Welcome to Language Challenge 180!
This is the first day of Language Challenge 180 and we are absolutely delighted to have you along for the experience! As of today, there are over 650 of us participating who are interested in learning (or passing to our children) more than 50 different languages!
It is clear that you are a motivated group of people with a tremendous amount of knowledge, experience and motivation. We are delight to have the opportunity to share this journey with you!
Language Challenge 180 will provide you with weekly tips, inspiration and motivation but it is also about bringing people together to share their own resources, wisdom and camaraderie with another. Together we have all the tools we need to make language learning successful in our homes and our lives.
You are not expected to participate in anything that you aren’t comfortable participating in. However, we encourage you to connect as much as possible through our weekly contact opportunities. Working together will help us strengthen our languages more quickly and enjoyably. Who knows, you just might make a friend or two for life during this event!
What is Language Challenge 180?
When it comes to learning a language or passing one on to our children, the key component is consistency: doing at least a little bit each and every day. Often we have the best of intentions but we fail to actually act on our intentions for any of a number of reasons. What many don’t realize is that our languages wax and wane based on exposure and usage (even the languages we grew up with!). Languages are a little like muscles: if we don’t use them, they can atrophy over time.
Language Challenge 180 is going to help us focus on learning and/or using our languages each and every day (at least a little bit) so that they become a more comfortable part of our lives. For some of you, this will be about you or your children learning brand new languages. For others this will be about strengthening languages that have fallen into disuse. And for many this will be about helping our children master our home language(s).
Regardless of your motivations, Language Challenge 180 will help you make language learning a priority and, more importantly, a habit in your (and your children’s) lives. We can’t provide you with any magic elixirs. However, we will help you find the tools and materials you need to create that magic elixir for yourself. With over 650 people on board, we will be helping one another along the path as well!
My family and I are taking this journey right along side you. My children and I will be working on a new language (Spanish) while at the same time I will be doing my best to strengthen a faltering language (German). My husband will be working on a language that has long since fallen into disuse (French).
What to Expect
Each week you are going to receive two emails:
- Mondays: Email with information/tips plus a link to the activity page for the week
- Fridays: Email with check-in information plus the week’s prize giveaway announcement
Since we are in different time zones, I do my best to send out emails on Sunday and Thursday evenings (Pacific Standard Time) so that everyone will have them available fairly early on Mondays and Fridays.
These emails will be sent as text only (to ensure that you can read them with any email program). They will be clear, easy to read and will point you to the specific information and activities for that week. You are not expected to follow every activity in the weekly emails. However, we hope you will at least read through the activity page each week. You are encouraged to at least check in once each week with some kind of contact.
We will have more detailed information as this event continues but for now, let’s just jump in with some activities. These will help you build the foundation for your language learning adventure. You have all weekend to work on these!
Activity #1: Check out the Language Challenge 180: Headquarters page. This will be the main hub for finding Language Challenge 180 information and resources.Do the following:
- Find the Language Resources section on the Language Challenge 180: Headquarters page,
- click on each of the language pages that you are planning/hoping to work on during Language Challenge 180 and
- tell us about a language resource (website, online store, etc.) that you recommend for that language in the comment section of the language post. (Maybe you know of one helpful website? Or a great children’s book in the language?)
- If you don’t have a resource to share, go to the page for the language that you are going to work on and let people know what resources you are looking for in the comment section.
Activity #2: At the Language Challenge 180: Headquarters page, go to the General Information section, download the following two documents, print them out for each person participating in Language Challenge 180 and fill them out over the weekend:
- Questionnaire #1: Language resources
- Questionnaire #2: Language skill assessment
Once each of you has filled these out, keep them handy. We will talk more about your answers to these on Monday (and we will use them down the road again as well). Don’t forget to go to the Language Pages to share information about the language you are working on as well as to find out what others have already shared.
Native-speakers: please also feel free to head over to the Language Pages of your native language(s) and share resources that you know about!
That’s it for today. On Monday you will receive another email from us. Don’t worry! You will not be getting emails every day from us during the whole event. We just want to get you started off right these first 9 days!
Feel free to leave comments below! Share your experiences, worries, excitement and more!
This page is for Language Challenge 180 participants. Sign up now to join this event!