Language Challenge 180: Week 6 Check-In

by Corey · 38 comments

This page is for Language Challenge 180 participants only. Sign up now to join this event!

What a wonderfully relaxing week! Whether you and/or your children took a break from language learning or you simply took the week to assess things, I hope you had a chance to recharge. We sometimes forget how important it is to step back a bit and take it easy for a while.

Make sure to go to the Language Page(s) and/or Multilingual Living Forum to make contact with other families! Here is your chance to find others who are just as excited as you and your family are with language learning. Even if you don’t have anything special to share, checking in with one another can keep us feeling connected and motivated.

Get Back into the Groove

Now that we’ve had a nice week of stepping back a bit, it is time to get back into the groove. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we just jump right back in where we left off. It might mean that we head into a different direction: Maybe we’ll start reading a different book, use a new vocabulary card program (I use Anki), do our language learning at a different time of the day, or something else. This was one of the reasons we took the time to assess where things are at. We should now be able to start off again with a renewed sense of direction.

Taking time off is wonderful as long as we can get back into the groove again afterward. It should feel good to get back into language learning again, especially now that you gave some thought to what is (and isn’t) working this week. If you/your children still aren’t feeling motivated after taking things easy for a week, then you need to do some more assessment! Are you pushing too hard or are you/your children just feeling bored with language learning? Are you finding ways to have fun with language learning or are you only focusing on the difficult bits?

Language learning should feel good most of the time. If it isn’t, then head over to the Language Pages or the Multilingual Living Forum and ask others what they recommend! Don’t go about this alone. There are so many others who have just the answers you are looking for!

Today’s Check-In Activity

Note: You can only enter this week’s giveaway if you are (1) signed up for Language Challenge 180 and (2) completed the week’s check-in below:

  • Check-In Activity: In the comment section below, share your thoughts about how these first 6 weeks of Language Challenge 180 have gone so far.
    What has been working well? What hasn’t been working well? Are you planning on changing things for yourself/your children for the next 6 weeks? Maybe you want to add something more? Or slow down a bit? Or maybe things are going wonderfully just as they are!
  • Giveaway: After you leave a comment below, head over to today’s giveaway and enter! You are now qualified!


Don’t forget to visit the Multilingual Living Forum to ask a question, start a discussion or give someone else some support. You do NOT have to log in to post there. We encourage you to check out the Language Challenge 180 section as well as the other sections.

Keep an eye out for your next email which will arrive on Monday! You are going to love this next one – it is all about fighting the doldrums with something you might least expect!

1 Nancy April 16, 2012 at 1:27 am

I would like to have more activity. I plan on making a chart so that I can actually track activities and therefore have a visual that I can quickly refer to as a reminder and a motivator.

2 Kate April 16, 2012 at 1:58 am

Mostly focussing on reading news every day. I started reading a novel in French, feel as though I understand more of it than the last time I tried.

3 Jeannette April 16, 2012 at 2:39 am

We are going to focus on how to talk at the breakfast table this week. I think starting the day speaking French will really get my kids excited!

4 Karim Siebeneicher Brito April 16, 2012 at 4:39 am

Everything is more than fine! I only regret I do not have more time to spend on it.

5 Maria Iskenderoglu April 16, 2012 at 4:42 am

Computer at home is still not working and that has put a damper on studies. Well, that plus it is midterm time. Still, getting just a smattering of Turkish in. My daughter has been correcting her baba’s English and has been making the proper corrections.

6 Shannon M April 16, 2012 at 5:10 am

This is one of the busiest times of the year for us, so I knew from the start it would be hard to stick to anything regularly. And we have had plenty of days where we just didn’t have time to do any specific language activities. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how reading a Spanish book (with Daddy when possible) in the evenings is becoming somewhat of a habit. Even when I don’t specifically bring it up, my daughter and/or my husband sometimes initiates it, and that’s a GREAT feeling. If that can become a regular part of our lives, this 180-day challenge will have been a HUGE success in my mind!

7 KL April 16, 2012 at 5:19 am

Have to revise on correctly using the past tense of the verbs être and avoir.

8 Francesca April 16, 2012 at 5:27 am

During these weeks I have been really near to stop my bilingual project with my son, G. Perhaps because of my english that is like, well, … not so fluent.
Anyway I didn’t give up. Mostly because I thought that I can do a good job reading and listening english stuff with G., while improving my spoken english. The goal is to to speak english more properly and to increase my vocabulary!

9 MamaInArabic April 16, 2012 at 5:47 am

We’re getting ready for a trip to my husband’s home country, so I tried not to slow down at all. I’ve been trying to do as much listening practice as possible as well as reading/learning new vocab. The challenge for me is that the more nervous/stressed I get about the big trip, the more I want to “comfort” myself by listening to things in English instead. It’s been a challenge. I have to keep reminding myself that investing in Arabic while at home will make the trip much easier.

