Actual Fluency Clear The List March 2017!

In this post I review my language learning efforts from February, and look ahead to my plans for March.

What is Clear The List?

Clear The List is a public accountability and goal-sharing initiative originally thought up by Lindsay from LindsayDoesLanguages and Shannon Kennedy from EuroLinguiste. Since January they have asked me and a few others to co-host in order to make CTL even bigger.

It gives some exposure to all of us, and it helps us stay accountable to keep learning and achieving our goals. This is very much in the spirit of my premium motivational course: Language Motivation Mastery.

You can also join! Instructions are in the widget at the very bottom of this post.

February Review

February was good in general. I spent a lot of time thinking about my future, and planning how I aimed to help even more language learners going forward.

I also spent a lot of mental energy deconstructing mental barriers that were preventing me from achieving my full potential.

Language learning wise I finally got started properly on Spanish with some of my favourite apps: Memrise and Duolingo and I listened to about half of the first Michel Thomas Spanish course – which is just a wonderful method.

I'm excited about Spanish because it's so easy compared to the other languages I've been learning.

There's no denying that speaking Russian or Hungarian is super cool, but the effort required to learn it really dampens motivation and makes every turn a bit of a struggle.

In Spanish I already know thousands and thousands of words, and the pronunciation, sans the rolled R which I STILL cannot do to save my life, is fairly straight-forward.

I wish I had started with an easier language back then, just to experience this rapid progress and excitement. This might have greatly accelerated my Russian or Hungarian.

Oh well, live and learn 🙂

For March I'm also excited to begin to plan and build the foundations of what I hope will be a fantastic resource to learn Danish.

Down the line I hope to offer it to foreigners in Denmark for nothing as well, in their native language, in order to do my bid for humanity and try to improve integration and as a consequence society as a whole.

If you're interested in learning Danish, send me an email and let's talk 🙂 I'd love to hear your ideas for how I can help you best in the future.

February Goals Review

Last month I lamented a bit on my struggle adapting back to living in Denmark, I'm happy to say things are a lot better now.

I feel better about myself, and also about my future as an independent entrepreneur.

You might also recall that I didn't set any specific goals for February, but instead focus on the theory of “Non-zero days” essentially committing to do the very minimum every day.

And wow did it help!

Not only did I have a remarkable success rate (something like 5 missed days total) I also did way more than 5 minutes on average, even though that was all I “had” to do.

Why does this work?

It works because the micro-task is so managable, so we're far more likely to actually do it.

You might ask; But, Kris, if I only read one page a day in my textbook I'll never finish it!

And that's true, but the magic of the method in my opinion is that once I actually sit down to do the micro task (or open up the website/app) I'm almost never doing just the micro task.

In fact, I don't even remember a time this last month where I did just the minimum.

It's similar to the theory of going to the gym, where your goal should just be to get the building. Once you're there it would silly not to actually work out, as you're already there.

Process Goal

  • Do something every day, for at least 5 minutes. SUCCESS!

March Goals

I'll continue the positive trend for next month, but I'll attach an extra outcome goal:

Process Goal

  • Finish Michel Thomas Spanish Foundation Course

Tools I will use to learn Spanish

  • SpanishPod101: Premium podcast with lots of extra tools
  • Baselang: Unlimited tutoring for a flat monthly fee
  • Michel Thomas Spanish: Audio course that I imported into iTunes so I can listen to it with my computer and phone.
  • Memrise: Flashcards
  • Duolingo: Quiz-style language learning app for commutes, travel, downtimes and so on.

As I mentioned earlier in the post, I really love Michel Thomas and Spanish is just such a joy to study compared to Russian and Hungarian.

I feel like my progress will be super quick with Spanish.

How was your January? How will your February be?

-Kris


  • Panna

    Hi Kris,
    I’m glad you’re feeling better!
    I can also totally agree on how wonderful it is to try to do a “minimum” each day, which then will result in a lot more. 🙂 It really works for me with Memrise vocabulary.
    On the other hand, remélem, a magyar tanulást nem hagytad abba teljesen. I truly admire everybody who decides learning Hungarian.

    Legyen szép napod,
    Panna

    • Köszi szépen ;D most tudom, hogy én Budapestre májusban megyek – fejlesztenem kell maygar nyelvom!

  • I love that we’re both studying Spanish. It’s interesting to see what you’re using and how it’s working for you.

    I’m also really glad that you had a good month last month. Transitioning your home environment is really tough.

    All the best to you this month, my friend!

    • Muy interesante! 😛 I’m sure you’re miles ahead though with your work ethic and experience in Spanish. Thanks for the support, really appreciate it 🙂

      • I think you give me too much credit. I’m still mostly focused on Chinese so it gets the ‘leftover’ time. 😉

  • Hi Kris,

    I completely agree with you about your theory. In February, I spent 5-15 minutes a day learning French. Earlier, when I had more time to practice, I practiced for more than an hour

    Even though I put less effort into learning in February, I made so much progress. I can finally talk with native speakers.

    I hope the same will work for you too! Good luck this month.

    • Thanks for stopping by and leaving your encouragement for me to absorb 🙂

  • Tiia M

    Hi,
    great to hear you’re February was better and things are brighter now!
    Spanish hasn’t been on my list of must-learn languages, but I think it is slowly ending up there, when I follow many people learning it, making it sound such a joy to learn. And besides, it seems to have such an abundance of great and fun and interesting tools and materials available!
    Good luck for your March in languages 🙂

  • Dorothée

    Hi Kris,
    Good luck with your goals in March!
    Fernando and JP are my favourites on SpanishPod101. Now I only download the Throwback Thursday lessons in audio, so I have a mix of the teachers 😉
    I’ll follow your progress in launching your Danish course. I have tried to learn it a bit around the time I went to Copenhagen, but I found it hard to learn by myself as (like French ;)) the way words are written is not easy to read aloud^^ (and I learn a lot by reading/writing) As I already know German, and when you launch your course I will be a master in Icelandic, Danish will be a piece of cake haha

  • Hi Kris,
    “Non-zero days” method sounds brilliant and I totally agree, once you start working on the language for a few minutes one usually goes on for some extra time.
    Developing a free course for foreigners living in Denmark is quite admirable, I wish you all the best for this project.
    Good luck with your studies for March!

  • dandiprat

    Glad to see you’ve made progress this month, Kris. Keep up the good work! It’s really admirable that you want to help people learn Danish. Often the people who need most to learn a language suffer from immense problems with motivation.