Photo credit: Hector Alejandro
I know you are out there. I hear you. I see you. I talk with you! You write on the Multilingual Living Facebook wall, you send me Tweets and you contact me via email asking me how best to go about it. Some of you are desperate but most of you just aren’t sure which steps to take to get where you want to go. I’ve been feeling the same way!
The two things you and I are missing are (1) a plan and (2) an incentive.
We have the time (even though we don’t realize it) and we have the motivation (even though we may have forgotten where it is hidden). We just aren’t sure where to start, where to go and how to stay on track.
I’m not talking about life here (at least not completely). I am talking about language(s)!
Which languages am I talking about? These languages:
- The language(s) your children are “learning” from you (whether it is a native language or not)
- The language(s) you have been learning for a long time
- The language(s) you want to learn
When I asked those of you on Facebook which language(s) you really, really wanted to learn and/or which language(s) you really, really needed to get back into full swing, this is what you said:
And many more comments but I can’t fit them all here.
The point is, multilinguals are language lovers. We want to keep our languages alive and many of us even want to learn more!
And for those of us who are parents: We want to share our native and non-native languages (and love of them) with our children which is not always an easy task when the language isn’t spoken in the community! We aren’t just talking about our own language-support here (which can be challenging enough for both native and non-native speaker!). We have children to think about! What about their linguistic future? It is not as easy as many think!
Language Challenge 180
Many of us need some support in the following:
- Learn a new language
- Keep a non-native language strong
- Help our children master our language(s)
- And maybe even our own native language(s) if we aren’t able to use it/them with others!
But we need a plan to go about these (myself included). Therefore, I am so very excited to announce that we have just what you (and I) need!
No, don’t worry, you won’t have to sing Karaoke in a new language or write a three page essay. Your children won’t have to perform their language(s) on camera. All you have to do is give yourself permission to get excited, motivated and inspired (and sign up!).
What I am talking about here is an event we have put together called Language Challenge 180 which will include the following:
- A step-by-step guide to get you on track with your language(s)
- A step-by-step guide on how best to expose your children to your language(s)
- Short weekly emails with tips to keep your & your children’s language mastery on track
- Support and camaraderie via weekly online conversations and contact
- Articles written by language experts to help us along
- Language-learning resource suggestions and links for adults and children
- And best of all: Prizes, prizes, prizes – yes, we have sponsors who have donated some great prizes!
Why is it called Language Challenge 180? We chose this name because:
- It will last 180 days (well, 6 months which is about 180 days)
- We need to turn things around 180-degrees if we are going to get our language-learning under control!
“Signing up seems like such a big commitment”
No, not at all! You can sign up and then disappear into the abyss if you want. You can participate in Language Challenge 180 in your own way, shape or form. Some people are chatty and want to connect with others in their language-learning community. Others want to do things quietly on their own. Regardless of how you go about learning languages, you will benefit from the weekly tips and expert articles.
“But I am a native speaker of my language(s)!”
Great! That means that you won’t have to worry about strengthening your own language skills. However, what about helping your children “learn” your language(s)? It takes a lot to introduce our children to more than just our daily banter. Are you consistently speaking to your children in your language (are you sure)? Are you engaging your children in a variety of language opportunities? Do you engage your children in increasingly complex conversations and reading materials? Language Challenge 180 will make sure that you haven’t missed anything when it comes to your children mastering your language(s).
“I don’t know where to find language resources”
No problem! We are going to give you a whole list of tips and suggestions for you and for your children. And if nothing we provide can help you with your or your children’s target language(s), then we’ll ask the community for their suggestions and ideas. Where there is a will, there is a way. So don’t let a worry like language resources get in your way – at least not at this point!
“There is no way I have time for this!”
Can you find a way to set aside 15 minutes a day for yourself or your children? If yes, then you can participate in Language Challenge 180! We will provide a plan for people who have 15 minutes a day, 30 minutes a day or 1 hour a day for their own language learning and/or their children’s language mastery.
Yes, your and/or your children’s language skills will improve most when you dedicate more than 15 minutes a day but that’s all you need to at least turn things around 180 degrees. With at least 15 minutes a day you can get your and your children’s language learning on track. Honestly! You just need to go about it the right way (which is where we can help).
“OMG, I’m so excited, how do I sign up?”
We are so glad that you are already excited to join this event!
We are still working out some last minute things so stay tuned for more details – they will be coming soon. But we encourage you to leave a comment below letting us know which languages you will be focusing on for yourself and/or your children. UPDATE on Feb 21: SIGN-UP FORM IS NOW READY! Click here to sign up TODAY!
The event will officially begin on March 1st so sign up right now to make sure that you don’t miss any of our Language Challenge 180 emails and information about prizes!
First Step: Your job this weekend is to tell us below which language(s) you are going to focus on for 180 days (for you and/or your children). Let yourself get really excited this weekend about what is ahead. That’s it for now!
All you have to do right now is SIGN UP!