Andy’s October Language Challenge – Week 2

October 15th, 2014 | Posted by Andrea in Language Challenge | Motivation - (Comments Off)

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!

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Andy’s October Language Challenge – Week 1

October 7th, 2014 | Posted by Andrea in Language Challenge | Motivation - (Comments Off)

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…

Wow, this has been an awesome week!

andy_headHere in China we were quite lucky to begin the month of October with 7 days of holidays! In fact from October the first to October the seventh, China celebrated with seven days of national holidays the 65th birthday of the People’s Republic of China, established the 1 October 1949.

I took advantage of the break to kickstart my chinese and i took 6 classes already with the awesome chinese teacher Elena Ann during this 7 days.

Actually I practiced Chinese much more than just those 6 hours, it usually take me between 30 minutes to one hour to prepare for a class. By reviewing the previous lesson by myself I can be much more efficient during the class and take the chance to talk more to the teacher instead of just getting stuck for seconds to try to remember a word.

Another trick I use with my teacher is to try to write to her on the SKYPE chat (while we have a lesson) every new word that we encounter or that I have issue to remember so whenever I have time during the day I can just pick up the SKYPE chat on my phone and flip through those words to practice.  I find this technique quite handy!

Here a snapshot of how i usually take a class:
On one side i have the textbook that Elena sent me, on the other side the video and the chat where i write in Pinyin (next year’s goal is written chinese!)

Screenshot of Andy's class with Elena Ann

Screenshot of Andy’s class with Elena Ann

This week I think I will take only one or two more classes, and will focus on consolidate what I have learned until now.

How is your challenge going? Let us know!

Just in case you are don’t remember how bad my chinese is, take a look at my video pledge!

See you soon guys!
Andrea

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Check out who’s taking up our Language Challenge!

If you’re taking the Language Challenge and really want to succeed, we’re giving away 50ITC if you make a Public Video Pledge! Why would you ever want to do this? (Click here for more details) Please take some time to motivate and encourage our Public Video Pledge Challengers by commenting on their Notebook entries!

This is the fourth blog listing of October Language Challenge Public Video Pledges o_O And the Pledges just keep on coming! Watch them on our first 3 posts below:

PART I HERE
PART II HERE
PART III HERE

Hannah from Canada is learning Japanese
Hannah seems pretty motivated: she loves the Japanese language and wants be more confident when speaking it. I totally understand, Japanese is a beautiful language. It’s so soft and melodic, if you don’t believe me check out her video below. You can tell her how good she sounds on her Notebook entry!

Jan from the UK is learning Spain
Jan came back from her trip to Spain a little frustrated. Hey, I get it, it’s hard speaking a language with native speakers when you lack the confidence. That’s what italki is for! I’m sure the October Language Challenge will improve your Spanish in leaps and bounds.
Spaniards of italki! Leave a comment on her Notebook entry!



If I might venture a correction: “conciencia” means conscience. You probably meant to say “confianza” :) Great accent btw!!!

Paulo from Brazil is learning English
Paulo is a Portuguese teacher learning English. He’s really good at it but he hopes that by the end of the challenge he will be able to speak without pausing as much. Paulo, complete the challenge and you’ll see how much better you’ll get! Fluency is just around the corner! He wrote down his objectives on his Notebook entry

(more…)

Email this to someoneShare on Google+Share on FacebookDigg thisTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUpon

Check out who’s taking up our Language Challenge!

If you’re taking the Language Challenge and really want to succeed, we’re giving away 50ITC if you make a Public Video Pledge! Why would you ever want to do this? (Click here for more details) Please take some time to motivate and encourage our Public Video Pledge Challengers by commenting on their Notebook entries!

This is the third blog listing of October Language Challenge Public Video Pledges (we’ve gotten so many!. Watch the pledges from our first post below:

PART I HERE
PART II HERE

Erica from the United States is learning Turkish
Erica is learning Turkish because she wants to be able to converse with her boyfriend. She actually has a good foundation in Turkish (no one at italki really speaks Turkish but we all agree it sounds pretty good). Please send so compliments and encouragement to her by commenting on her Notebook entry!

Veronica from the United States is learning Portuguese and Spanish (and a little bit of Hebrew)
Veronica is taking the challenge to learn Spanish and Portuguese – mainly so she doesn’t mix up the two languages (we know how hard that can be!). If she finishes, she also hopes to improve her Hebrew. Give her some love by commenting on her Notebook entry!

Gregory from the United States is learning Spanish
Gregory has discovered the secret to learning a language and he states it very clearly in his video, “Learning a language is just like learning any other skill. You need to practice, practice, practice!” He also knows why we’re asking challengers to post a Public Video Pledge – because challenges are best achieved when you share progress with others. In one short Video pledge, Gregory has revealed the secrets of the Challenge! Please give him some love as he takes his Spanish to the next level by commenting on his Notebook entry!


(more…)

Email this to someoneShare on Google+Share on FacebookDigg thisTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUpon

Check out who’s taking up our Language Challenge!

If you’re taking the Language Challenge and really want to succeed, we’re giving away 50ITC if you make a Public Video Pledge! Why would you ever want to do this? (Click here for more details) Please take some time to motivate and encourage our Public Video Pledge Challengers by commenting on their Notebook entries!

This is the second blog listing of October Language Challenge Public Video Pledges. Watch the pledges from our first post below:

PART I HERE

Sylvia from Australia is learning Chinese
If you want to see an incredible display of polyglotism check out Sylvia’s video. She changes tongues like a language chameleon! Now she’s learning Chinese and Spanish so compliments and encouragement are welcome in her Notebook entry!

Vladimir from Russia is learning English
Vladimir knows what he wants: to be more confident and to have to think less about the words he uses during a normal English conversation. That’s the very definition of fluency! And that’s exactly what the Language Challenge is for, to push you to achieve fluency in the language of your choice in just one month. Give him some words of encouragement on his Notebook entry!

Leese from the United Kingdom is learning Spanish
Leese is taking the Challenge to learn Spanish. She actually speaks quite well but would like to speak with more confidence. We actually think your accent isn’t that bad… no need to apologize for it! Give her some props by writing on her Notebook entry!

(more…)

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