Are You Ready for the Challenge?

by Corey · 140 comments

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:

  1. The language(s) your children are “learning” from you (whether it is a native language or not)
  2. The language(s) you have been learning for a long time
  3. 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:Β 

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:

  1. A step-by-step guide to get you on track with your language(s)
  2. A step-by-step guide on how best to expose your children to your language(s)
  3. Short weekly emails with tips to keep your & your children’s language mastery on track
  4. Support and camaraderie via weekly online conversations and contact
  5. Articles written by language experts to help us along
  6. Language-learning resource suggestions and links for adults and children
  7. 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!

1 Kim @ The Educators' Spin On It February 17, 2012 at 7:46 am

HINDI… we’re blogging about our Bilingual Babies weekly too. Would love to learn Hindi so that my children can inherit and love their Daddy’s language too!

2 Kim @ The Educators' Spin On It February 22, 2012 at 4:57 am

Amanda is blogging about Russian with her children too on our site. The ideas we blog about work for any language.

3 Kim @ The Educators' Spin On It February 22, 2012 at 5:00 am
4 Jeanne @soultravelers3 February 17, 2012 at 8:34 am

Wow, this is a great idea Corey! Since, i am a monolingual raising our daughter as a fluent-as-a-native trilingual/triliterate in Mandarin/Spanish/English, I need to work a LOT more on my Spanish and Mandarin to try to keep up with her.

Do I have to pick one?

5 Zsofia February 17, 2012 at 10:57 am

Hungarian- I’m third generation Hungarian living in the US. My first language was Hungarian but my dominant language is English. I am trying to keep our tradition alive and pass the language down to my children. Although I am fairly fluent and literate in Hungarian I find it hard to do OPOL at home. The children and I attend Hungarian school every Sat. I read and sing to them in Hungarian everyday. However I feel like I could use some motivation to increase the input I give them in Hungarian.

6 Sarolta February 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm

We are Hungarians with a young son (born in Canada) who will attend French immersion in a couple of years. Need to keep up Hungarian at home and I need to refresh my French.

7 Valentina February 17, 2012 at 11:01 am

Wow this sounds great! i really want to improve my portuguese! (:
Cant wait for it to begin πŸ˜‰

8 cathleen February 17, 2012 at 11:03 am

mandarin and spanish

9 Jennifer February 17, 2012 at 11:07 am

This is exactly what I need! I am trying to learn my husband’s native language, Woun Meu (from Panama/Colombia). I need all the encouragement I can get! And, we are moving closer to his family on March 1st, so I should have chances to practice. Thanks, I am excited for this!

10 Dominick February 17, 2012 at 11:23 am

I’m going to rock my passive Spanish knowledge into fluency over the next 180 days!

11 Laurie February 17, 2012 at 11:24 am


12 Tye February 17, 2012 at 11:25 am

Spanish (with the kids) and Italian (just me)

13 Yazmin February 17, 2012 at 11:54 am

I am so ready for this. It’s time to get my Arabic back under control! I worked too hard to let it go. πŸ˜‰

14 Justine Ickes February 17, 2012 at 11:54 am

Super, Corey! Count me in! Would love to get the foundations of Turkish in place before our trip to Turkey this summer.

15 Maria Iskenderoglu February 19, 2012 at 7:12 am

We are a Turkish/American couple with a child fluent in both languages. My aim is to improve my Turkish while continuing to help my 6 year old with her English. Want to exchange some ideas and tips for Turkish?

16 Shannon February 17, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Spanish! This is probably the BUSIEST time of the year, but my 7-yr-old’s Spanish really got a boost from our Christmas trip to Peru, and I don’t want to waste the momentum!

17 Lia February 17, 2012 at 12:43 pm

i’d love to learn sign language (asl) and korean. i have no connection to korea or korean people, except for the supermarket we buy our fish at. its a korean market and there are so many koreans working and shopping there and it got me very interested.

also i need to learn high arabic. i am fluent in egyptian arabic, but high arabic is quite the challenge for me, because i’m afraid i will mix it up with my egyptian accent (they are very different, the grammar as well as most words. it doesn’t feel like the same language to me, more like related languages!).

anyway, i think i want to do high arabic and asl first. and when i “mastered” them, i’ll start with korean. πŸ™‚

18 Linda M February 17, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Yay! I’ve been waiting for the language challenge πŸ™‚

It’s Spanish for me, or us I should say, as I hope to get/keep my kids involved.