10 Kelsay April 16, 2012 at 6:31 am

I just discovered this challenge, but I’m currently taking a class in Arabic. While I’m getting better with Arabic, I know I’m losing some of my Italian. I read the article on getting rusty languages back on the road, and I signed up for the two pen pal sites. i’m hoping to improve with both my Arabic and Italian and maybe even brush up on my French. I have two weeks left of this semester and I’m making a schedule for my language study over the summer. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to learn, but anything’s better than nothing. It’ll be tough working on it by myself, but I’ve been talking my boyfriend into learning Italian, so helping him get started will help me brush up on the basics.

11 JenneferJ April 16, 2012 at 6:57 am

The working well part: the little readers in Japanese, the person who I asked to read my Japanese homework, even doing the chapters from the Japanese textbook that my instructor is NOT using.

The not so well part: Lingq, watching anime shows

Changing: I am going to do more of what is working and try again on what is less effective. Mostly, I am going to keep on trying.

12 Liz April 16, 2012 at 7:54 am

As my son has been starting school today(!!!) he won’t be spending as much time with me anymore and practicing his english will certainly be less easy… I’ll be starting to use the flashcards I bought some time ago and invent some little “say the name of this object” games…

13 Mikayla April 16, 2012 at 8:03 am

Apart from spring fever setting in things are going well. Shorter stories and more interactive activities work well in my classroom at this time of the year.

14 Dominick April 16, 2012 at 8:05 am

We spent this weekend interviewing Italian au pairs. It was kind of a nerve wracking experience (I had to play interpreter for a few interviews) but we have found a couple great candidates that we now have to choose between. I’ve noticed that the community is continuing to update the “Speaking With Children” ( document, which is great because I personally haven’t added any sentences in a few weeks. I continue to read to my son as often as possible. I just ordered Assimil “Il Tedesco” (Learning German with the base language of Italian) as a treat to myself once I achieve fluency in Spanish.

15 Cynthia H April 16, 2012 at 8:24 am

Just when I felt I had dropped the ball, my son started speaking Italian to me in a sporting goods store. We were able to hold a brief conversation, and I was so surprised.
So on we go.

16 Wendy April 16, 2012 at 9:24 am

What is working well is different for each of my daughters. Reading a short book in Spanish/English at bedtime is working well for one daughter. When we took a break last week, she asked for her Spanish books. After we read a few sentences, she’ll try to translate for me, and then we review the material in English and fill in the gaps. My other daughter has usually fallen asleep by this time, so we need to start earlier to involve her. My second daughter prefers activities like the scavenger hunt, but these take more planning. For me, I plan to continue practicing Spanish lessons during my commute to and from work.

17 Monika April 16, 2012 at 9:52 am

We had a very slow week during Holy Week, then last week we were all sick… so we’re ready to vamp things up again!

Cynthia – that’s so encouraging, isn’t it? Yay!!

Dominick – thanks for mentioning the “Speaking with Children” document, I hadn’t seen it yet. I was glad to see “stop splashing” on it haha!

18 Melissa April 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm

It has gone ok the last 6 weeks, I haven’t done a lot different to what we always did but it has been done more consciously and having the regular emails to remind me has kept me on track, not so much spurts of effort at learning language and then nothing for a while. It is good to be reminded in the middle of a very busy life!

19 Rachel April 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Things that worked for me:
Reading – I had gotten out of the habit
Writing sentences to use with my 4yo.
Things that worked for the Kids:
Youtube videos
Saying what she says in English back to her in German and expecting her to repeat it
What worked for Greek:
Writing out sentences
I seem to learn best by tuning my ear to the language with lots of audio and then reading/writing to make it stick.

20 Chris April 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm

It’s been a struggle to move it up the priority list, but the 180 challenge is helping. Incorporating more tangential activities when there is little time. Primarily Internet radio. We will keep working on it!

21 Terra April 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I’m very pleased. I am amazed at how regularly I have been able to read for at least 20 minutes a night in Spanish. I finished my first adult novel, a huge accomplishment for me. It’s going slower with my son, but he is making progress and showing more interest. It really helps to have reminder emails and “homework”.

22 Jo-Anne April 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm

We go several days where we are organised and sit down and do the work and I feel really pleased and then : ( we get sidetracked by everyday life. But being part of the challenge makes me start up again sooner than I normally would. Slowly slowly we’re getting there.

