Teddy Nee runs a popular language learning blog called Nee’s Language Blog. He’s also taking finished the 2015 New Year’s Language Challenge to learn Portuguese for the Challenge. Reposted with permission. Original post here.

 20 Hours Of Portuguese

20-hour language course is certainly short compared with what many study programs can offer. Imagine that you might spend the whole one hour on learning alphabets and telling people about your name, your hometown, your occupation, etc. in a language course.

If you join a course with many students, your learning pace can go only as fast as the slowest student. That might not be efficient for some students. The solution is either to do self-learning or to take a 1-on-1 course.

Honestly, I am not a big fan of language class, however, there is an activity called Italki Challenge that looks so interesting that I decided to give it a try. It is about learning any languages in 20 hours and I have just completed it.

The Achievement

I feel much more confident in speaking Portuguese now compared with before, and I have also proven that I can hold conversation only in Portuguese, not just once but for the entire 20-hour lessons. That is such an amazing experience that I have ever had.

Well, of course, I used dictionary sometimes, or asked it in Spanish since my tutor also speaks Spanish, and she is teaching it too. So, if any of you would like to have a Spanish course, you can also contact her. Here is her Italki profile.

Besides my tutor, I had also had the chance to speak Portuguese for a while with a Sao Tomean friend. That was my first time speaking Portuguese offline. It certainly gives a different experience when you are speaking face-to-face with a person that stands less than 1 meter from you.

After finishing Italki Challenge, I have started to take the learning into a higher level by reading about programming and engineering in Portuguese. The reason is simply because I am working as an IT engineer.

Next Challenge?

The last Italki Challenge was not the first, so I believe that there will be another Italki Challenge in the near future. I strongly recommend you to take part in it, learn any languages, widen your knowledge, talk with people from the other part of the world, gain experience, and be a world citizen.

Did you also finish the Italki Challenge? Share your experience with us in the comment box.

Images.
By Robert Nyman (Car and bicycle facedownUploaded by tm) [CC BY 2.0],via Wikimedia Commons
By r2hox from Madrid, Spain (Lisboa 2012/B111Uploaded by tm) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The italki team is taking the 2015 New Year’s Language Challenge

How much Chinese can they learn in 20 hours?

3 members of the team at italki are taking the language challenge to improve their skill in Mandarin. Each of them will have 20 hours of lessons between January and February. Can you do better than them?  Check out their original Public Video Pledges that they made at the beginning of the Challenge here.

Week 6 Updates

aime_circleAimé, Intern

Week 6

I finished the Language Challenge last week already, and besides that, I finished my internship at italki!  It was a great experience living and working in Shanghai and learning Chinese as part of the Language Challenge.  I hope everyone else out there is feeling really proud of their progress!

 

josie_circle

Josie, Services

Week 6

I am done! I have completed my 20 hours!

I did successfully complete my 20 hours for my Challenge goal, but I haven’t finished writing down all of my vocabulary. But, I am writing it all down, so it’s 20 hours worth of notes that I’m cleaning up and putting into one book :) I rewarded myself with some good rest! It was nice to relax and not think about sessions for a few days. Then, I finished cleaning up my notes and even squeezed in a cheeky last session before the 28th.

My last goal for this week was to complete my notebook with all of my notes, and use colours and pictures to help me memorize! It was nice to finish before the end, so I didn’t have to stress out. It’s great to see how much I’ve really improved!

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Karthik, Data Scientist

Week 6

I did it!  1 hour every day for 5 days got me to 20 hours!

I wanted to take 10 hours last week, and I took 5 hours instead, so I met my weekly goal halfway. Even though I didn’t complete 10 hours, 5 hours is still a lot of language learning (for me). So, I got myself a pint of Salted Caramel Ice Cream and enjoyed!
My goal for this final week was to do the last 5 hours of lessons in the last 5 days to complete the language challenge.
I realized that, for me, in order to finish the challenge, I should do two things:
1. Buy Packages, not Individual Sessions
2. Schedule Lessons as far in advance as I can possibly plan

I know that if I do these two things, I will definitely attend, because I have already made time for it in my schedule. I wish I had realized this earlier. But, it still worked out in the end.

If my strategy had been to buy 20 individual lessons, instead of two 10-lesson packages, I don’t think I would have been disciplined enough to finish the challenge.  Good thing I did this in the last week!

 

The italki team is taking the 2015 New Year’s Language Challenge

How much Chinese can they learn in 20 hours?

3 members of the team at italki are taking the language challenge to improve their skill in Mandarin. Each of them will have 20 hours of lessons between January and February. Can you do better than them?  Check out their original Public Video Pledges that they made at the beginning of the Challenge here.

Week 5 Updates

aime_circleAimé, Intern

Week 5

I did it!  I finished all 20 hours of the italki Language Challenge, and I finished early! It was hard, and sometimes I really had to force myself to make it to my sessions, but you know, it was worth it.  Since I was a bit rushed, it was hard for me to find time to study on my own and improve between sessions, so I think the others will be able to make use of the time left to improve even more.

I didn’t make my original goal of having a conversation in Chinese, but I really mastered my introduction.  When I first started, I could hardly say a single thing, and I know I still need to improve on my listening, but in one of my last sessions, my teacher told me, “You know, you just spoke Chinese for a whole minute.  I didn’t say a thing – that was all you.”  I feel so proud of my progress.

