Language Challenge 180: Week 23

by Corey · 1 comment

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Welcome to Week 23 !

If you missed the activities these last few weeks, go to the Weekly Activity Page and click on the activities you missed. (Remember: if you aren’t yet signed up, then do so at the link at the top of this page!)

Please keep sharing resources, support and suggestions at the Language Challenge 180 language pages! The more information you can add there, the better! And don’t forget the Multilingual Living Forum where you can ask questions and share information.


As our trip to Germany gets closer, I feel an excitement and energy build. It isn’t just because we will be flying many miles above our earth’s surface in a big piece of metal. And it isn’t necessarily because we will be living in another country for a glorious month.

It has more to do with the fact that something will be arrived at: A goal. 

For many months we have been planning for our trip to Germany: I have been working on my German skills, talking with my children about which family members we will be visiting over there. I have been thinking about things that I will want to purchase while in Germany (books, books and more books) and which things we will want to bring with us (including gifts for family – ugh, so hard for me to decide!). I have noticed that I am eating better, giving more attention to staying in shape and have even purchased a few new clothing items (and I hate to go clothing shopping! but when it comes to lingerie I love it,  I like to know the average breast size in US as a curious fact) since we’ll be seeing family again after three years. I want to feel healthy when we arrive and would like to leave a good impression (basically, I don’t want to look like an American slob).

It is all part of the process of preparing for Germany – mentally and physically. And it feels great to do this! I feel excited, healthy and have an end date for this process:  When we board that plane for Germany.

Once we arrive in Germany, things will then start in a new direction. It will be about spending time with family, lots of cups of coffee, eating more fattening foods than I can imagine and, basically, lounging around a lot. Basically: goal-less (which is important to have from time to time as well). The good part will be that my children and I will be practicing our German each and every day effortlessly!

Goals = Motivation

The point is that it is good to have goals. It is important to have goals. We feel motivated and focused when we have goals.

The catch, though, is this: what we will do when we have reached our goal?

Will I still work on my German language skills when we get back from Germany? Or will I not feel as motivated since there won’t be the same immediate need.

Will I still read as much out loud to my children in Germany as I have been these past few months? Or will I get lazy and opt for books in English since we have more of a selection of those (a whole library full!).

We may not realize how essential it is that we have goals in life, even if they are small, subtle ones. They help us to feel involved and integral in our lives. Our goals are really the way we create motivation for ourselves. They are what we put out there to make our efforts more meaningful and inspirational. Goals aren’t powerful on their own. It is the meaning that we give them which makes them so powerful.

It is important to remember that we don’t have to be the best at everything we do. We don’t have to be the fastest at learning languages or speak without an accent or learn more vocabulary than everyone else. All we have to do is to put our goal out there and to then see if we can reach it.

Our best goals are ones that continually motivate us to embrace life fully.

This Week’s Activity:

  • Individuals and/or Parents:
    This week you are going to keep your eyes on the goal. 
    Don’t let yourself get off track these last few weeks.Next week we are going to give you some things to print out to assess your 180 days of language learning for yourself and/or your children. You are going to look at what you wanted to accomplish (the forms you filled out during the first weeks) vs what you actually accomplished. This isn’t to make you feel discouraged. We will help guide you through it so you can benefit from seeing the differences and to help you set goals that motivate rather than frustrate.

Happy Language Learning!

1 Andrew August 6, 2012 at 10:29 am

I completely agree about goals forming the basis of motivation, if you have a big enough why, the how will take care of itself. I can’t remember who originally said that, though I do know it’s one of Anthony Robbins’ favorite sayings, haha.

Do you talk with German speakers via Skype? Do you use language exchanges? I’ve honestly found nothing better for improving your conversational skills in a language (which makes sense because that’s what you’re doing when you get on skype with a partner: having a conversation). There’s also a fantastic site called Lang-8 where you can write journal entries (they can be about anything, I like to write silly short stories) in your target language and then have them corrected by native speakers (who you do the same for with their English entries), it’s entirely free, highly recommended.


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