The original concept behind the Language Challenge was based on two key ideas: a city marathon, and a smart incentive scheme.
Similar to a city marathon, the Language Challenge brings language learners to socially “train” together to achieve a defined goal. The social element turns the challenge into a public event, and helps the participants encourage each other to complete the challenge.
“Having a defined goal, such as taking 12 lessons, is crucial for focus. In language learning, it’s not easy to set a goal because progress is not easy to quantify, and there is always more room to improve.”
– Kevin Chen, co-founder of italki
The other idea was to offer a reward to people who achieve their goals, and to have the reward funded by the people who fail to achieve them. This concept was inspired by experimental gyms that were testing new payment models, such as charging higher membership fees for people who failed to go to the gym regularly.¹
The first Language Challenge was held in 2012, and the June 2015 challenge is the 10th in the series. The number of challengers has increased in almost every challenge, and over a thousand challengers are expected to participate in June. The Language Challenge attracts learners from all around the world, and many celebrity polyglots and language enthusiasts have participated in previous challenges.
How it works:
Participants pay an entry fee of $10 to join the Language Challenge. If the challenger completes 12 hours of lessons with an italki teacher within the month of June, they will receive a reward of $30 in italki credits. italki credits are used for 1-on-1 online classes with professional native-speaker teachers.
You still have time to sign up!
And if you want some inspiration for your language-learning in June, head over here:
- See the theory behind for “Incentives to Exercise”, Gary Charness(UC Santa Barbara), Uri Gneezy (UC San Diego) http://rady.ucsd.edu/faculty/directory/gneezy/pub/docs/incentives-exercise.pdf