19 Debbie Lang February 17, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Dutch! I just moved to Holland two months ago and I am desperate to learn Dutch as we intend to live here forever. My husband is Dutch, so we are raising our son bilingual, but I am very interested in learning the language myself.

20 cami February 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I am so glad to read your post. I have been Brain storming and really worrying about howi can learn Arabic but more importantly help my 6 year old understand and be able to communicate with my husband’s family. We just got back from a visit to Morocco and I am heart broken seeing my sons frustrations with the language. Amazing the universe gives you just what you ask for! Thank you!

21 Karen February 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm

As always, trying to improve my Spanish! πŸ™‚

22 suzanne February 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Spanish with my Guatemalan daughter!

23 Manuel Carrillo February 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm

I would like to improve my Swedish!

24 jo-anne February 17, 2012 at 8:36 pm

This is a wonderful idea. I really need to learn German so I can communicate with my husband’s family and help raise our son to be bilingual.

25 Annabelle February 18, 2012 at 9:30 am

I am going for german as i have recently moved and need to improve faster!

26 Mezzofanti Guild February 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Hey Corey.

Great idea! Hopefully plenty of people take up the challenge.
I might join in myself with my Irish Gaeilge studies πŸ™‚

27 Amy Van Vranken February 18, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I’m in! I’ll be working on my French.


28 Luciana Misura February 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Spanish! I took classes 20 years ago and was learning it quickly, I need to get back to studying it. Have the books sitting on my desk, waiting!

29 Shu-Yi February 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Mandarin for 8 years so far. French and Latin starting now!

30 Kaja February 18, 2012 at 10:14 pm

German! years of studying and so little in use! I don’t want to waste it really… And mastering Portuguese as I live with my family (hlaf Portuguese) in a Portuguese speaking country!

31 Rachael Clugston February 18, 2012 at 11:40 pm

I am in! In English!

32 Vanessa Warwick February 19, 2012 at 12:01 am

German with my children. I’m finding it very hard to speak my native German with them and worry that they don’t pick up enough.
For myself I would be very interested in Arabic or mandarin.
Thank you so much for this!!! Lifesaver πŸ™‚
(can I get my husband in on the German, too? He really wants to learn it)

33 Leticia February 19, 2012 at 1:03 am

I’m Brazilian, married to an Italian amd living in Italy. I’m a translator, working mostly with ita>eng, but sometimes I translate from Spanish as well. My top priority, of course, is making sure my daughter speaks Portuguese; she also has English
lessons in pre-school and so far everything seems to be working fine πŸ™‚ I studied French for years at school but then I didn’t keep on studying or practicing it, so now I can read it ok, understand very little of it, and speak nothing whatsoever. I LoVE French; we go to Paris roughly once a year and every single time I promise myself that next time I’ll be speaking it πŸ˜› Perhaps this time I’ll actually do somethong about it, and get my daughter involved as well πŸ™‚ What do I have to do to sign up?

34 Li-Ha February 19, 2012 at 1:30 am

Totally rusty with my Cantonese that I want my children at least to understand and Portuguese for me to keep up with them and their father!

35 Antoine February 19, 2012 at 1:41 am

For us Russian and french.

36 Maria Jesus February 19, 2012 at 2:15 am

English for me and my daughter.

37 Chris Cumiskey February 19, 2012 at 3:09 am

I would love to improve my Italian!

38 Monika February 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I want to strengthen and improve my Italian, too! πŸ™‚

39 Reshmi February 19, 2012 at 3:22 am

Perfect timing…. Thank u so much for this initiative may God Bless u. I am currently on maternity leave from work and want to focus on learning formal Arabic and speaking more Arabic with my Lebanese husband so we can encourage mtly 3.5 year old and set the environment for our 2 month old to learn Arabic too. I want to set-up an Arabic play group or meet up to help us all. My daughter is also interested in French and mandarin but think we will focus on Arabic…. Am excited and very grateful for the initiative! Thanks all

40 Amy February 20, 2012 at 7:05 am

I am American (native English speaker), my husband Italian, and we have been living in Latin american for the past 8 years, so my kids are trilingual. however, we will be moving to Lebanon in the next few months! (Hubby’s work). So we all need to start learing Arabic. (And in fact, one of my basic questions is what kind of Arabic, bc I know that people talk about Egyptian Arabic being particular – what about in Lebanon?)

