clarabutt in England is doing 23 things including…

Become fluent in more than one language

26 cheers


clarabutt has written 2 entries about this goal


For the last month I have been downloading the news spoken slowly in German from Deutsche Welle:,,8030,00.html on to my ipod and making sure I listen to at least 15 minutes worth each day (each one lasts less than 10 minutes so I listen to a number of the most recent ones). As I’ve said before, my aural skills are lousy, and I’ve heard in many places that this is a good way to learn. I try to really focus when I’m listening, i.e. not do anything else, and write down words which I don’t understand. It’s a good news broadcast, there was me thinking my beloved BBC told me everything that was going on in the world ;)

Well, I thought I wasn’t really getting anywhere, but this weekend I had some time so thought I’d work my way back through all of the podcasts for the last month. Amazing! I realise that I really have made progress, some of the early ones I’m listening to and thinking “I didn’t pick that up at all first time round!” – whole sentences of easy words that I just couldn’t hear. It really is about ‘getting your ear in’. I’m so pleased to know that I really AM making progress, it was feeling like a real slog. I guess at some point, when I understand everything, I’ll have to listen to the proper news at proper speed, but hey, baby steps…

I can really recommend this method to anyone else struggling with their listening skills. There is a similar thing in french ‘journal en francais facile’ on the RFI website, and no doubt there are similar things in other languages out there.


This ties in with my ambition to move abroad. I already have some German and French, for example I can read a book or newspaper in these languages and understand 80-90% (i.e. enough). But my speaking and listening abilities in these languages are poor in comparison, so that’s my focus. There are so many resources available on the Internet, I’ve been downloading loads of podcasts for example. I also have a German friend who is coming to the UK for the first time in June. Woo hoo! As my speaking and listening skills develop, I need to keep expanding my vocab and grasp of grammar too. I would really love to work abroad and use my language skills day to day.

clarabutt has gotten 26 cheers on this goal.


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