I want to encourage everyone else to keep going and find the time for your sessions.  Put in the time. I gotta say, it’s definitely effective.

 

josie_circle

Josie, Services

Week 5

I have now completed 17 hours! I have three more sessions and will be finished on Saturday.  However, I didn’t complete my goals for the week.  It’s been a hectic week, and I really have been terrible at making new vocabulary flash cards…

For this week, since I will complete my sessions, I want to make sure I write down all of my new vocab.  It’s probably close to 100 new words I need to write down and learn, but I’m confident that I can do it!  I plan to reward myself with REST! I will take a few days off from having sessions, … and maybe have some chocolate…

To all the other challengers, I want to say, “Keep going! You are close!  Even if you feel like you haven’t improved, you definitely have.  It’s definitely worth sticking it out until the end.”
karthik_circle

Karthik, Data Scientist

Week 5

(Note: I posted this after I made my video intro which I did late last week)

I have completed 10 hours!  I took about 3 hours worth of lessons this week. I almost met my goals for this week.  I wanted to get to 5 hours, so I’m 80% there.

My new goal is to do 10 hours this week.  I will reward myself with ice cream if I reach this goal!

To anyone else struggling to fit in your 20 hours, look how far I am from my goal.  But, I’m not giving up. If you have the time this week, see if you can surprise yourself and meet your goals.

One of our italki Language Challengers, Anil Polat runs a self-travel blog called foXnoMad.  He’s been taking sessions even before the Challenge and is already at 6 weeks where he began Arabic with absolutely no ability.  For our Challengers, this is something that you can expect after you complete the Challenge!  He only did 19 hours so far (at 6 weeks) but it’s pretty close.  Reprinted with permission. Original article here.

For you Language Challengers out there – Anil travels the world and manages to squeeze in language lessons on italki. Not only that, but he’s taking the Language Challenge to boot! If this guy can do it with just a backpack, you have no excuses!

india rickshaw selfie

You can’t help but be amazed by the Internet when you’ve been attending a virtual classroom with teachers from all over the world while traveling and blogging for a living. But that is exactly what I’ve been doing since I began taking Arabic lessons on italki in December.

Despite shifting timezones, a long layover or two in Istanbul plus the occasional rickshaw traffic jam, I’ve learn to read, write, and speak Arabic conversationally. These are the 7 cities across 3 countries, from the developed to developing world, where I’ve been able to log in most days for class.

Sofia, Bulgaria

Although Bulgaria doesn’t quite have the amazing Internet speeds of neighbor Romania, in Sofia the average download is faster than 90% of the world. Maintaining a solid Skype connection was never an issue, at least on my end.

sofia bulgaria skyline

Varna, Bulgaria

Despite being a 5 hour grandmother’s drive from Sofia, by the time I got to this Black Sea coastal town I hadpicked up quite a bit of Arabic.

bulgaria varna church (more…)

italki Team Language Challenge – Week 4 Update

February 13th, 2015 | Posted by Aimé in feature | Language Challenge | Motivation - (Comments Off)

The italki team is taking the 2015 New Year’s Language Challenge

How much Chinese can they learn in 20 hours?

3 members of the team at italki are taking the language challenge to improve their skill in Mandarin. Each of them will have 20 hours of lessons between January and February. Can you do better than them?  Check out their original Public Video Pledges that they made at the beginning of the Challenge here.

Week 4 Updates


aime_circleAimé, Intern

Week 4

After 4 weeks I have completed 17 hours of Chinese lessons with my teacher Lea. I must say I feel very happy with myself about the progress I was able to make this week. My goal was to be better at comprehending when my teacher asked me questions which I feel like I really improved on.

Mind you this is the 4th week of learning the same things but I’m finally catching on to keywords in order to understand questions. With only 3 more hours of lessons left, I feel like I will be able to meet my goal of introducing myself but I highly doubt I can a conversation with a native Chinese speaker.

Nonetheless, I am very proud of the progress I have made, especially with my pronunciation even though it still has some improving to do. For this upcoming week, since I’m leaving back to America, my goal is to speak very well in Chinese in my final video to show everyone how much progress I’ve made.

 

josie_circleJosie, Services

Week 4

After 4 weeks I’ve have managed to get 11 hours of Chinese lessons. Unfortunately this has been a tough week for me in regards to the challenge, I was sick the beginning of the week and had to go to Hong Kong on the weekend. I was only able to look at my vocabulary once, which means I did not meet my goals.

Seeing as we are halfway through the challenge it’s not looking like I’ll be able to have a 5 minutes conversation like I had originally intend. However if they speak very slowly and we discuss the things I have been learning about then I can do it. This week I need to complete my sessions and study my vocabulary regularly.

For the next 2 weeks I need to practice more out loud. I have many friends that speak Chinese so I should practice out load with them even though I get embarrassed. I’m really hoping to get over being embarrassed while speaking Chinese because I know it will help tremendously.

 
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Karthik, Data Scientist

Week 4

This week was very busy for me so I could only complete 1 session, which gives me 6 hours overall. I had previously set an ambitious goal of 4 sessions for this week but I wasn’t able to meet it. I’m very behind on sessions but I still think I can meet my initial goal.

Imagine if I had been taking my lessons regularly! This upcoming week I need to take more sessions! I have to schedule them sooner because the longer I wait to schedule, the harder it is for me to finish sessions.

My goal is to take 5 sessions, it’s a lot but I need to step up my game if I want to be successful in this challenge.