How To Create An Amazing Language Journal

What if you had a language learning tool that costs you hardly anything, adapts to your own preferences, boosts your memory and helps concentration?

Turns out you do, and it's probably in your bag right now: Your notebook!

Today on the podcast I'm joined by language lovers Kathryn and Sam who are passionate about taking fantastic language notes. Listen to discover their experiences, language learning tips and strategies for effective note taking.

This episode of the show is sponsored by LiveLingua (click for a free lesson), the best place to connect to your new favourite Skype teacher.

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Why Keep a Notebook?

There are so many huge benefits to keeping a language learning notebook, from the brain science aspects all the way to mindfulness and wellbeing.

Personalised Learning

Language learning notebooks are a completely blank canvas where you can design the textbook of your dreams. You control the layout and the content, and get to create what makes sense to you.

Clearer Thinking

Writing in a notebook means you are expressing concepts and sentences in a way that makes sense to you personally. It automatically helps organise what you are learning. Sam mentions that he selects what he finds most helpful and important from podcasts, YouTube videos and online lessons so he can curate his own version of a personal textbook.

Memory Boosts

When you write your notes by hand, you become better at remembering them. The act of writing, perhaps even colouring or illustrating your note is an in-depth repetition of what you’re learning. Add to that the personal connection as you write what is meaningful to you, and the increased repetitions as you look back over your notebook, and what you have created is a reliable system for remembering what you learn.

Enjoyment

If you have a creative side you’d like to unleash, your language learning notebook is a welcome new playground. Kathryn and Sam already loved drawing, design and papercrafts. The language notebook became a way of adding language to what they enjoy, and it has helped create time to combine two great hobbies.

Freedom from screen

Learning online gives you access to infinite materials, but sometimes it’s hard to remember everything that you see. The notebook becomes your place to capture the coolest bits you find on the web, the new words you learn from an app, everything you find in your personal language learning world.

What Can You Write In The Notebook?

Anything and everything! The possibilities are endless: Kathryn keeps her journal in her target language Norwegian. Sam doodles around tricky pronunciation rules and curious idioms. Here are some more ideas:

  • Vocab doodles or lists

  • Jokes & Cute Pictures

  • Repeat and review things you learnt from YouTube or a podcast

  • All types of language learning goals and motivations

  • Memories from cool things you’ve done

  • Tracking: Core skills balance, daily contact with an app

  • Your resource lists

  • Weekly learning plans

Get Inspired With These Instagram Language Journalers

Episode Links

Welsh Is Not English: How The Welsh Language Fought Back

When I first moved to the UK 15 years ago, I thought Welsh was dying out.

But did you know that people went on protest marches and even got ARRESTED to keep this language alive?

In this podcast episode, I bring you interviews with Welsh learners and teachers, sharing their own passions for this ancient language.

Read More

Language Learning Advice From a Polyglot Veteran (Bilingual Interview with Judith Meyer)

In this interview with passionate polyglot Judith Meyer, she shares how she learnt over 14 languages, how you can get over the intermediate plateau, and why learning any other language than English takes a little passion.

We talked about

  • what excites Judith about leaving the textbook behind
  • how to get over the intermediate plateau
  • why using your language is the key to making progress
  • what language learners can get out of events like the Polyglot Gathering

Oh...and we did it in two languages! Listen in to find out more.

Read More

New Podcast Episode: Chilled out Success with Language Surfer Ron Gullekson

““Languages are ultimately designed to bring people together.””

This episode of the Creative Language Learning Podcast is brought to you by Flashsticks - use code KERSTIN for 10% off vocabulary aids in French, German, Italian, Spanish or BSL.

languagesurfer

Welcome to episode 19 of the Creative Language Learning Podcast, featuring a current article of the week and an inspiring interview with one of my favourite language bloggers: Ron Gullekson from Language Surfer. His relaxed language learning attitude will make you so comfortable. 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why Ron's blog is called Language Surfer
  • How formal language learners all know what "drawing a line down the middle" means :)
  • How Ron structures his on curriculum for language learning
  • Which level of language learning you might be at if you studied Arabic for 8 hours a day..for 64 weeks!
  • Free listening, and how soon you can start doing this in your own study routine
  • How to create your organic SRS system
"I want to get used to the idea of being lost as soon as possible."

Tips of the Week

I had secretly expected Ron to choose tip 3 as a music fan, but his own choice was tip 1: Get out and talk to people.

1) Meet up in conversation groups offline

2) Find local podcasts by switching itunes to the country's store

3) Learn with music on Spotify

Tips and Links from this Podcast

If you loved this podcast episode, don't forget to check out the other episodes in the Archive and visit our sponsor Flashsticks to use your KERSTIN10 coupon code.

