Preparing for the World Cup Language Challenge

May 26th, 2014 | Posted by Jim in Language Challenge | Motivation

As the World Cup Language Challenge start date slowly approaches, one of the most common questions we receive is, “How do I prepare for a Language Challenge?” Well, you can simply dive right in and start taking lessons or you can plan each week and maximize your learning. Our guest blogger and World Cup Challenger Lindsaydoeslanguages shares with us her weekly Language Challenge goals! This post originally appears on Lindsaydoeslanguages.



With the italki World Cup Language Challenge creeping ever closer, now seems like the perfect time to give you a quick update before it all kicks off. (I’m just gonna keep the football puns coming…)

Have I started?

Nope! The italki World Cup Language Challenge begins on June 1st, so there’s still time to sign up!

What I have done though is booked all 25 lessons in advance because I know that for me, having the lessons booked now will take away the pressure of booking last minute.

I have also set myself 8 weekly goals. (Told you, there’s plenty more where that came from…)

My 8 World Cup (Language Challenge) Goals!

Week 1 – To read a short chapter of “Caro Bruce Springsteen” out loud on video.

This may sound completely random but this is to prove that language learning doesn’t have to be expensive. I picked up this book from a book stall in Portugal last year for just 50 cents!

Week 2 – To read a random news article from the internet out loud on video.

This may sound like a lot of reading, but in the early stages, I really want to work on improving my pronunciation and making it sound more Portuguese and less Spanish. Personally, I find reading really helps with this.

Week 3 – To learn the entire lyrics to Ai Se Eu Te Pego

So this is, like, the greatest song ever.

And it’s Portuguese. It just seems rather fitting!

Week 4 – To write and recite on video a short piece written about myself by myself

As arrogant as it sounds, being able to talk about yourself is pretty useful for making friends in other languages. It also helps to learn any random vocabulary that you need, such as “I jetski” or “I love my Jack Russell puppy”.

Week 5 – To identify the difference between the Spanish and Portuguese in Danza Kuduro

Ok, so maybe this is, like, the greatest song ever. I can’t call it between the two.

However, I think being able to identify the different between the Spanish and Portuguese in this song will really help me to split Spanish and Portuguese in my brain.

Week 6 – To commentate a bit of the World Cup…(maybe) live!

This is the goal I’m most nervous about – but also most excited about! (Like a penalty…oooo, that was bad) I’m going to do my best to describe what the heck is going on in the World Cup final in Portuguese. And I might do it live. Let me know in the comments if you think I should do it live!

Week 7 – To describe on video, in Portuguese, script-less, my experience commentating football

After the rush of last week’s goal, I think this week will need to be a little more relaxed for my own personal sanity! I plan to talk scriptless about a past experience – meaning I’ll have to use different tenses, adjectives, emotions (maybe that means subjunctive in Portuguese?! Eek.) and lots of other jazzy constructions sans-script.

Week 8 – To use 8 Portuguese idioms naturally in a video

Throughout the Challenge, I’ll be avoiding red cards (That one’s weak. I apologise.) by learning 1 common Portuguese idiom each week. I plan to use them as naturally as possible in the final week’s video!

So there you have it. My 8 goals for the italki World Cup Language Challenge. Let’s just hope England can score as many as that over the next few weeks.

Don’t forget: there’s still time to nominate me for Top 100 Language Lovers 2014! Find out how and what you’ll get from me if you do right here.

Are you taking the Language Challenge and setting yourself goals? Share them in the comments below to help keep you motivated!

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  • Ooo, it’s getting close now! Setting these goals for myself has really got me looking forward to the Challenge! 🙂

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  • Leigh Davis

    This made me laugh several times! You’ve certainly started the ball rolling (apologies). And you’ve put me in the notion of learning some football vocab! All the best for the challenge!

  • Awesome! Keep the football puns coming! 😉
    Are you taking the Challenge? I’ve had 2 lessons so far so off to a good start!

  • Leigh Davis

    Yes, I’m doing the challenge too, I want to improve my Spanish. You mean to say you didn’t watch my publicity video??? 😉

    I also believe from reading your blog (yes, I’m nosey), that you’re a fellow OU student, is that correct?

    I’m having my first lesson for the challenge today and three in total this week. Best of luck for the challenge. I’m looking forward to hearing the football commentary and might even “borrow” a few of your suggestions to try myself.


  • Cool! Good luck with your Spanish! 🙂

    Yes, I am a bit of an old hand at the OU now – on my 9th course! Only one more left after this year though. 🙁

    You’re more than welcome to borrow some suggestions! I’m very nervous about the football commentary…!

  • HannahMoore2014

    Thanks Jim for such wonderful post. Just a tip about those who don’t live in countries that stream world cup online. You can use UnoTelly to remove the geoblock and stream World Cup 2014 in your country free