iTalki Language Challenge
Last month, iTalki held a language challenge that began on the August 15 and lasted until the end of September. The initiative was to improve your languages skills in 30 days by completing at least 20 lessons from a tutor by the end of the month. The prize was 30 USD (Convert currency) worth of language credits (so that you could take even more lessons with a tutor or professional teacher!). I was actually considering taking on this challenge but unfortunately I could due to other commitments that would more important at the time. But at least I did get more students from iTalki as a result!
Yes, I’m an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) tutor at iTalki in addition to being a student there myself. I have yet to sign up for a session with a tutor or professional myself, but I can tell you it’s a fantastic way to meet interesting people while improving your language skills. You can also participate in language exchanges (which are free by the way!)) where you spend a certain amount of time speaking your native language and then switching to your target language within the same time frame. (ie: Speaking your native language for 30 minutes and then speaking the target language for another 30 minutes).
Providing an initiative that is beneficial regardless of whether or not you win is a great way to keep your interest in learning the language alive.
#Add 1 Language Challenge
This challenge was started by Brian Kwong to motivate people who want to improve their language capabilities by making a conscious effort daily to progress in the language within 90 days (or 3 months). This is another challenge I wanted to be apart of but it looks like I’ve also missed the deadline for this one too. Oh well, maybe I’ll participate in next year’s challenge. Most of the influential polyglot bloggers will be participating such as Richard Simcott, Alex Rawlings, Sam from Lingholic , Moses McCormick (Laoshu), and Amir Ordabayev. All of whom you should check out if you are an aspiring polyglot like myself.
So How Can You Benefit From Participating In A Language Challenge ?
It holds you accountable to dedicating time to the language every single day with the goal of enhancing your skills in the language. This provides a great motivational boost especially to absolute beginning who want to learn a language but constantly make excuses as to why they don’t have the time to learn a language. By participating in a challenge like the iTalki or +1 Language, you are putting your goals into action. By making a decision to progress in the language, you are going to increase your motivation by devoting (at least 1 hour or more a day) to the language without languishing on the potential outcomes.
Documenting My Language Progress
I’ve thought about this for quite some time and realised that it would be a great idea to add something to the site to should my own progress in the languages I’m learning. I was contemplating whether or not to create a separate page for this and divide into separate section according to the language I’m learning. Or perhaps an image showing demonstrating which language I’m learning at the moment. I took into consideration of placing a current mission/challenge in the header section as either a part of the header image itself or just some text I could update for each language (Like what The Mezzofanti Guild and Benny The Irish Polyglot have done).
You may have noticed some new additions to the sidebars recently. I decided to use my LingQ badges to demonstrate my progression in Japanese and German through these images. What do you think? Granted, they may not accurately validate my knowledge in the languages because I use various methods outside of LingQ as well. But they definitely encourage me to keep learning my languages even when I reach a plateau.
How about you? Are you currently participating in the #Add 1 Language or were you a participant in the iTalki language challenge? If so, let me know how much of an impact it left on your language learning. Did it motivate you more? Did you become discouraged? Did you make progress in the language(s)?