The kids will also start French when we arrive there, but given its similarities with Spanish and Italian, I am sure it will be the easier language for all of us, so we’re going to start first with Arabic, and will sign up for this challenge!

41 Lia February 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Hi Amy!

Well, Lebanese Arabic is particular as well. Every arabic speaking country has their own dialect, and in some cases they are VERY different. Native arabic speakers will understand most of them.

Which arabic you should learn really depends on what you want to do. Do you want to be able to understand the news and read books? This will be in high arabic. If your children will go to a lebanese school, it will be taught in high arabic. Everything that is written is written in fosHa (high arabic). But lebanese arabic (as well as egyptian and most other dialects) is very different from high arabic, so if you want to be able to communicate with Lebanese people: learn their dialect. They understand egyptian arabic as well as high arabic, but will respond in their own dialect, so you won’t be able to understand them.
I would recommend to learn lebanese dialect, if you can’t, go for egyptian arabic, it will be the easiest to switch from egyptian to lebanese (and EVERYBODY understands egyptian arabic, because all the tv shows and movies are in this dialect)

I hope that helped!

42 Amy February 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Thank you Lia, that is VERY helpful! Yes, what I want to be able to do is understand Lebanese people, for going to the store, market, whatever. Reading would be a plus, but secondary. If you (or Reshmi, or anyone else) have resource suggestions specific to Lebanese Arabic, it would be much appreciated! (websites, books with cds for language learning, etc.)

43 Lia February 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm (this one is for learning the arabic alphabet, which is the same in every dialect πŸ™‚ (this has a bunch of links, i guess you will just have to go through them and only use those which say “lebanese” πŸ™‚

I hope thats a help. You can always google and you might find helpful resources! If you want to buy books, there are a couple on Amazon. Even with CD’s which i think is the best way, because it is really hard to get the pronunciation right without hearing it.

The good thing about arabic is, that even with a very small vocabulary you are ready to hit the market. Once you know the basic words its easy to build upon that. And Arabs are so kind and patient, plus they appreciate when foreigners learn their language and are very helpful.
I do envy you for moving there! Have fun!

Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you have any further questions:


44 Antonia February 19, 2012 at 4:18 am

It’s not my native language and I don’t usually speak it to my children. Since we moved back to the UK 2.5 years ago it is hanging by a thread.

45 Louise February 19, 2012 at 4:29 am

French, my native language, with son who is in kindergarten. Thanks, that will be great support!

46 Marie February 19, 2012 at 4:32 am

I want get back into speaking GERMAN with my kids who are 2 and 7 y.o. (we live in the UK, my native language is German but our family and outside language is English)

And i personally want to start learning SWEDISH (I’m fluent in German and English)

47 Amanda Kendle February 19, 2012 at 4:34 am

This sounds great! Desperately need to improve my German grammar and to get a boost on helping my 2 year old son pick up German (we live in Australia, my husband is German). Looking forward to this!

48 bee February 19, 2012 at 4:36 am

Great idea!
I am in!

French for two reasons: 1) my sons (who are bilingual in English and Swedish) are studying it in school and I have never studied it before and 2) I am taking one of them on a mother-son trip to Paris later in the spring (took the other one two years ago)


Spanish for two reasons: 1) I used to know Spanish and it has faded away into the land of forgotten and unused languages for me and 2) I will spend a week in Spain with my niece later this spring

49 Kathy February 19, 2012 at 4:38 am

Great idea!

Korean was my first language, but I lost a lot of it after we moved to the States when I was 4 (because we spoke English only at home). I also started learning Brazilian Portuguese in 2006. I’m at an intermediate-advanced level with both of those languages. Now I have a 7 month old baby and I speak Korean and Portuguese to him while I continue studying both of those languages.

