Goal setting

December monthly boot camp: Language learning

For my December monthly boot camp, I opted to study a language for 15 minutes every day. As my Polish skills declined dramatically after living in Poland, I felt it behooved me to try to get back to the point I was at where I could at least give directions and order a pizza!

I’d used Duolingo to study language before, including brushing up on my French before passing my French exam for my MA. Thus, I had quite a few Polish modules that I’d already passed. It took me the first 9 days of Polish language learning–for over 15 minutes a day–to review all of the lessons I’d already passed and get to new lessons.

Feminism Duolingo Language Learning
Feminist Duolingo
Duolingo is getting dark

Within the first day I’d popped up to 12% “fluent,” according to Duolingo’s system. By day 9, I was up to 21%. I’m publishing this on day 18, and I’m up to 31%.

I’m proud of myself for sticking with this monthly boot camp. The biggest struggle for me is remembering to do it. 15 minutes isn’t that long, and it’s fairly easy to fit in. It’s just a matter of planning ahead. For example, if I’m going out with a friend, I try to do the language study before hand. I worry that if I wait until after I will be too tired or too forgetful. Or even worse, I’ll have had too much to drink and won’t be able to remember the difference between the SEVENTEEN different forms of the word “two” in Polish. SEVENTEEN.

This boot camp month has been kind of anti-climatic for me. I don’t feel like I’m learning anything about myself. I still find it valuable to stick to a plan for a single month. I genuinely love learning languages, and it is important for me to keep this up.

I’m struggling to decide on a January boot camp plan. Originally I was thinking of trying a no sugar month, but then I remembered that I have a trip to wine country planned. Wine has sugar. I’ll be drinking wine when in wine country. Do you have suggestions for a “boot camp” for January?

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