About a month and a half before writing this I took my CILS C1 exam. I opted for C1 because I really did not feel that my speaking abilities were up to scratch. I still have not received my results and likely will not for another month or so, but I have decided that it’s time for me to sit down and make a plan for the next six months with some specifics regarding the next 90 days. I have been way too lazy for the past two weeks and I need to get moving before the ground that I gained in the preparation for the exam is lost. But I also want to resurrect my Portuguese, which has gone mostly dormant, and at the same time recover my Irish while learning a bit of Basque. I think that I can do it if I put things into their proper perspective and ensure that my goals with Basque are very long-term.
Lets start with Italian. I want to really work on my understanding of grammar and ensure that I have no more holes in it. I can’t say that I have any true holes at this point but there are some areas of grammar that I simply have never had much use for and for which my explicit knowledge is not very solid. The use of the imperative is an example. I can give commands that one might commonly give as an adult to other adults like, wait just a moment, or let me see… But if I had to actually teach the imperative to a beginner, I would not feel confident at all. By this point, I should. In addition to polishing my grammatical knowledge, I will be working on improving my speech and pronunciation and using the book Leggere, scrivere, argomentare: Prove ragionate di scrittura. My primary methodology is going to be using custom created cloze exercises or the type that I used in preparing for the CILS exam. I take some articles from Italian magazines like Focus and L’Espresso, paste the text into Word and then I remove specific classes of words. This way I am able to practice my ability to use adverbial phrases, verb tenses, vocabulary, etc. and compare my usage to that of a native speaker.
Portuguese is going to be a little more passive at least initially. My primary goal is just reviving my vocabulary and passive skills of reading and listening comprehension. I know that my knowledge is mostly still there, it just needs to be activated. Once I know if I actually passed the CILS exam, I can make better plans regarding lessons and language exchanges. If I did not pass the CILS, though, it will not progress much past this as so much of my time will have to be focused on the retake.
With Irish, I will be spending my time on the text of Learning Irish. I have started working with a native speaker on iTalki and Irish has really always been my first love. Again, my primary focus for the next 90 days is going to be relearning what I already knew. Not having achieved more than a B1 level in my passive skills with Irish, the ground that I lost over the past few years is quite vast. It won’t take me long to reconquer what I knew, but still, time is time.
With all the work above, I cannot hope to make much progress in Basque. My primary objective is going to be taking it slow with the Assimil course on my own and Bakarka with a native on iTalki.
I had wanted to get serious again in the middle of July, but it has not been in the cards. Complications at work and poor sleep have kept me to doing the bare minimum of study. I also did not prepare my materials before the time when my sprint should have started. In order to get things back on track I’ll have to take the last week of July to prepare my materials for the first two weeks of August. I’m honestly really excited to start writing more in Italian and really working on my diction in a way that I just wasn’t able to when preparing for the CILS. If you have read any of my blog posts for the past few years, you’ll know that getting myself to write has always been a challenge regardless of the language. That’s why my blog entries are sporadic. In prepping for the exam, though, I got into a nice groove and want to get back to that with an stronger emphasis on revising my work. For Italian, I mean. If you are reading this, you are stuck with a never-ending stream of rough drafts. But I am fairly certain that not even my mom reads it, so I don’t have to worry too much.