50 Mary Kay February 19, 2012 at 5:02 am

Bambara. She’s already getting Spanish at Day Care, and English at home, but having just returned from Mali, where she picked up some more words in Daddy’s language, I am determined to keep it going.

51 Trish February 19, 2012 at 5:08 am

GERMAN. This is such perfect timing – we’re having a German immersion week at home starting tomorrow. It will be great to follow on with a 6 month commitment to keep it up!

52 Carola Flores SardΓ‘ February 19, 2012 at 5:23 am

My mother tongue is Spanish but I am living now in NL and my daughters (3 en 1.5 years old) speak mostly Dutch. I am really interesting that they can speak, undestand, write en read in Spanish. I need your help!

53 Liesbeth February 19, 2012 at 5:52 am

I speak only English to my sons, whom we are raising in the Netherlands where they go to Dutch school/creche. Currently, English is still their first language but as my eldest is going to school now, Dutch will rapidly overtake his English and I could definitely use encouragement to keep his English at its currently excellent level!

54 tina February 19, 2012 at 5:57 am


55 May February 19, 2012 at 6:27 am

Korean. It’s overwhelming to go back, understand, and convince myself how I ended up frittering away my kids’ early life not having spoken to them in my native language. Code-switching must have been difficult or inconvenient for myself to fully learn English language & culture and become an American. It served monolingual American husband well! What goes around comes around. Years later, now I do interpreting and translating, but find my kids (15, 11, 9) wanting to learn Korean, lacking any cultural context or incentives to jump start their learning. Your Language Challenge 180 is so thorough in proposal, it was hard for me to refuse, had to come out from lurking. Thank you, Corey!

56 Nancy February 19, 2012 at 6:27 am

I want to improve my French. I am a native Spanish speaker. I’m trying to teach Both to my 2 year old.

57 Melina February 24, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I am in the opposite situation. I’m a native French speaker living in the US. I stay home with the kids so they can learn french. My 4 yo daughter is fluent in french & english and she is now interested in spanish. I can’t help her and there isn’t any preschool near by… maybe I we can trade ideas.

58 Benjamin February 19, 2012 at 6:29 am

Sounds interesting! My wife (Spanish, native speaker) and I (English, native speaker) are raising our two boys in Mexico to speak both languages.

59 Jokinahan February 19, 2012 at 6:37 am

This is exactly what I need as a family of non French speakers who has moved to France for our children to experience a new culture and language this will help jet start our journey of a language… Sign me up

60 Liz Amaral February 19, 2012 at 6:39 am


61 Carolyn Anderson February 19, 2012 at 6:41 am

I will master French and become conversational in Spanish. My 2 1/2 year old daughter (already bilingual in French/English and now attending Spanish preschool) will be along for the ride, too. She’ll no doubt master both French and Spanish and be teaching/correcting me during the challenge!!

62 Tobias Barske February 19, 2012 at 6:46 am

English and German

63 Celia February 19, 2012 at 6:59 am

Hi, this sounds great! I speak my native a language (English) with our twin boys and also speak German but intermediate level. My husband is Dutch so that’s the language I’m learning very slowly, I understand quite a bit because it’s a little similar to German but get confused when speaking whether the words I want to use are Dutch or German:-(

64 alejandra pickett February 19, 2012 at 6:59 am

My mother’s native language was Spanish. She gave me the gift of her culture and language by raising me to be bilingual in English and Spanish. My first language was Spanish but my dominant language is English. My father, a linguist and multilingual himself, exposed us to and instilled in us a love of languages, and so i also speak French and Flemish. I tried to teach my daughter Spanish. We read books, sang songs, watched videos. But i had no idea what i was doing. And, i thought i could not do it by myself… i didn’t realize that all i had to do was speak to her exclusively in Spanish… i was not confident in my ability to do that… I worried that because i am only conversationally fluent that i would teach her “wrong” It weighs on me every day that she gets older and closer to 12 years of age. (she is now 10) she is learning spanish in school and has a pretty good vocabulary, but it is not enough. I kills me when i hear her accent… i really want to do this. I want to do something. It is very important to me – a way to recognize and honor my mother, my Colombian roots, and to pass that on to my daughter. Thanks for creating this opportunity. I wonder how it will work.

alejandra (mom of Isabella)

65 Heather February 19, 2012 at 7:08 am


66 Maria Iskenderoglu February 19, 2012 at 7:10 am

Turkish and English. My family is a Turkish American family living in Turkey. I need to improve my Turkish and continue to help my daughter with her English.