23 audrey April 16, 2012 at 6:11 pm

We have ups and downs. It is easy with the youngest but I feel he watches too much tv even in Spanish so Will try other methods. eldest is learning French at school so I translate into Spanish. They dont like reading much

24 Sharon April 16, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Just discovered this site this week, so we are just beginning our challenge. Husband speaks German, me wifie does not. We have 4,3,1 year olds. Our plan so far. 1) children watch Muzzy DVDs. 2) Husband speaks German at supper 3) A German friend is translating a couple children’s books for us (like Dr. Suess, Go Dog Go)

25 Avery Fischer Udagawa April 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm

The challenge for me so far is making the time to check in and take full advantage of the resources available through this program. Must do better!

26 Alicia April 16, 2012 at 10:23 pm

My 4 year niece who lives with me talked on the phone with her grandmother and was using the little Spanish she knows to converse with her! She did a great job keeping up with the conversation. I need to be more intentional with these phone calls as well as conversations in Spanish at home. My father who lives with us has also begun to help converse with my niece and nephew in Spanish, so this has been wonderful for their language acquisition!

27 Mary Kay April 16, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Hello. It’s been really hard to keep up with the Bambara. We are dealing with other issues like potty training and tantrums, and we both seem to rely on English more than I wish we did. But, her English is improving, though not our goal of this program. It’s been a slow go getting her verbal at all, so that piece is finally coming. A friend with a child younger than mine came to visit, and she’s speaking more Bambara than Sabou is I think. It was discouraging and inspiring at the same time. Need to keep plugging.

28 Alex April 17, 2012 at 10:29 am

I am ready to get back into the l learning, but I still have these feelings of inadquecy with variance in activites. I think my problem is that I get in these ruts, which make everyone bored. I am going to change and shake it up.

29 Heather April 17, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Hello everyone, I’ve been following the challenge for a few weeks but only just officially signed up. It is great to have the support of other language learners.

Since the challenge I’ve definitely kicked up my German language learning a notch, subscribing to three blogs in German and trying to read an article or two every day. I also have been watching films and writing down sentences to practice that micht be useful (or just fun). I’ve got about 30 sentences so far and the list will grow.

I’m looking forward to next week!

30 Jane Storr April 18, 2012 at 3:17 am

I’m finding the challenge really motivating, knowing that so many other people are striving to improve their language skills, it’s definitely keeping me focused

31 Sandra Martins-Skolny April 18, 2012 at 4:58 am

We are starting behind. Still on week 3, but enjoying. I am excited about my kids speaking my mother tongue!!

32 Murray April 18, 2012 at 8:41 am

Joined LC180 to keep me motivated with learning French, for when we travel but also so that we can teach it on to the grandchildren.

33 Tye April 18, 2012 at 10:51 am

Watching the Mi Vida Loca series is definitely something the kids enjoy. They even asked to watch it over the “slow” week. So, we will continue that. I won’t require them to do any workbook activities, because that has only been met with frustration.
For me, I am putting the Italian to the side. Nothing much motivating me. And, just continue to focus on Spanish.

34 Paola April 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Hi everybody!
I’m satisfied for how this language challenge is going; I’m working on my english in several ways (a grammar book, reading, DVD) and today I’ve started conversation with an english native teacher…
Then, I’m more consciuos about speaking Italian with my 4 years old son and trying to find out different and funny ways in order to motivate and help him talking Italian; in two weeks my parents will come to visit so he’ll have the opportunity to talk and listen to more and more”real” Italian….

35 Grace April 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm

There’s been a steady progress during these six weeks. On one hand, I couldn’t wait to have started to read more English books and newspaper even though I plan to start from September after my daughter goes to school. Feeling it’s difficult to maintain the enthusiasm and energy but definitely have made some progress and gained some confidence. On another hand, I read more Chinese books for my daughter who’s three. She’s quickly attracted by amazing traditional Chinese stories and asks me to read for her every day and obviously her speaking is improved a lot. I’m probably more pleased to see her improvement than mine:)

36 Emma April 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm

My toddler is understanding more and more German, albeit replying in English! He remembered his wee bits of Gaelic that he uses at croilegean playgroup after the Easter holidays without prompting and sang two new songs today. I’m so proud of my cheery, wee language learner.

37 Katina April 20, 2012 at 1:58 am

It has been great doing a little everyday. My daughter is now using her Spanish in everyday situation like counting in the store or asking what something is in Spanish. I think that I need to start giving her harder activities and really start a play group for her so she can really start to use her Spanish wth more and more people. I think there is more than one way to learn a language so please keeps the ideas coming. I have liked them all.

38 Tracey April 24, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I think I personally have to be more disciplined – maybe break the day down into steps and try one at a time instead of all the day. Sometimes when I am out I speak spanish with the girls then people say – why don’t you speak english with them? – and I feel self-conscious as we have always tried to keep to spanish out of the house but I want to be ready for an almost completely english environment where I am almost the only spanish and make it my habit.

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