New Podcast: Becky Morales on Perfect Pronunciation and Having 4 Bilingual Kids

becky language podcast

Hey, welcome to lucky episode 13 of the Creative Language Learning Podcast. In this episode, I'll be sharing a delicious foodie article and talking about Kid World Citizens with Becky Morales.

You Will Learn More About:

  • How Becky went from Maths major to Spanish lover in college
  • What it takes and what it means to become bilingual
  • How to put together a golden approach to teaching language
  • Why pronunciation can be something you master at any age if you only have time, dedication and fun
  • How to create an environment where you can learn a language to any level from your own home

Article of the Week

Top Five Russian Pasta DIshes on Transparent Language

Bonus! Recipes of the Week

Jewish Noodle Kugel

German Spätzle

Kazakh Beshbarmak

Tips of the Week

Out of the following three tips, Becky chose number 1 as her favourite tip -  personalize your language learning experience by building your own vocab decks.

1) DIY your Memrise Courses

2) Start with Pronunciation (here's Gabriel Wyner's take)

3) Incorporate all the senses into your vocab learning habits (Science Daily)

Tips and Links from this Podcast

The Top 10 Podcasts to Help you Learn a Language

Heartwarming video of Brazilian students practicing with elderly Americans

Kid World Citizen : Becky's Website

The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners, Becky's book onAmazon.co.uk and on Amazon.com (Buy through this link to support my podcast!)

New Podcast: Chris Broholm on Challenges, Information Overload and Book Club (and the Owl!)

In Episode 12 of the Creative Language Learning Podcast, I interviewed a fellow podcaster! Chris Broholm is a language learner with a big mission: 10 Languages in 10 Years!

Listen to our interview to find out more about

  • Who everybody's favourite owl is!

  • How Chris built up his own support community of inspiring language learners through the Actual Fluency Podcast

  • Whether there is a best way to approach language learning methods

  • What to think about when you set yourself an ambitious goal like Chris Broholm's 10 Languages in 10 Years

  • The importance of bewaring information overload

  • The language learning method that you absolutely must try out

  • And why trying it out is all that we can tell you to do!

As long as you’re doing something, you’re doing it right.
— Chris on Language Learning Methods
www.languagebookclub.com

And most importantly...

We talk about Language Book Club and how much we're looking forward to it!

Article of the Week

Duolingo is Getting More Serious by Kay Alexander on Fair Languages

Tips of the Week

Chris chose Tip 1 as his favourite, because goal setting is still WAY undervalued in learning a new language.

  • Tip 1: set your chosen Fluency level (travel fluent, job fluent?)

  • Tip 2: Be a historical linguist

    • Word origins and vocab divergence can help with remembering words

    • Look up "etymology"

  • Tip 3: Sprint with the Language Challenge

Tips and Links from this Podcast

Support the Creative Language Learning Podcast through Patreon - from just $1!

Actual Fluency Indiegogo Campaign

The italki New Year Challenge: Study 20 Lessons and Win

Actual Fluency Episode 32 with me talking about how to be an independent online teacher

Handbook of Russian Affixes

Russian in 10 Minutes a Day by Kristine Kershul

Thanks for reading this article on Fluent, the Language Learning Blog. If you are feeling stuck right now, why not subscribe to Fluent and check out our language book shop.

New Podcast! Episode 9 Benny Lewis from Fluent in 3 Months and The Growth Mindset

Welcome to episode 9, where I'm featuring an AMAZING article of the week and an interview with Benny Lewis from Fluent in 3 Months.

In this interview you'll be finding out about

  • The single one problem that's stopping everyone from language learning
  • Why the "Learn my language, I won't learn yours" is NOT just an English world view
  • Confidence vs Discipline: Which one is more important?
  • What you should focus on when you start learning a new language
  • How important it is to personalize your learning experience
  • How to be a creative language learner with very limited vocabulary
  • Where Benny is going to live next!
  • Top tips for travelling the world on a budget
  • How to create a virtual immersion environment without travelling even a single mile

"The fun part is at the end of a lesson when I realise I've made some progress."

benny lewis interviewed

You can hear that Benny and I had some debate on the following issues - what do you think of this:

  1. Textbooks and Group Classes - Are they useless?

  2. If it really is all that important to take the personal approach, why is the mass approach of Duolingo so popular?

Article of the Week

Why The Growth Mindset is the Only Way to Learn on Edudemic

Very Highly Recommended!

Tips of the Week

Out of the following fabulous three tips, Benny chose number 1 as his Tip of the Week! He stated that he loves working with Mini-Missions and assessing his progress continuously as he goes a long.

1) System of Milestones and Post-mortems  

2) Tutor a fellow learner

3) HiNative

Tips and Links from this Podcast

Tune In Radio

Wikipedia, accessible in hundreds of languages

Meetup.com, where you can find local language friends

Couchsurfing.com, for affordable travel