67 cassandra February 19, 2012 at 7:12 am

Need to learn Spanish but also want to expose my daughter to learning multiple languages…this inspires me

68 Debbie Terry February 19, 2012 at 7:20 am

My college Spanish is runing out on me. I have a 21/2 yr old granddaughter who is ready for much more than I have to share with her. She understands Spanish but I know some of what I teach her is not correct. We both learn from Pocoyo!

69 Liliana February 19, 2012 at 7:37 am

My children are doing well in English (we live in USA) and Spanish (my language, and the only way I address tem) , it is their dad’s language, Nepali, that worries me. They understand everything my husband says but they respond to him in Spanish. I feel I am not help because I do not speak Nepali. I would like to focus in Nepali for this challenge.

70 Idoya February 19, 2012 at 7:40 am

Basque language- I’m a first generation Basque born/raised in the US. Stopped speaking Basque to my kids after transferring them from a French Lycee to an American school because their English was so weak. Now their Basque is so weak, nearly non existent to my youngest. Husband does not speak it so it’s all on me. Need to get back on track!

71 jen February 19, 2012 at 7:46 am


72 Christine Igarta February 19, 2012 at 7:46 am

Thanks for the great motivation! My kids (3 & 6) speak some of my native German but I REALLY need to be more focused to speak “Deutsch only” with them and not revert to our family language English so they can actually become fluent!

73 Eli February 19, 2012 at 7:49 am

Spanish! I even live in Spain, but am guilty of all the negative things of learning a language only by speaking it…sometimes my grammar is atrocious and I always wing it with complicated structures. And I have a young son and another on the way, so I don’t practice Spanish at home at all (because of all the English). Can’t wait to start!

74 ElisaF February 19, 2012 at 7:56 am

I would like to start with Spanish myself, and ideally also pass on some of it to my 4 year old, who is growing trilingual with Italian (my mother tongue), English (his dad’s) and German as community language.
Then I would like to continue or better still give a good kick to my mandarin. Have been avidly reading other posts about families introducing the 4th language to their children, as we are “stuck” with 3 and struggling with the fourth (mandarin up to now, but I am thinking of switching to Spanish, as it should be much easier for him thanks to his Italian). Any suggestions are very welcome! Really excited about this challenge!!

75 Kavita February 19, 2012 at 8:00 am

German (continuing for me and my son) as my hubby is Deutsch, then Hindi for me to connect better to my son’s birthplace, and finally Spanish because I think we are moving to Mexico! Very excited to take on the challenge!

76 Chelsea February 19, 2012 at 8:02 am

I’m a relatively new reader, and I’m trying to learn Spanish. My fiance is a native Spanish speaker and learned English at a very young age & is fluent in both languages. We’re still a few years away from having kids, but we want them to learn Spanish & English….which means I need to get moving on the Spanish!

77 Barb February 19, 2012 at 8:03 am

My six year old son and I will be focusing on Spanish. As a college Spanish instructor, I’ve been speaking to my son since he was a baby. When he was a toddler he used to say that his mommy “spoke weird” since everyone else around him spoke English. Recently, he’s been speaking some simple Spanish to me and seems to be more open to learning it. Some colleagues brought me some elementary books from Mexico that I’m going to use and expand upon. This challenge you offer is a good incentive. Thank you.

78 magda February 19, 2012 at 8:08 am

Hey! I’m Greeek living in Italy. I’m trying to focus on my trilingual 4 year old daughter. Untill now, things were ok but with writing I need any hel I can get.

79 Kristin Kimble February 19, 2012 at 8:24 am

Hi! Looking forward to the challenge – would really like to strengthen my daughter’s German, she’s 5 and started school, we live in the UK, and I feel I’m losing focus. πŸ™‚

80 Melissa February 19, 2012 at 8:38 am

My children need to work on their English.

