rather than running off with an attractive and shiny looking new language! Maybe that would be worth doing to prove to myself that I can get over these humps and bumps in the (language learning) road?

I'm at the point where in the past where I would stop and tell you it's too hard, I can't do it, I haven't got the language learning 'gene', and so on. If you've read my post about being a scanner, then you'll know that staying focused on one thing for a prolonged period of time is really difficult for me. (If you're interested Jana Fadness writes much more eloquently than me about scanners here.)

I know I'm not the only one who finds this hard. For me the problem is never getting very far with one thing. I may know about lots of things, but nothing that goes beyond the surface. This used to feel ok, but not so much anymore.

I really want to keep digging with languages, and Russian. I want to keep going, stay focused and get back some of that motivation. I just need to figure how to achieve this, and what would work best for me right now.

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