Way back at the end of June, I challenged myself to really focus on my German for 12 weeks. I had lofty aims and what I thought was a well thought out plan. So now that the Summer Language Challenge is officially over, how did I actually go?
The month of July was a pretty good one for me. I was motivated and followed my plan. However, I felt I was putting a lot of work in but not really seeing any results. I got a rude shock at DrachenFest at the end of July when I could barely understand what anyone was saying. I revised my plan when I returned home, but then I fell sick first with kidney problems and then the flu from hell. The sickness plus general malaise, basically wiped out all of August and most of September. However, during this time I kept doing little things like listening to German podcasts and reading children’s books so it wasn’t a complete loss. Still it wasn’t a good solid 12 weeks of study that I hoped it was going to be.
I’m not at a B2 level like I had hoped, but I think I have gotten myself to a solid B1 level. I’m no longer struggling so much in my biweekly German classes as I used to, although grammar will continue to be my nemesis. My speaking skills still aren’t great, but I can follow better what is being said to me. I also didn’t get up to being able to read Harry Potter but I’ve reached Enid Blyton. I can’t understand every word of the text but I can get the general gist of it. So the Summer Language Challenge wasn’t a complete success but nor was it a complete failure. What the Challenge taught me is that I really need to work on my motivation. I tend to be really motivated for a while and then completely lose it all.
I have my Zertifikat Deutsch (ZD) exam, which is the official B1 exam, in either January or February. Therefore my aim for the next three months is to continue on doing what I have been doing, but hopefully doing a bit more of it, so that by the time the exam rolls around I’m not a nervous wreck who is feeling totally unprepared. I know that I really need to work on increasing my vocabulary so that plus grammar is going to form the basis of my efforts. I’m hoping I can keep my motivation up this time to accomplish all I want to be able to.