81 Angela February 19, 2012 at 8:43 am

Sign me up!
I’m going to work on my Italian and share with my 2 yr old son.

82 Bob February 19, 2012 at 8:55 am

French for family. My daughter is a high school freshman and already wants to major in languages.

83 Jess February 19, 2012 at 9:02 am

German for me please to improve my grammar and vocabulary. I’m also going to start a Spanish evening class too.

84 Kristine February 19, 2012 at 9:05 am

We are swdish/armenian couple liing in Russia, speaking in English with each other. We have a one-year old son.

85 Emily February 19, 2012 at 9:51 am


86 ELISA February 19, 2012 at 9:52 am

French for me, Italian for my son (2).

87 melissa February 19, 2012 at 10:33 am

Brazilian portugese for me. My native language is english, husbands is portugese. We want our son (1.5yrs) to speak both and will move to Brazil in a few years.

88 Terra February 19, 2012 at 10:54 am

We are learning/polishing Spanish. Can’t wait to get started!

89 Reina February 19, 2012 at 11:02 am

Great idea πŸ™‚ Spanish and Dutch.

90 Tiffany February 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Spanish! This is a fabulous idea. Just what we needed to reaffirm our commitment to raising bilingual/multilingual children! Will be blogging about this!!

91 Marwan February 19, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Cool!! i hope it will be a success, and you will make it later 360!
Ok: arabic, polish and english! yep, coz: dad speaks arabic, mom polish, and we speak together english, so dad is planing to use arabic and english, and mom polish and english, though the context is polish (we live in poland). sounds complicated? we r targetting a trilingual girl! god b with us! i wait for the program!!

92 Lilian February 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Our family will concentrate on getting my sons’ Portuguese in better shape. We are Brazilians, but my sons were born and raised in the U.S. and English has become their main language in spite of the fact that they were monolinguals in Portuguese until they were 4.5 (I used to write the “One Family, One Language” column of this website’s predecessor! πŸ˜‰ I hope this challenge can help us with this goal! Nearly two months of the 6 month-long challenge will be spent in Brazil, so I think that this will be a big help! I’m excited!

93 Cathy February 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I would focus on Tagalog. I am a native speaker of both English and Tagalog. My son’s English is doing well, but I am not confident enough to teach him Tagalog with me as his only input!

94 Jenny February 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I am teaching my kiddos (10 months, 2 years, and 5 years old) French. Would love a challenge to keep me accountable.

95 Tom February 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Looking forward to this. Polish and English for us.

96 Frances February 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I have let things slip with my third child. His spoken English and Japanese are great, but I really need to start teaching him to read. I was so enthusiastic with his two older sisters. I really want him to be reading simple books before he goes to elementary school this year. I also want to improve my Japanese reading and writing skills. I have just ordered new study books. I just have to start using them!!!

97 Stephanie-InCultureParent February 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Fantastic idea Corey! I’ll be doing Spanish as I heard for the 1000th time just yesterday (in Spanish), “You speak Spanish so well. Are you raising your kids in Spanish?” Gulp, no. I mean NOT YET!

98 Ute Barrett February 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I need to get my girls’ German back on track and this is the perfect incentive. I find it terribly hard to get them to speak to me in German because they are growing up in Scotland and our family language is English. It was easier when they were younger!

99 Polie February 19, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Great idea! I want to learn French. Can’t wait to get started!

100 Kelly Heath February 19, 2012 at 3:19 pm


101 Vanya February 19, 2012 at 3:35 pm

So looking forward to this.It will be spanish and english for me and my 3.5years old boy.

102 Jennifer February 19, 2012 at 6:17 pm

We are raising our 4 month old with English and Spanish. We are both native English speakers who learned Spanish through living abroad–but no one else in our families can speak it very fluently…so we are desperately missing that component.

