Congratulations, winners of the italki October challenge!

challenge_logo201409This event was record-breaking in italki history, with the highest number of participants ever!

This was a short and intense challenge, where we asked you if you could have 12 hours of language learning in the space of just one month. A huge number of you have taken up the challenge.

In all, over 53% of the participants have completed the October challenge.

Of the total number of participants, 2.6% were professional teachers, and 9.6% were community tutors.

How did the language education professionals match up?

You’d be surprised to know that more community tutors have completed the challenge than professional teachers did! Whereas the professional teachers had a rate of 50% (right around the overall average completion percentage of 53%), the community tutors have completed the challenge at the rate of 58%! Congratulations! That is impressive.

The challenge included people from countries all over the world, learning languages like Cebuano, Afrikaans, Catalan, Hebrew, Polish, and dozens of others. Many languages had only a handful dedicated students, and often these language groups had a challenge completion rate of 100%.

The most popular languages studied in the October challenge:

  1. English: 23.24% of the participants took most of their sessions to learn English
  2. Spanish:    16.70%
  3. French:        7.85%
  4. Chinese:      7.04%
  5. Russian:      5.43%
  6. Japanese:    4.73%
  7. German:       4,33%
  8. Italian:          4.23%
  9. Korean:         2.52%
  10. Portuguese:  2.52%

We have also learned how important social encouragement is in any difficult undertaking:

Posting a Public Video Pledge Really Helps!


Of those who have posted a public video pledge, 83%  completed the challenge. We had a lot of challengers who made one here and here and here as well.

Even if some didn’t quite make it, a huge 93% have completed at least 6 hours of language instruction during the month of October.


Congratulations, everyone!

We are still finalizing results, and will be sending out an e-mail to the winners soon.

In the meantime, should you have any issues, questions, or concerns – please write to us:

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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 3

Yeah! I Made it!!!

I’m so happy i was finally able to focus an entire month on learning chinese, i really needed it!
I always thought that chinese is way to difficult but it only requires some time and dedication.

Looking back at it, it wasn’t even so hard. 12 hours per month, or 3 hours per week are something really easy to achieve.

The main lesson that i learnt is that i also needed to account time to review the lesson by myself in order to be really efficient with the time i spend with the teacher. This improves the result by a lot, but it also requires more time than i thought.

Developing a routine was also useful to achieve the goal.

A routine that was working for me, was to wake up earlier and get a class before going to work. Additionally, i was alternating teacher’s lessons days with personal review days. This also helps you optimize the cost of your learning, at the end of the month i practiced around 20-24 in total, but only 12 of those hours were with a teacher.

Overall, it feels great now!

I can finally start to have some short conversations with my chinese friends in chinese, but i still have a long time to go before been able to properly hold a more serious discussion.
Fortunately, there will be a new language challenge soon! ;) (I have inside information!)

Happy learning!

P.S. Check out my AFTER challenge video below!

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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

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Andy’s October Language Challenge – Week 3

October 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Andrea in Language Challenge | Motivation - (Comments Off)

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 ;)

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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!


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