#clearthelist March 2019: Surprising Gigs, Welsh Friends, Big Things to Come

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Welcome to the March edition of my #clearthelist goal tracking post. Clear The List is a support and accountability blog group sharing monthly language learning goals, hosted by my friends Lindsay and Shannon.

Anyone can join and you're welcome in the blog round-up. Lindsay has more information on how it works on her website.

What Happened in February 2019?

February is a short month and full of joy for me as one of the co-organisers of the Women in Language conference. I spent a big chunk of the month emailing speakers, creating a schedule and booking everyone in for their individual speaking slots. And then of course there’s marketing - I hope you spotted us on the blog or on a podcast you listen to.

As I write this, we’re just 2 days away from starting the conference. I’m feeling nervous and excited, and ready to enjoy 4 days of straight-up fun. All the information you need is at Womeninlanguage.com.

During this month, I also put together everything I need so I can open my new course German Uncovered in March. I am excited to be taking the first Fluent students and made a free mini course for all of you to enjoy. Sign up at www.german2019.com site to find out more about that one.

Surprising Gig Experience

February wasn’t all work. I took a fun trip to Cardiff (the Welsh capital) with my friend Gareth and saw a fab selection of bands for the Yes is More! gig. I attended for the bands…didn’t quite realise the gig’s political dimension as it was a Welsh independence campaign rally too!

Ending up dancing at a concert that supports an “independent, socialist Wales” is EXACTLY why I learn languages. It’s the kind of thing I would never ever get to do if I didn’t speak the language and let that pull me deeper under the surface of a country.

What language-based adventures have you had in your life?

And finally, I was excited to be commenting on Britain’s less impressive language news on BBC Radio 5 Live. Here’s a glimpse of their high tech local studio!

The Fluent Show

February’s episodes were fabulous - I shared the results of the big audience survey in episode 123 and got to bring you a brand new bilingual podcast. This time, I spoke French and English with Khady Ndoye who can teach us a lot about the many languages of Africa.

Listen to the bilingual episode about African languages here

Language Goals and Progress

As I mentioned above, the Women in Language conference is just 2 days away. So this time I’ll breeze through the goals and give you a very short summary.

extremely short summary: Chinese learning not terrible, Welsh learning mostly speaking practice.

Let’s take a quick look at my…

Welsh Language Progress

I’m only one lesson away from finishing level 2 of Say Something in Welsh. This level is 25 lessons long so once I get that done I’ll be at a GREAT milestone.

As I mentioned above, I visited Wales in February. That’s always a treat. Cardiff is mostly English speaking but there are always a few opportunities for Welsh practice too. Hanging out with Gareth from How to get fluent is great for me - not just because he’s another Welsh speaker but also because he’s a good friend.

I stayed at the YHA, where the staff wear badges to show their language skills, and one of the staff members had all her exchanges with me in Welsh. Which was awesome and confirmed that I’m fully functional in this language.

I also popped up to visit my friend Dafydd who patiently spoke Welsh with me even when I lazily switched to English. Diolch!

And finally, I also met with my local language exchange partner I found on Facebook, and texted and messaged several friends.

Now that I have built a network of Welsh speakers around me, it feels almost impossible to spend a month not using this language. This is such a positive development!

In terms of listening, I also listened to a full episodes of the Mynd am beint gyda.. show with Nicky Roberts. I can now listen while doing other stuff and still understand everything. Result!

Chinese Language Progress

Well, isn’t Chinese at a different level! This month I did meet my goals of

  • starting a Chinese notebook
  • going to the library to see what they have.

Sadly the library didn’t have anything useful in terms of traditional courses, so I continued to explore online and use apps. I listened to a few episodes of Coffee Break Chinese which I enjoyed lots.

Best new word of the month is definitely the Chinese for English: yīng gé lán 英格兰…because it sounds like the “In-ger-land” shout in New Order’s song ‘World in Motion’ which I love. 😅

Language Goals for March 2019

March looks like it’s going to be a month all about German with the new German course opening, but here are the goals I’m going to set myself.

Welsh Language Goals

  • I’m keen to have more real conversations to develop my Welsh listening skills, so I hope to chat to friends every week on Skype or locally.
  • I am 100% going to finish Level 2 of Say Something in Welsh!
  • Listening needs more attention! Once again, Nicky’s podcast to the rescue. It’s great for my level, conversational with a good amount of English thrown in.

I miss reading in Welsh so I’m also going to start my next book, which is Ffenestri by Lois Arnold.


I get the feeling it’s now time that I move on from the basics of “good, thank you, I am, you are, excuse me..” and towards some way of expressing myself in my target language.

I’ve also decided to focus less on the characters, as my first vision goal has been established: I want to understand what people say!

So my main work here will have to be on pronunciation and on lots of listening.

Here are a few things I hope to do:

  • Purchase an audio-based course
  • Make my first sentences in my notebook
  • If there’s time, book my first Chinese lesson to try those sentences with a tutor
  • Keep up with the apps I’m liking: Drops, Memrise, Lingodeer if there’s time.

So that’s it, my Clear the List report for the two languages I’m now learning at two very different levels.

By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about learning two languages at once, check out Abigail from Polyglot Process who is presenting at Women in Language. Her talk is going to be popular!

What Are Your Language Goals?

Have you studied two languages at very different levels? For me it’s not the first time, but it is the first time as a solo learner!

If you have ambitions in German, don’t forget to visit www.german2019.com where my free course is launching next month.

How was your February? Leave a comment below and share how you got on.