103 Sophie February 19, 2012 at 6:23 pm

For me: I am starting a te reo Maori course in a few weeks. DD learns some at preschool here in NZ, and hubby remembers very little from his childhood. Hopefully between us will soon be able to say our mihi (greeting/background) in this land’s native language πŸ™‚

For DD: I need to speak more French with her (my mum’s mother tongue). Mum has just left after a 3-month visit (during which neither of us spoke enough French, which is utterly dreadful), but I think we can do more and maybe make it a special “girls'” language, since daddy does not understand much yet either. If he starts to learn as a result too, bonus!

104 Denisa February 19, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Slovak with my child.

105 Arielle February 19, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Russian for myself and DD. It’s DH’s native tongue, so we should have lots of support!

106 Susan February 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm

My German and Papi’s Spanish! Both for the kids.

107 Deb February 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm


108 Amanda Hsiung Blodgett February 19, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Corey, What a fantastic idea! We are raising our kids in English and Mandarin Chinese. Now my daughter shows interest in French. So we will work on French together!

109 Julia February 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Wonderful idea. German for me and Spanish for my child. Look forawrds to hearing more

110 Alison Deer Squillante February 19, 2012 at 10:42 pm


111 Lesley Johnson February 19, 2012 at 11:07 pm

This sounds fantastic! I am so looking forward to the tips and the time to spend with my daughter putting them into practice! So, for us it will be mainly Spanish (I am half native so would like to keep the language alive for my daughters – one is 3 the other in my belly due in June!) and also French. Thanks for putting this together!! :o)

112 Ellen February 19, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Swedish. I speak Dutch, English and German; raise my daughter in the first two (my husband is Scottish); and teach the last two. I enjoy learning languages and started learning Swedish years ago, but then abandoned it through lack of time. Now seems a good time and this challenge is a good opportunity to pick it up again. I think I will even get my daughter involved.

113 Petra February 20, 2012 at 7:23 am

Wonderful initiative Corey!
I might say that I’ve been learning languages my whole life, I’m fluent in English and graduated in German and Italian, but I’ve stopped there…
Lately I’ve been thinking about starting to learn French and Spanish on my own just watching subtitled movies, which has definitely helped me a lot with my English.
Ok… I’m taking a deep breath… since you are talking about language(s), I’m in for Spanish, French, Russian and Mandarin!

114 Dana February 20, 2012 at 7:25 am

Spanish for the kids, brushing up French for me. Would love to learn about new resources.

115 Jennifer February 20, 2012 at 10:23 am

1) French, took it throughout high school, loved it, and it’s always on my mind! I’ve tried to keep it alive but I need to do a lot of work to be fluent.

2) Spanish, I have a hispanic heritage but I’ve never learned to speak the language.

I’m not sure which language to teach my kids first but I’m leaning towards French since I’ve had more practice with it and it feels more natural than Spanish.

116 Sissel February 20, 2012 at 10:29 am

I need to consistently speak my native language Danish to my son. I need a challenge.

117 Bettina February 20, 2012 at 11:55 am

Danish – My native language. My four year old is bilingual (English-Danish) even though we live in Canada. I always appreciate more tips, tricks and ideas to make sure we both keep it up!

118 Mammamaman February 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Mandarin for me (recently started this new learning journey) and French, Italian (my native languages) and Spanish (one of husband’s native languages, the other being English- the community language) for my daughter, although she seems rather interested in this new language her mum is learning πŸ˜‰

Great idea Corey, I’m so ready for some inspiration: living a multilingual life in a monolingual environment can be isolating, especially when children come along! Really looking forward to signing up!
Almost forgot- briefly studied German while living in the US (long story) and been left with the feeling that it’s “the one that got away”… Shame there’s not enough hours in the day to work, raise a young family AND have a truly rewarding intellectual life… I know! All I need is figuring out how to fit a 30-hour day in 24 hours then it’ll all be a piece of cake πŸ™‚

119 Michelle February 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Wonderful idea! I’m going to focus on getting our girls to read more in Afrikaans (3 months in South Africa this summer will help), and I’m trying to learn Spanish to keep up with my daughter in Immersion class.

120 Nichole Gully February 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Perfect timing. We are initiating a new language plan at home now. Maori language (indigenous to New Zealand) is our language at home. We just need to be reinvigorated.

121 Karolena February 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Arabic – I have lots of books and media but need to take the time each day to practice. I am a non-native speaker of Spanish, too, so I always appreciate resources for Spanish, too.

