Free Printables for Language Learners

The first, and most important step, in trying to achieve anything is to create written goals to track your progress and to keep your eyes on the prize. A special thank you to Kathryn of 365 Small Steps Blog for creating and sharing this free downloadable language learning goal sheet!

365 Small Steps

Personally, I really enjoy my language studying but sometimes my enthusiasm means I’m not making the best use of my time. Until recently, my studying tended to be more about  ‘what kind of thing do I feel like doing today’ as opposed to ‘what do I need to do to achieve my mini goals?’.

I created a printable a while ago and shared it on my Instagram (@365smallsteps) and quite a few people contacted me asking where I had found it. I decided to refine my design and make it available for other learners to download. I have created both a weekly and a daily design depending on how you prefer to organise your goals and times. I recommend that you print 2 to a page so that you end up with a sheet that (once cut) is slightly smaller than A5 and so will foit neatly into…

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11 Reasons Why Learning a Language Should be Your New Year’s Resolution for 2018

Even if you don’t think you have the time to learn a language, Memrise allows you to take advantage of a few minutes (or more) every day to build your language skills and confidence. Add a language learning accountability partner to the equation and make 2018 the year you finally learn another language.

The Memrise Blog

As we ring in 2018, it’s the perfect time to remind yourself of those language learning goals you forgot about in 2017.

Learning a new language isn’t as scary as you might think. Put aside those bleak memories of high school French class, language learning has comes a long way since then.

As you set about creating your 2018 New Year resolutions, take a moment and rediscover why learning a new language is awesome!

Here are 11 reasons why learning a language should be your resolution for 2018.

1. Better travel memories

Travelling isn’t just about taking selfies in front of a few monuments, eating your body weight in food, then going home. It’s about experiencing the culture and the people who live it.

Start with dropping a few choices words and phrases and you’ll be amazed by the reaction you’ll get from local native speakers. Not only will you…

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Summer Does Not Mean Letting Up on Your Goals

No, I have not forgotten about you. Unfortunately I am now both without job and without unemployment. Why? Because I live in the first state to reduce the number of weeks a person is eligible for unemployment. And because I am living in what, as I’ve been told, has become “known as a welfare state.” Yippee, just what every person who’s ever worked their whole life wants to hear; no one wants to hire you full-time because they can reduce costs by making you go on welfare. Oh, and the fact that you’re middle-aged? That’s not good. We want young people and in some cases we (potential employers) are either so naive or so brazen that we will actually tell you that to your face. Good luck though.

In case I seem bitter, you might wonder why I haven’t been venting via my blog. The reason is that I don’t want to wallow in my misery or share it with the world (yes, I realize that I just did anyway). That was it though. I’m over it and now we are on to new things and better futures. If they (the so-called infrastructure that we have erroneously been taught to depend on) will not provide me with what I need the “old-fashioned” way, I will create my own future my own way. It might not be easy and it might take some time, but I’m down, not out. Onward and upward, I say.

And this leads me to the topic of today’s blog post: goals. Do I still want a “day job” until I can figure something else out? You bet. I don’t want to be on welfare. I began working when I was in eighth grade and that was a very long time ago in my mind; why should I stop working now? I didn’t win the lotto (obviously, or there would not have been any complaints) and I have not reached retirement (when I say “middle-aged” I’m not referring to the new-improved “middle-aged” that Baby Boomers call seventy!) so I need to continue on with my life. That, at least in my mind, involves contributing to society in whatever way I possibly can. If the “only” contribution I can figure out to make right now is blogging, then I certainly hope that my words provide some measure of sustenance for at least one (and preferably more) person out there.

My goals for July:

I have two main goals for July. For those of you who read my earlier posts, it should come as no surprise to you that I am entering the Office of Letters & Light’s Camp NaNoWriMo this month. And, slow learner that I can be, I am once again attempting “too much.” I do not plan to use the blog to do all my writing for the month (I think I’ve learned that lesson but only time will tell for sure) but I do plan to blog during the month. Along with my writing goal of fifty thousand words this month, I have one other main goal to tackle too.

The Three Week Esperanto Challenge

I’m sure that there are more sites than this which are completing such a challenge, but I really happen to like Languages Around the Globe so I am using this link for anyone who is interested.

I first heard about Esperanto probably thirty years ago. Back when I first heard about it, I got really excited about the possibility of a “universal” language (also known as a Conlang or constructed language) that all people from all over the world could learn to communicate together. And then I learned that the concept had fallen apart and “very few” people took to the idea. I decided that I didn’t need to learn Esperanto because no one spoke it. Little did I know…

Fast forward thirty years: Not only is Esperanto the most successful Conlang in history, but it lays claim to well over one million speakers (estimates vary widely) distributed all over the world. But what’s the one thing that you can guarantee about anyone who speaks Esperanto? You can guarantee that anyone speaking Esperanto is interested in language learning. And since I am interested in language learning, I already know that we have one thing in common.

Why the sudden interest in Esperanto? Well, in case you haven’t already heard, Benny Lewis of Fluent in 3 Months fame espouses the idea that by simply studying Esperanto for a mere two weeks, you will increase your ability to learn any other language that you choose to learn. And since Benny’s blog is one–if not the–most popular language learning blog on the web, his word tends to get a lot of attention. Couple that with the release of his book by the same name (Fluent in 3 Months), interest in Esperanto has taken a leap that I would guess it has never seen before. (Note: if anyone knows where I can find any facts for the popularity of Esperanto over time, I would love to know! Please post in comments if you do.) To top off Benny’s recommendation of Esperanto, many other language learning websites and blogs (such as mine) along with social media sites are also amping up interest in this Conlang.

