Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Janus Post: Language learning past and future

As the year comes to an end, I am sure we are all taking stock of the year past and starting to think about the year ahead. The past year has been a busy one for me. Work has been quite hectic at times, but fulfilling. And I am now half way to completing my BA Honours in applied languages.

This has left not a lot of time for language learning. Most of my language activity has been keeping my hand in with my German, French and Italian by reading news articles online. A bit of Spanish too – my Spanish is not really at newspaper-reading level but it is not as difficult because of the similarities to Italian.

I have particularly been enjoying cafebabel.com recently. It is a European culture online magazine. They have articles in English, the four languages I’m maintaining (above) as well as Polish (which I don’t know at all).

Next year I will be tackling a small research project as part of the completion of my Honours. I will probably take a language class for part of the year, as I have come to believe that the classroom situation is a good place for introvert to get speaking practice – it is a controlled environment, everyone is there for the same reason as you, and at least you know it will only last about two hours.

Apart from that, I hesitate to make new language-learning goals for this year, as I think I may disappoint myself. I think maintenance is going to be the way to go for now.  No pressure, I do it because I want to, I don’t want to make a chore of it.

If you are into reading the news for your language practice, I find it quite quick and easy to go to Google News and then change the country. Since I mostly use my Blackberry for foreign-language news-reading, and I’m usually doing it when I have a free moment in between things, Google news is great because it’s quick (no long loading times), and then I can just pick a story I want to read.

Do you have a New Years resolution?