Challenge Completed!

October 30th, 2014 | Posted by Jim in Language Challenge | Motivation - (1 Comments)

We just found this on Instagram! Happy to hear all from all the people who are finishing the Challenge!

About the @italki October Language Challenge… 14 hours and 30 minutes. #italkichallenge #french #learninglanguages

A photo posted by Tanise Carvalho (@tanisecarvalho) on

I’m almost done! Only 2 lesson to go!

ANDY FINALE 2Planning and scheduling the sessions in advance definitely works. In the last 7 days i took 3 classes and i have 2 more planned for the rest of the week. This should make me complete the challenge by friday 24, almost a week in advance!

During the last 10 lessons i mostly worked on vocabulary and sentence structures. I think i will dedicate next week, the last of the challenge, to improve the pronunciation of what i learned, especially fixing the tones! If you ever tried to learn Chinese you will know that this is a tonal language and that the meaning of the same syllable change according to the “tone” of it.


This is a major issue for me, and many other westerners with me, as Romance languages are not tonal and this implies learning a whole new way of understanding and pronounce sounds.chinesetones3

Next week i will also record the final video to show you guys my improvements on the language. It will be halloween! Will you guys record a scary message?
Maybe i will ;)

This blog post reposted with permission. Originally appeared here on Kokothepolyglot’s blog site.
I Finished The Italki October Language Challenge Early!
-15 October, 2014 By Koko Polyglot

Well this is an unexpected but pleasant surprise! Not only am I happy to announce that I’ve already completed the italki October Language Challenge early but I also got in one extra lesson as well. How cool is that? I guess the third time really was the charm. Since I have a lot going on this month, I had to book as many sessions in a short amount of time. Which meant there were times I had 3 lessons in one day! That was intense but I have to say my spoken Japanese has made quite a bit of improvement.

Book All Your Sessions Ahead Of Time

girl-408066_1280This is probably one of the best tips LindsayDoesLanguages recommends and this time it worked out really well for me! I made sure that I booked all if not most prior to the sessions themselves. Especially since I joined the language later than I did the last two. But unlike the last two, I was able to make sure every lesson was booked accordingly. Which meant taking up to three sessions in one day while tutoring students as well! By booking in advance you can work your schedule around the sessions instead of trying to fit them in when you can.

I think my biggest mistake in the previous challenges was that I did not book enough sessions in advance. Had I done that I would have been able to take all sessions and even have time to reschedule ones that conflicted with the tutor’s schedule.

Use A Variety Of Tutors

This might be better advice for some languages rather than others. Especially if there aren’t many tutors for your target language. Luckily, Japanese is popular enough that I was able to use a wide variety of tutors to work with. Each Community Tutor and Professional Teacher have their unique method of teaching that you could benefit from the variety while finding out which tutors are best for you. Find tutors who cater to your specific needs and go from there. I recommend the following tutors for Japanese: Annie, Haru, Gosxi, Koichi, momonoki01, Tomaliko, Yuki, Tatsu, Masa, and Teacher 華子 (Hanako).

If you’re looking for reading practice during your session I would recommend Noriko just for that.

多分人気な言語の方が便利アドバイスでしょう。特に希有な言語のチューターが少ないです。日本語は大人気な言語ですから、チューターが多いです。各レッスンはいつも違いますので、色々なチューターのレッスンを取ってみた方がいいです。あなた達の一番チューターを見つけましょう。おすすめチューターはAnnieさん、Haruさん、Gosxiさん、康一さん、桃の木01さん、Tomalikoさん、Yukiさん, Tatsuさん、Masaさん、と華子です


Focus On What You Want To Accomplish

Setting goals for what you would like to achieve in your target language is important. My main goal for Japanese was to express myself more fluidly when I spoke. I felt like I was about to complete that goal because it was my primary focus. While I did get reading in, I didn’t get a chance to read the Nightmare Before Christmas in Japanese yet. So maybe I’ll get a chance to read at least the first two chapters before the end of the month. I’ll will keep you updated on how that goes and what unique words I’ve learned along the way.

