Buondì, and Buon Anno, of course.
One of my morning jobs (which were heavier-going than usual today, I admit) is to delete spam comments and reviews on the various websites (the junk must make up 99% of the total.) And to approve anything genuine.
Such as this ebook review from Chris:
Excellent. I’ve been studying Italian for only five months, and despite my initial reservations, got a lot out of reading this ebook. It’s convinced me to add reading as part of my toolkit of study tools. Grazie.
He’s writng about an A1 (elementary) -level easy reader ebook which is available for anyone to download FOR FREE from our online shop. And a lot of people do, but again, 99% of them don’t take the trouble to leave a review.
Apart from being a nice person, Chris does rather sound like he knows what he’s doing, don’t you think?
He has a “toolkit of study tools”, for instance, which sounds impressive. I don’t doubt he’s a language-learner who knows what he’s about, and I’m not just saying that because he found my ebook useful.
Chris has decided to “add reading” to his study plan, something that I spend a good part of my week encouraging people to do. Perhaps it was his New Year resolution, who knows?
He doesn’t mention listening, but that would be another good one: each day, as far as possible, practise listening to the language you’re learning.
I already do that, but I’m trying to diversify WHAT I listen to, both in terms of the languages and the actual content. I’ve recently discovered franceinfo, for example. The plan is to seek out new sources of material to practise with, then build the habit of listening to and profiting from them.
Actually, I haven’t finalised my New Year resolutions yet, yesterday being too busy with cooking festive food for the family while dealing with the incoming orders generated by this week’s January Sale.
I’ve got a few ongoing projects (Marie Kondo-style minimalising of my possessions and work commitments, for example) but also four other areas in which I am resolved to make progress.
One is cyber-security (passwords, safe-browsing and the like), then there’s the January classic: drinking less alcohol, and thirdly, something a little more fun…
After three decades of either working in an office or teaching in a classroom, I’m no longer doing either very often, and so can finally GIVE UP WEARING SHIRTS. The ugly, boring, officey ones, at least.
Number four is language-learning. I’ve already mentioned diversifying and intensifying my listening practice. Ditto with the reading – an article a day, minimum, for each language, for example. Though as I said, I’m still working on the details.
There are lots of other language-learning things that I would like to do, but of course, there isn’t much point in taking on grand goals which I’m unlikely ever to achieve.
I was reading a blog post by a ‘personal finance guru’ recently, and he was basically saying that, while the goal of saving a million dollars and retiring early might be attractive, it’s likely to be a very long-term one, and thus susceptible to being blown off course by the winds of fate.
Whereas deciding to take a packed lunch to the office or school most days, so as to save the cash you’d usually save on plastic-packaged sandwiches, is much more feasible and achievable.
Focus on the process, he suggested (i.e. getting into the habit of putting something aside for the next day’s lunch).
Benefits will then accrue as a consequence of your ‘improved’ behavior (less plastic in landfill sites, a healthier bank balance at the end of the month.)
The result? You’ll be one small step closer to reaching your long-term goal.
As Chris mentioned, keep adding beneficial, productive habits/processes to your ‘toolkit’ and, sooner or later, your language-learning will be roaring along at top speed, despire you seemingly making not much effort (the actions you take each day by now being automatic.)
Besides reading and listening, I also do an online Swedish and Turkish ‘lesson’ each week, which has paid dividends. Adding a third weekly lesson is a possibility, with a view to reactivating my schoolboy French.
As I recall from when I began taking Swedish lessons two years ago, then Turkish lessons twelve months back, the hardest part is actually beginning.
I dithered for months each time before biting the bullet and paying for some Skype lessons.
“despite my initial reservations”, indeed!
Once I’d finally given it a go, and the terror had faded, I didn’t look back.
Buon anno 2020!
For those of you who aren’t on the shop mailing list, yesterday’s article (‘Build your language level step-by-step with graded materials‘) generated some kind comments. Thanks to those of you who wrote to say they appreciated it.
E’ il primo dell’anno!
But after you’ve finished off the lentils and cotechino and drunk the half-bottle of gone-flat bubbly, what else is there to do but online shopping?
However… fast-fashion is so 2019.
Plus emissions baby, emissions!
So how about we stick it to the man in 2020 by not buying more STUFF?
We’ll make do with what we have (except for the shirts!)
That said, ebooks, online lessons…
“They’re educational”, as my parents used to say when they wanted to justify spending money on something.