#clearthelist July 2019: My Chinese and Welsh Progress After a Break

“Inelegantly, and without my consent, time passed.” - Miranda July

Welcome to Clear the List, my monthly language learning goals update. Yep, that time again already!

Clear the List is a round-up hosted by my friends Lindsay Williams and Shannon Kennedy, and if you’re interested in joining then don’t hesitate to check out the Clear the List linkup for #clearthelist, hosted by Lindsay Williams and Shannon Kennedy.

Let’s go!

What Happened in June 2019?

The biggest event in my June 2019 was the Fluent German Retreat, my immersion holiday for German learners.

hamburg retreat.jpg

We studied in the mornings and had fun outings in the afternoons, like a local apple farm where the owner himself showed us around. In Hamburg, we spent time in the Kunsthalle, the city’s amazing art museum which houses one of my favourite paintings: “Wanderer above a sea of fog”.

There were sea shanties and container ships, city guides in traditional dress, and not lastly delicious home-cooked meals from my retreat co-host Therese.

If you want more information about my retreats and perhaps come along on the next one, click here to join the retreat newsletter.

I also attended my first unconference in June, where conference attendees can turn up and decide to give a talk about anything. Have you been to one of these before?

New for Online Teachers

This month I also got to launch a fabulous new set of workshops for online teachers. These are open for enrolment until 7 July, and they will show ambitious online teachers how to improve the way they do business.

I’m teaching these with Lindsay Williams, my business friend and podcast buddy. Together we’re going to teach you about the best marketing tips and product strategies.

The Fluent Show

My favourite podcast experience of the month is definitely the afternoon I got to spend recording 4 podcasts about online teaching with Lindsay Williams. We’re friends and we chat, but we’d never chatted about the different aspects of our businesses in this way.

It also got personal and I shared my own story of creating this website and business out of my experience with depression.

If you are at all interested in online teaching and marketing, you’ll love this conversation.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

clearthelist (3).png

Language Goals and Progress

We are like 300 words into this article and finally it’s time to check in on my LANGUAGE goals. As you can see I’ve been engaged in lots of projects, so let’s have an honest look about whether I fitted any language learning into all this.

The German retreat took about 10 study days out of my month, but happily I returned more motivated than ever.

Is there anything better than returning from a break, eager to progress through your routine?

Chinese Core Skills

Listening and Reading

I only really listen to Mandarin Chinese when I take lessons or use Lingq, so let’s look at these two goals together.

I created 45 new Lingqs, reading a total of 350 words. In my lessons and books, I also progressed a few pages here and there, so I’ll repeat my favourite language learning mantra:

You can never learn backwards.

In other reading news, I was able to pick out 3 characters from the writing on a Sriracha bottle. It’s the little things…


I had hoped to take 3 italki lessons, but today it’s the 30th and again I only managed one. However, during that one class the compliments were flying my way as my Mandarin teacher said I was a very quick and careful learner.


I wrote 2 pages and practiced a few more Chinese characters.

Welsh Core Skills

Felt like Welsh was a great one this month as I naturally want it in my life now, no big motivation necessary. I found that S4C’s app works on our Amazon Fire stick, so now I can finally watch the popular show Un Bore Mercher with Eve Myles.

You can watch this with me if you are in the UK, because it was actually filmed in Welsh AND English and is available in English as Keeping Faith

And the best thing I found: SUBTITLES IN WELSH!! Amazing!! You can’t get these through my usual streaming service, so I’m just delighted.

For reading and writing practice, I kept my Welsh Instagram account going (@kersydysgu, dilynwch fi os eisiau!) and had the usual text exchanges with friends. And I had a lovely language exchange with Gareth Popkins.

Language Goals for July 2019

My next few months all look like they will feature quite a bit of travel and work, so one thing’s for sure: 2019 is not going to be the “summer of language study”. But here’s what I’m aiming for in July 2019.


I have good things going here with Welsh on the radio, podcasts, and TV. In addition, Lingq recorded dialogues are a great resource of Mandarin at my level. So it’s all good and I just need to crack on.


In Welsh, I’m actually finding myself quite eager to start my next book which will be Ffenestri by Lois Arnold.

In Chinese, I’m ALSO eager to read as I’m loving the Lingq app. Let’s see if I can build more Lingqs than in June.


Aiming for at least 2 italki lessons in Mandarin Chinese, and let’s see if I can’t find someone to speak more Welsh to. If all else fails, I’ll record myself speaking some Welsh over on Instagram.


Unclear on the goals at the moment, but I do get the feeling that my Chinese level is now calling for some vocabulary lists. I like writing vocabulary lists rather than making flashcards, as they allow me to focus and review without a screen. So let’s see if I can’t fill 2 pages with 20-40 Mandarin expressions and words.

Not sure if I should keep it pin-yin here or go with the full character set? What do you think?

On Studying 2 Languages

Studying both Chinese and Welsh at the same time is not bothering me massively. I don’t have the big goals of reaching any levels at set points, and for this month the relaxed feel fits both languages well.

I’d love to hear from you. Which languages are you studying? Are you happy with your language choices at the moment?

Leave a comment below, or why not join clearthelist as well and post your own update on your blog. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!