I always try to do something to keep me motivated during these challenges and doing a multitude of things can help you improve both input (reading and listening) as well as output (speaking and writing).

What Next?

I’m going to be focusing on Japanese for quite some time but moving on to my next language adventure. I will keep you updated when it is needed to be revealed. In the meantime, I will be attempting to read the Nightmare Before Christmas completely in Japanese. My goal for that was to read at least two chapters. This will be my make priority for Japanese next week. I will also be doing my SRS repetitions on Memrise and LingQ as well as watch interesting content in Japanese.

How are you doing in the italki October Language Challenge? Have you completed the challenge already? Still have a ways to go? Almost done? I would love to hear about your progress!


Multiple Challenge Winner LindsaydoesLanguages is taking her 3rd consecutive challenge and is now learning Japanese (from scratch I might add!). Her updates are always fun and entertaining but more importantly very motivating and inspiring! She’s done 3 straight back-to-back italki Language Challenges. You should be able to just finish one! She also writes a pretty cool language learning blog. Reposted with permission.


Following on from Wednesday’s post announcing my new Language Quest to learn some Japanese, I’ve been busy making my italki Pledge video for the October Language Challenge. I filmed the video yesterday after one lesson, but I had another this morning and already feel like I could say more!

That’s one reason I’ve decided to use Instagram more to track my progress with Japanese. I can upload quick daily videos from wherever I am. Also it’s surprising how much you can say in 15 seconds! Be sure to follow me on Instagram to keep track and give me some advice if you speak Japanese yourself.

That’s one reason I’ve decided to use Instagram more to track my progress with Japanese. I can upload quick daily videos from wherever I am. Also it’s surprising how much you can say in 15 seconds! Be sure to follow me on Instagram to keep track and give me some advice if you speak Japanese yourself.

Here’s her latest Instagram Post


Woohoo! Finally back to updating on the Japanese progress! I learnt this sentence in my first lesson this morning since getting back from the Polyglot Conference. Hopefully I got it right! #japanese #languagelearning #vlog

Andy is our new UX Designer and recently joined the italki team in September.  One of the first things he did was join the italki October Language Challenge as he really needs to improve his Chinese as you can tell from his Public Video Pledge.  He’s graciously offered to blog about his experiences and how he is going to conquer the Challenge!  Take it away Andy…

andy_headThis week I’ve been naughty. Since my last post seven days ago, I only took one class! Shame on me!

While working it is very difficult to free up some time and save some mental energy to learn a language, especially one so difficult like the Chinese. I have to say that I have some good excuses for not being able to actually take more classes.
In fact in China we had a short weekend, last saturday it was a working day to make up for the long national holidays of the first week of october. Sunday and Monday i was knocked-off by a cold (I swear it’s not Ebola!) and iIwas not able to focus on nothing really…
Although, excuses doesn’t really help you to learn a language.
What is actually helpful is to set up a routine and schedule the classes in advance. At least for me, this should work better. If I know that a class is coming I can find time to prepare and to arrange my other appointments in my busy calendar. I’m sure than making my study time a commitment instead of a “filler” for my free time will definitely improve the results.
Said so, until the end of October I will wake up earlier and take my Chinese classes in the morning before going to work. I used to do the same last year, but it didn’t last long because to be able to attend the classes at the Chinese Language Institute before going to work I had to wake up at six in the morning! Commuting to the school and then commuting again to work was taking up 60 to 90 minutes every time. What a waste of time!

By taking classes online I will be able to save all of that commuting time and wake up one hour and a half later.


Andy's calendar

Andy’s calendar to complete the October Language Challenge

Here is my plan:

  • Wake up around 7.30 and review the previous lesson between 8 and 8.30 while having breakfast (instead of the news!).
  • Take one hour class from 8.30 to 9.30, then pack my stuff and go to work.
  • I’m lucky enough to live just 15 minutes by bike from the office so i should be able to be at work before 10.  Sounds like a good plan to me!
  • So I already booked all the classes that I’m still missing in order to achieve the 12 hours of classes goal. I’m planning to be done by the 24th of October, almost a week in advance!

What about you? Do you have a schedule? How does it look like? Let me know!

See you next week guys!