Back to daily study – vana12

Photo by Julia M Cameron on

I’ve had a break from regular study. I have needed to focus on my businesses, and studying languages has fallen down my list of priorities.

But I’m back! On Twitter in Japan, there is an initiative called hashtag vana12. This stands for “virtual summer holiday homework”. It is now in its 12th year. People who study languages decide what they are going to study over summer and post a daily update of their progress. I participated last year, and got quite a lot of study done.

I thought that no matter how busy I am, and however much my businesses need me, I can spare an hour a day (or find an hour a day) to do 30 minutes of French Duolingo and 30 minutes of Chinese HSK4 textbook reading.

I’m hoping this will develop into a routine which lasts even after the summer holiday has finished.

French extensive reading

Since my change of plan, I haven’t been able to do much study, but I’m making it a habit to do some extensive reading before I go to bed every night. I’m using my Easy French Reader book. I have finished the first section. I started reading the second section about historical figures, but it was a little difficult for me, so I went back to the beginning and started to read section one again.

Change of plan

I started my language journey with an ambitious study plan. COVID-19 has forced me to alter my plans. I have to spend every spare minute I have on my businesses and studying for qualifications in my specialist translation fields, so….that leaves little time for language learning.

I hoped to take exams in French and Chinese this year, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. The ones I hoped to take have been cancelled anyway. So, I now plan to take HSK4 (one step higher than 3!) next April, and 3rd graded on the French exam next June.

The tests in my specialist fields are all in November and December, so I will devote most of my spare time in the rest of the year studying for these. They are all in Japanese, so at least I’ll maintain my Japanese skills.

I’m not giving up on Chinese and French or my 10 languages in 10 years study plan. I will study when I can, and try to make use of any spare moment I have to study languages.

Last night before I went to sleep, I did some extensive reading with my Easy French Reader. It had been a while since I studied French (a few weeks anyway), but I could understand most of what I read.

So, I’m not giving up, I just have a change of priorities!