Clear the List October 2019: My italki Speaking Challenge Plans

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Hello and welcome to another blog post in the Clear The List series, the monthly language learning round-up about language learning goals and progress. Gretchen Rubin says

The days are long, but the years are short.

Well, I get the feeling that the days were >< this long in September. Nothing like a check-in post to remember what even happened!

If you’re inspired to try your own check-in, why not join our #clearthelist blog round-up hosted by Shannon Kennedy and Lindsay Williams.

What Happened in September?

In the last week of September I spoke a lot of German! My husband is a fairly inactive German learner and we switched to the language for all conversations for a bit. I have not found it realistic to just “teach him German by speaking all the time”, so that short-term effort is unlikely to stick. Read this if you want to know more about learning languages through a partner.

The Fluent Show

First of all: The Fluent Show has opened a Patreon page. This allows all listeners to become involved in making the show with a small monthly pledge (though you can send a huge one if you like).

If you want to become a part of the community, please visit our Patreon page.

If you listen to just one episode from September 2019, I recommend the exciting recap of Langfest in Montréal. You’ll be transported there instantly!


Language Goals and Progress

Here’s the short summary of what you’re about to read: I didn’t do much in one big chunk, but I did lots of little things and they added up. Or in another Gretchen Rubin quote…”what you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”

Mandarin Chinese

I am feeling progress with this language. There is not a huge jump ahead as I’m not putting the big hours in, but still it’s going from noisenoisenoisenoisenoise to noise-word-noisenoisenoise-something-I-know. And phone typing in Chinese is also easier now. Hooray!

Here’s how I did with my goals:

  • Look for a tutor and ask for listening support

I did look but I didn’t book. Hah! Must do better in October.

I did use Yabla this month to start a bit of TV in Chinese. I found a fun reality TV show on there and I’m excited that there are a few more learning materials available to me compared to Welsh.

  • Use LingQ 4 days a week

No LingQ but it’s been an appy month anyway (GEDDIT?), as I moved ahead and levelled up with the wonderful Lingodeer. It is the best app-based course I’ve seen in Chinese.

By the way, I contacted Lingodeer and asked them for a discount code so you can now get 15% off Lingodeer membership using the code FLUENTSHOW.

  • Vague speaking ambitions

I recorded myself reading the Chinese challenges on Lingodeer, but beyond that there wasn’t much progress. Again, stuck on getting a tutor.


File under “what you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while”. In other words: I spoke Welsh, I read Welsh, I heard some Welsh, I typed a bit, but none of it in huge quantities.

Language Goals for October 2019

This month I need a little time to recover and focus on promoting the next Fluent German Retreat, and there’s a 10-day trip to the USA in my plans as well. Busy one, so I’ll be combining my goals for Welsh and Chinese.

Listening and Speaking

October is an italki challenge month, so I have a good reason to book lessons in both Chinese and Welsh, which should cover some of my speaking and listening needs.

The minimum hours to put in for a badge are 12, so I’ll divide mine into

  • 4 hours of Welsh conversation (exciting)
  • 4 hours of Chinese practice (terrifying)
  • 4 hours of wildcard languages (exciting)

I’m thinking I might throw in a bit of French and BSL. What about you?


Apps and LingQ for Chinese, the final pages of Ffenestri in Welsh. My focus is not on this for the month.


I’ll see if I can make writing a part of my lessons somehow for the Chinese part. In Welsh, it’s a little easier since I have a few people I can always message in the language.

And that’s it for October’s #clearthelist!

How are You Getting On in Language Learning?

Boy, I’m so looking forward to my next trip to Wales. Nothing is booked yet and autumn is already going to be fairly travel heavy, but then..what’s better than learning in the country? This is why I run retreats in Germany after all!

What about you? Share your check-in and plans in the comments below!

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