I finished the italki 2014 World Cup Language Challenge!

August 1st, 2014 | Posted by Jim in announcement | Language Challenge | Motivation


Lindsaydoeslanguages is blogging about her World Cup Language Challenge and we’re reposting here to share with the entire italki Community. This blog post originally was posted on Lindsaydoeslanguages.com website.

Well, that’s it! It’s over!

25 lessons in 8 weeks sounds like quite the challenge, and at times, it definitely was. So today I want to share some things I did (and didn’t) do during the italki World Cup Language Challenge – and what I want to do next time to make it even better and more productive.

Things I did.

Book in advance

I booked all my lessons right at the start – with the exception of one that a tutor couldn’t do that I rebooked later on.

Would I do this again?

Yes! Although 2 months is quite a long time and unexpected trips and other exciting (or not so exciting – I’m looking at you essays!) things pop up, it really helped with motivation to have the structure there from the outset.


No other study

I just had my italki lessons for learning Portuguese. I didn’t get my head stuck in a grammar book (or any other book for that matter) and I really enjoyed just speaking with people, in a natural way about normal stuff.

Would I do this again?

Yes and no. I’d love to try this out with other skills. For example, I’d love to see how far I could get with just reading in a language, like Dani over at I Simply Love Languages is doing right now with Catalan, or just listening. You know, just for fun.


A weekly challenge

Setting myself the weekly goals worked a treat at keeping me on the ball. I know the World Cup is over now but I genuinely wrote that sentence with no football puns intended. Honest.

Would I do it again?

Yes! Little goals are fab because you can constantly achieve something. Saying “I want to speak ___ fluently by ___” is great, but you never feel like you’ve got anywhere if you don’t set mini goals along the way too!


Change my challenges a bit

Despite setting myself these goals and finding them a great help, I wasn’t afraid to change them along the way if they didn’t quite fit. For example, week 7, I didn’t do a video at all and decided to try my hand at a bit of writing in Portuguese.

Would I do it again?

Yes! Obviously, changing a goal of “learning 10 words a day” to “learning 1 word a day” is a slight over exageration and won’t quite be effective, but if you feel something is too easy (see week 3!) then don’t be afraid to up your goals. And if it’s not a case of upping them, but rather lowering them, don’t! Keep your goal the same, just perhaps change how long you give yourself to achieve it, or how you’re going to measure it.


Lots of different teachers

I had a grand total of 9 different tutors for the challenge! Murillo, Luana, Danillo, Fernanda, Valdecir, Lucas, Sophia, Wesley and Renan. Phew. I wanted a range of European and Brazilian speakers as well as male and female just to mix things up a bit.

Would I do it again?

Hmm..pros and cons. It was good for this challenge because I just wanted to talk to lots of people but to really progress quickly I think one tutor to get to know you may be better. That said, I really enjoyed meeting such a range of Portuguese speakers!


Things I didn’t do.

Write on the italki notebook

I didn’t do this for the New Year Language Challenge either. I’m lazy!

Would I not do this again?

It depends. For Portuguese, my main focus was speaking so the Notebook wasn’t a top priority – especially if I had a couple of back to back lessons! If I wanted to achieve a higher level in a language then I’d definitely make the effort to use the Notebook after each lesson.


Write notes

I didn’t even write any personal notes. Living on the edge.

Would I not do this again?

I don’t know. I’ve not written language notes on cold hard paper for a while despite being a bit of a stubborn one when it comes to technology and loving an actual paper book in my hands. Maybe I should treat myself to a fancy notebook next time!


Worry about progress

Hakuna Matata! The lack of exams, tests or necessity took the stress of speedy progress off. Phew.

Would I not do it again?

Yes! I love learning languages for the fun of it rather than to pass an exam. I can’t wait until I have the time to devote to a new language in this way!

Oh, and one more thing I did do was make videos throughout. Head over to my YouTube channel to check them out if you missed any. In the meantime, here’s the video for my final weekly goal – all about idioms. And if you enjoy, don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube. There’s even a button to do it at the top right hand side of this page. Easy peasy!

And if you’ve been inspired to learn Portuguese then be sure to enter my very first giveaway here on the blog to win some goodies to get you started! Entries close August 4th at 23.59 GMT.

Have you done the World Cup Language Challenge? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Chris Broholm

    Loved the Lion king reference Lindsay, and what a wonderful achievement to complete 25 lessons in just 8 weeks, must’ve accelerated your learning quite a bit!

  • Thanks Chris! Yes, it really did. 🙂 Without the Language Challenge, I wouldn’t have had the boost to do that many lessons in such a short time – it definitely helped!

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