If you are interested, you can always Google “learn Esperanto” or something similar and find an array of various free courses and materials to learn Esperanto. One site that includes quite a few options in one place is right here at Bright Hub Education. I recommend this link as a one-stop location for free resources but I also would suggest that you visit for free and low-cost Kindle materials. Keep in mind that if you don’t have a Kindle, you can still download free Kindle software to read any material that you purchase. (Note: In case you are new to Kindle, even free items are considered “purchases” and will need to be transacted as such, even though you will not have to pay anything. If you are looking for free items only, be sure that is what you are getting before you click “buy.”)

If you are even the slightest bit interested in either writing or language learning, I highly suggest that you join me in one or both of my goals this month. Even if you “fail” to accomplish your goals, the very act of trying ensures that you learn something new and there is no failure in that.

Good luck in the pursuit of all your own goals.


Foreshadowing Failure; a Moral Tale

Our priorities create our lives. Where we go, how we get there and if we go at all are all determined by the choices we make each and every day, every hour and minute by minute.

Perhaps if we were to get the same sort of wake-up call as is found in this short post, we too might give more weight to our daily decisions.

Martha Kennedy is not only a writer, she is also a teacher. See if you can find someone you know in the following story.

I'm a Writer, Yes, I Am!

Jun 17, 2014 Writing 101, Day Twelve: (Virtual) Dark Clouds on the Horizon Today, write a post with roots in a real-world conversation. For a twist, include foreshadowing.

“There’s nothing to it. You’re making a mountain out of a mole hill.”
“Nothing to it? If there’s nothing to it, why do I always get Cs?”
“You’re afraid, that’s why. And you’re lazy. If you just started sooner and gave yourself time to perfect your work, you’d be fine. But you don’t. You let fear interfere — ha ha — interfear…”
“I hate your stupid puns.”
“Whatever. Just write it.”
“It’s easy for you.”
“Yeah, it’s easy for me, basically because I just fucking do it.”
“You’re always finished way before I even start!” She breaks into tears. “I really hate this. Every weekend a paper. EVERY single weekend! Doesn’t she realize we’re young and have LIVES not like HER.”
“That’s a…

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Make it happen

Jackie brings it home. As much as I “would like to” travel, I have never set the intention and made it my priority. Hence I still have very little travel experience and I am halfway between my twenties and my sixties!
Maybe now would be a good time to rethink those priorities…

Jackie's World Travel

This past year my husband and I finally purchased a home (as well as our first dog.) We knew that for the first time since we’d been married, we probably wouldn’t be able to travel anymore or at least not as often and definitely not to exotic foreign lands as we had done in the past. Needless to say this didn’t last very long. It took me about 2 months after moving into my new home that I knew less traveling was just not an option for me. My passion for travel, history and culture is too much of a priority in my life and defines so much of who I am as a person. I realized I could still travel, but I would have to work harder for it. I knew that if I wanted it bad enough, I could make it happen, although I knew it may…

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Why You Might Want to Learn Spanish – via Vlogger Lindsay Dow

The biggest, most important reason why anyone might want to learn to speak Spanish?


Why, to speak to native speakers of Spanish, of course!


Sometimes people don’t understand “the real reason” I want to learn so many languages. They look at me as if I’m  daft because, well “everyone speaks English.” When I point out the fallacy of this argument they tend to say something like, “well, then they should learn to speak English.” Of course they should. Why put the onus on yourself when you can simply stand around waiting for the rest of the world to catch up with you and what you want, even if it is to simply sit on your couch all day playing video games. Someday this will all catch up with us…Oh wait; it already has done some of that. Unfortunately they haven’t felt the full effects of globalization and an ever increasing global marketplace where a majority of the world is not only hungry (and often quite literally) but also very willing to work and work hard to get ahead. Because it sucks to be poor and it sucks to be hungry and it sucks to be homeless. They will learn English. And then they will take your job for a fraction of what you were making–before the layoffs and the cut backs. Because the nature of business is to make money.


What better way to make money than to cut expenses in the form of cheaper labor and no benefits packages whatsoever? Pay attention people; your life is not nearly as secure and comfortable as you may think it is.


My apologies to any readers who are not in the United States but I’ve seen a lot of changes in the past several decades and most of it has not been good. Unfortunately most people seem content to wear blinders and ignore the reality that is all around them, assuming that the people who are losing their jobs somehow deserve it. Some do but many don’t. Even worse, some employers are hanging on to their worst employees in a subversive attempt to drive good employees away. Because if you have constant turnover, no one gets raises and you can continue to pay new employees less than you were paying the old employees. And with poor leadership who wants to stay and deal with incompetency every single day?


My advice is to learn another language. Spanish is a really good language to learn for many reasons. Here Lindsay Dow from “Lindsay Does Languages” tells you about none of them. Enjoy!



Venice – truly mesmerising

Such rich, vibrant colors! I am absolutely in love with the top photograph in particular but they all illustrate the beauty and allure that is Venice.

Perspectives on Life, the Universe and Everything

Here is my humble effort to capture the intense beauty and sheer gorgeousness of city of wonders – Venice





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Rio de Janeiro – the beautiful and the magnificent

If you have never seen anything from AB before, take the opportunity to check out his blend of beautiful photography and poetry. You will be glad that you did.

Perspectives on Life, the Universe and Everything

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Whenever humankind found some of the most picturesque beaches, mostly they have created some amazing resorts around them. However when one of the world most amazing beaches were found in Brazil, they had other ideas. They created one of the most picturesque city. When I visited Rio for first time, I was completely mesmerised by it. Here is my humble salute to the city with my very ordinary photography. Enjoy.

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