I had a bad dream last night and so was awake for a while, reading The Guardian on my smartphone.
On Saturday, they have a regular piece by Oliver Burkeman called ‘This column will change your life’.
As it’s New Year, this week’s article was about the absurdity of hoping to change your life by setting New Year’s resolutions.
Oliver points out that:
“Old You is the last person you ought to trust when it comes to designing a New You”.
Resolutions just don’t work, it seems. But there’s something that does…
Don’t resolve to become “the kind of person” who runs, meditates, or listens to your spouse. Instead, just do that thing, once, today. Preferably now.
And the point is?
The team behind OnlineItalianClub.com have been working on a new project, a series of new websites for learners of other languages.
We’ve completed beginner-level courses in Italian, Spanish, German and French, and are working on Russian, Japanese and probably a few other languages that now escape me.
One issue that we have is with proof-reading – checking the fifty odd web pages on each site for coherence, mistakes, broken links and so on.
The problem is that, perhaps because we’re a fairly experienced bunch of language learners, no one is keen to take a ‘beginner’s eye’ look at the sites for languages that they don’t know.
We know what hard work learning a new language can be!
I studied French at school, so although I don’t really speak the language at all, working through the material at dontspeakfrench.com took me less than a day and had the pleasurable effect of really getting my synapses sparking! French words were popping into my head for days afterwards.
And it’s Saturday, and there are a million other things to catch up on, and who the hell cares about learning Spanish or German, and…
You get the idea.
But inspired by Oliver’s article, I decided to make a start with just one fast, easy thing.
And rather than setting a New Year’s resolution to learn Spanish, German or whatever, I’d just leave it at that for today.
Do my one fast, easy thing and back to preparing lunch for the kids. 2016 can take care of itself!
I went for the less-scary option, choosing Spanish rather than German to start with.
I clicked ‘Play’ and listened while reading the transcript. Then I listened again. Total time? About two minutes.
And that was it. I had listened to some Spanish!
One, easy thing, and it was back to making tagliatelle.
Did I learn anything? Sure, ‘vida’ in Spanish is ‘vita’ in Italian.
And that doing something is way, way better than doing nothing at all.
Who knows if it’ll become a habit, but perhaps the secret is not to bother about that too much.
OK, so now you try it. Improve your Italian by doing this one easy thing today:
– or if your level is higher than beginner, start from the levels page on OnlineItalianClub.com. Click on your level, then look for the ‘listenings for your level’ link at the top of the page. Choose something and listen to it!
Clock’s Ticking On The January Sale!
There are four days left of our 2016 January Sale, so here are the details, one more time:
- Select the lesson options or ebooks that interest you from our online shop
- In your shopping cart, copy and paste the coupon code: januarysale2016
- The coupon code will discount everything in your shopping cart by 16%
- The coupon is valid until Jan. 6th 2016
- Use the coupon code as often as you want until that date
Or go browse our e-books for learning Italian, especially the extensive range of Italian easy readers.
(To see everything organised by level, and to download free sample chapters, go here.)