122 Elena February 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Italian for my children
English for myself (I have to admit I still need improvements)

And …Why not…maybe a new language for all of us? I’m thinking German, my sister and brother in law language…but I can’t promise.

Sounds great, anyway!!!

123 sonja February 21, 2012 at 12:17 am

French, for my daughter and me. Even I would dream to learn Arabic, I love French too and it is time to take it seriously because my daughter had to quit it at school this year but she will start again the next. And… because I consider French will be useful in our next life project in Africa.
We are Italian native speakers with English as second language and Polish the third.

124 Mama Mia February 21, 2012 at 1:39 am

Hubby and I are fluent in English and Filipino. We do OLOP with our 2yr old
son as we live overseas; English with me and Filipino with my husband.
Right now, our son can understand us and say a few words in both languages.
I want to make sure we’re doing things correctly so that he can achieve
fluency in both.

Hubby and I took up Mandarin a few years ago but we haven’t been practicing
for the past two years. I would like to revive our Mandarin. I’m still trying
to figure out how to introduce it to our son.

125 Ashley Murphy February 21, 2012 at 3:34 am

I’ll do this! I’m learning Korean.

126 olesya February 21, 2012 at 6:08 am


127 Kjetil February 21, 2012 at 6:31 am

Ho-chunk (of Wisconsin) is our home language and as others have said, we need a little push to get to the next level and polish our language abilities.

128 Stephanie February 21, 2012 at 9:21 am

American living in France. Speak French well enough for the moment and my son has caught up on his English, so this one is for ME! I’m going to focus on Czech because my brother lives there and I would like to say more than Ahoj and Dobry Den when I visit!

129 Deb February 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I am French and my husband is Canadian English.
Our daughter is only little so we can’t really do more than we are doing (One parent-One language) for now so I will do it for myself.

I would like to refresh my Italian, and learn Spanish.

130 Sarah Kring February 21, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I am Danish living in QuΓ©bec. I need to get serious about French and my oldest daughter needs to learn how to read and write in Danish.
My youngest is just learning French because I have not been home much so with her I need to be more consistent in speaking Danish.

131 Bridgette February 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm


Both my husband and I are native English speakers in the USA but I am a Spanish/English bilingual dual immersion teacher and we live in an area with a very large hispanic community. We want to raise our son bilingually (He’s 3.5 months old πŸ™‚ My husband is excited about learning Spanish from me as I speak to our son I just lack consistency at this point. I need to remember which language to speak with whom.

I am so excited for this challenge!!! I can’t wait to see the changes that happen in our house throughout the next six months!!!

132 Corey February 21, 2012 at 7:32 pm

The Language Challenge 180 sign-up form is now ready! Please head over and sign up for this event today (definitely before March 1st!!):

We are so excited to have you along for this language journey! Each of your comments inspired us even more to make this happen. It is going to be such fantastic, educational fun!

133 Paulino Brener February 21, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I would like to help other people (teachers, parents and children) who are learning Spanish. I have many videos and audio at but feel free to contact me if you want something in particular.

I will be concentrating on learning Esperanto during the Language Challenge 180. Anyone else out there learning Esperanto, too? πŸ™‚

134 Jackson February 22, 2012 at 6:40 pm

We’ll need to balance English at home (for my 1y8m son), adding some Taiwanese and Japanese. (He gets Chinese from grandparents and mother). I’ll work on improving my Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese. My wife will work on her English.

135 Salma @ Chasing Rainbow February 26, 2012 at 8:53 pm

French & Arabic.
Me- non-native French
Hubby- Arabic
I need to focus on my spoken french (still shy about that).
*We all speak English at home*

136 Rosella March 2, 2012 at 7:57 pm

We are trying to teach our Brazilian and Haitian Kreyol to our boy. Each of us only speak a language with him. Hopefully he will be not too confused…

137 Petra October 23, 2013 at 7:30 am

Spanish and Portuguese πŸ™‚

138 kids bedroom art February 17, 2014 at 1:49 am

Paragraph writing is also a fun, if you be familiar with after that you can write if not it is difficult to write.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: