Goals for the fourth, spring semester
Soon leaving for the Erasmus, my goal is to speak Czech as little as possible in order to fully take advantage of being in a foreign country. I expect from myself to be able to express myself more naturally using more advanced vocabulary when my Erasmus stay ends. Furthermore, my goal is to practice "slang" English since I would finally have the opportunity. My flatmates are not going to be from the Czech Republic and that would give me perfect opportunity to learn this aspect of English since this opportunity does not arise frequently in the Czech Republic.
Writing and reading:
My goals for writing and reading remain the same since I failed to accomplish them the previous semester. I have improved, but not enough.
My goal for listening will be too, hopefully, accomplished with the help of the Erasmus stay. I hope to meet people from different countries which would train me in understanding different accents and dialects.
Article submitted on 8.2.2017
Goals for this semester (autumn)
The goals remain the same as last year because I feel, I have not made enough progress to move onto another goal. I believe that smaller steps are on my level equally important and I do not want to make a checklist of them and do them recklessly just to have another tick.
Main goal - to really force myself to read more advanced works to gain academic vocabulary. How am I going to do it? I am going to read at least 1 English book in two months.
To really pay attention to my written works, and where there is the possibility, rewrite it. Use more advanced vocabulary. How am I going to do that? I will never miss a single discussion forum to practice my written English.
I am quite satisfied with my speaking, but my goal is going to be very similar to those in reading and writing. To actively use gained vocabulary. How am I going to achieve it? I am definitely going to speak actively in classes and discuss things with my classmates.
I am quite satisfied with my listening ability. What I aim to work on this semester, is to listen to different accents of English. To be able to understand Scots and Irish and foreigner in general, who speak English. I am working on this goal by watching many different Tv series.
Article submitted on: 26.9.2016
Goals for this semester (autumn and spring)
My goals for this semester are the same as the last one. Main goal: to pass the semester. Just a joke, on more serious note:
Without bragging, I can honestly say that reading is not much of a problem. I think my reading is satisfactory, in terms of speed and comprehension. What I would like to work on is reading more books in English. I read a lot, but since it is a relaxing activity for me, I read in Czech mostly.
How am I going to work on it? For every 2 books I read in Czech, I read one in English.
Writing is my weak spot. I can write something, the words are coming naturally, but I am using basic vocabulary, even though I know the academic equivalent, in a result my writing seems to be on a secondary school level. I wish to be more confident with my vocabulary and use it where i have the feeling it could be used.
How am I going to work on it? I have signed up for a class on Academic Skills: writing. I can honestly say this is one of the most challenging subjects I have enrolled in. I often find myself just sitting there, not knowing what is going on. I hope this class will help me wit this improvement.
The problem with speaking is similar to my writing problem. I know the words, but they seem so complicated I rather use the easier ones, and I end up sounding like a beginner. Actually, I have two problems with speaking, and more serious one is, that I do not speak English outside of the school. Most of my friends are Czech and some of them can´t even speak English.
How am I working on that? It will sound stupid, but I am talking in Engish at least to myself. You know, sometimes you need to talk to someone intelligent. :) Often when cooking or doing basic housework, I either watch Tv series or I am explaining something to myself. It is actually a good learning technique, just without the other someone you would be explaining things to.
I must admit hat I have no clear goal in this particular skill. I am quite satisfied with the way I understand spoken words. I am not saying that it is perfect, of course, there is a room for improvement - to listen to lectures on more advanced topics, listen to speakers with different accents to gain a general idea what to focus on when someone is speaking etc.
Why am I satisfied? When I am not talking to myself when doing house chores, I am watching tv series, as mentioned above. The thing is, I am watching them in English and I watch quite a few. I have those with an American accent ( The Big Bang Theory) those with a British accent ( Sherlock) and even those, where there is a mixture of accents - from conventional ones, to probably the ones made up from all the existing accents. ( Game of Thrones). I find the Irish and Scottish ones the most amusing and most challenging at the same time.
Apart from that
I am very keen on learning new words and I somehow struggle to do so. My first plan was to create a diary where I would write the new words, but that ship sank a long time ago since I am not disciplined enough to keep that promise. Furthermore, on this website (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/) there is collum with Word of the week and there I am trying to learn new words as well.
Goals in general
My goals, in general, are practically the same as the goals for this semester.
In addition, I would like to star using everything I´ve learned in everyday situations. It is hard since one is able to communicate with others using basic vocabulary. I think I will just have to force myself to it.
For the speaking skill, I would love to sound more British. It is challenging since it is not my mother tongue and I often struggle which is the correct pronunciation, but it is being worked on.
To sum up, I would like to improve every part of English I can, it is going to be a very long and difficult process, but with the right attitude, I think it can be done.
Article submitted: 25.3.2016
Edited on 7.5.2016