Language Challenge 180: Week 8 Giveaway

by Corey · 23 comments

Multilingual Living is delighted to announce its eighth Language Challenge 180 giveaway prize: an Inspired Beginners package from Notes in Spanish. This giveaway will only be open for 6 days, so enter today!

Congratulations to Li-Ha who won last week’s giveaway fora $40 gift certificate at Mother Tongues!

When my family and I were doing Language Challenge 101 last year to learn Spanish, we were told by Maria Hawkins, our wonderful contributor, to check out Notes in Spanish. We gave the Inspired Beginners package a try and were hooked!

The Notes in Spanish program is the brainchild of two amazing people: Ben and Marina. Ben is a native English speaker from England now living in Spain and Marina is a native Madrileña, born and brought up in the vibrant city of Madrid. Together they help people like us learn Spanish via videos, podcasts, printouts, dialogs and more. It is an absolutely fantastic way to immerse yourself in the Spanish language: You get a full dose of Spanish via each lesson followed by detailed explanations and practice in English. I can’t praise it enough!

The best part of Notes in Spanish for me are the two lovely hosts. Ben and Marina are funny and friendly but also really know their stuff! They know what it takes to learn a language (immersion together with explanations) and are exactly what you’d want from a good teacher!

We were delighted when Ben and Marina agreed to be sponsors of Language Challenge 180! We know you will love their Spanish language program as much as we do! 

How to Enter the Giveaway…

Only those who are signed up for Language Challenge 180 and have checked in this week are eligible to enter this giveaway!

  • To enter this giveaway, all you need to do is to leave a comment below telling us what is helping most in your and/or your child’s language learning.
    (Maybe it is a specific language program that really works for you? Or maybe a spouse/friend? Perhaps your child likes to watch specific YouTube videos in your language? Or perhaps it is something as basic as making sure to learn each and every day?)

Important Details

This giveaway will close at 11:59 pm PST on Thursday, May 3, 2012.

Make sure to read the Multilingual Living Giveaway Rules! The winner will be chosen at random using

Note: Only one comment from the same person will be counted. Replies posted in response to someone else’s comment won’t be counted.

Hope you enjoy this giveaway! Thank you for all of your support for Multilingual Living!


1 Ceci April 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm

One of our favorite ways to teach is to introduce a new phrase, then use it with other words they already know to make silly sentences and nonsense phrases. Which is how last week my children came up with a story of their pet horse who lives in a tree and eats French shoes. It makes it more fun! Some times we have scavenger hunts. We’re working on it.

2 Rachel April 28, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I pretend I am her and model what I want her to say. Something like “My name is Katie. I’m wearing pink.” I say it very insistently. She argues back, ” No, I’m Katie. I’m wearing pink. You’re wearing purple.” This way the sentence is enlarged on. This is a very easy example, but you get the idea. We do this a lot. It relieves her of the pressure of making her own sentences from scratch.

3 Simon April 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm

The thing that has been helping me the most is that my (older) son goes to a multilingual school so we are regularly in a language-learning-multilingual environment. I think the thing that has been helping my son the most is that I haven’t been putting any pressure on him. He sometimes picks Spanish story books and almost always wants to listen to the Muzzy audio CD when going to sleep, but Spanish (and Chinese) learning isn’t one of the to-do-list things. It’s a fun thing that he is in control of.

4 Melissa April 28, 2012 at 10:25 pm

For me it has been remembering to ask my husband specific words in Portugese so I can practice using them with my son. For my Maori learning for my study it has been great to use ‘language perfect’ a website we login to through our university students page. I have been working hard at 15mins every day and it is an achievable amount of time for me even at the end of a busy day. I think I will find something similar for my Portugese learning when my study course is finished at the end of the year.

5 audrey April 28, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I have stopped being insistent, like you must learn and do this exercise. I have been only speaking in spanish to the younger and praising the elder for his attempts. I need to brng the fun back and loving the earlier posts. We have epi and blas puppets that i do activities with but I use this for the younger and am nowthinking how to engage the older after reading earlier comments. What has helped us though is a wide range of dvds in spanish and having a spanish childminder. my younger is now counting in spanish at 21m

6 Andrew April 28, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Most helpful in learning for me is a good handy phrasebook and speaking with friends. it has taught me more than any course for most of my languages. its fun to because no one understands what you are talking about in the mall but at the same time cool.

7 Mary Kay April 29, 2012 at 3:21 am

What’s been most helpful is hanging out with people who speak my husband’s language. She gets to hear Mommy speak it and gets to hear it. Other than that, there are certain words that she knows better in Bambara than she does in English, like tulu. That’s the word for lotion. I don’t think I’ve ever said the word lotion to her, just tulu. So, to her, it’s tulu.

8 Margareta April 29, 2012 at 6:44 am

In passing my language onto my daughter the most helpful thing was to establish an emotional bond with her through my language (Slovak) from the very early moments after she was born, and then persist with it. I never allowed myself to ‘slip’ into English around my partner who does not speak Slovak (and to be honest, it just did not feel natural to speak English to a baby!). And so before she could talk, it was normal for me to address her in Slovak, which in turn helped in staying consistent when she did start talking, even if she sometimes used English words.
Now that she is nearly 5 and talks all the time (gotta love this age!) I feel that since I am one of few sources of the language, I feel like I must answer every single question or generally be responsive to her when she tells me something. I can’t help it, but I see every single instance as an opportunity to use even more of my language with her. It can get quite exhausting sometimes, trying to answer/explain/comment/expand on everything we are doing, but it is worth it in the end.

9 Barb April 29, 2012 at 7:40 am

My son and I love reading books together. We have read most of the Spanish books in the library at his level (7 years old). We also read books from the children’s international library online:

10 Seana Parker-Dalton April 29, 2012 at 7:47 am

We are all doing “official” classes/lessons right now. The kids at an Alliance Francaise class on Saturdays, and me with a Mexican Friend. The kids benefit from interacting with a native speaker, as do I, but having the accountability of a weekly lesson (which I am paying for) and the benefit of conversation, as opposed to my online community college classes, which had no conversational aspect, is most helpful for me.

11 Murray April 29, 2012 at 10:12 am

The fact that I want our two year old grandson to learn French, therefore I must learn French. I am also encouraging my daughter and her husband who is bilingual to start speaking French to him at home.

I am enjoying the ‘Michel Thomas – French program’ which I borrowed from our library, combined with the’ Accelerated Learning French program’ that I purchased years ago but never did complete. They work well because they complement each other.

12 Wendy April 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm

My daughters take a Spanish after school class and also have a weekly tutor. The biggest change we’ve made since we started the language challenge has been reading children’s books at night with them. They’re starting to understand more of the basic sentences. I’ve been listening to Spanish language instruction CDs as I commute to and from work, and that’s been useful for me.

13 Mikayla April 29, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Lots of comprehensible input in the form of hearing the language and reading. Examples: Songs with pictures or actions, stories with pictures, short videos, lots of repetitions.

14 Jen N. April 30, 2012 at 5:57 am

My daughter goes to a multi-lingual preschool, so I make sure that she hears me speaking in Spanish to her teachers and the 180 day challenge is helping me to remember to speak with her in Spanish as much as possible. We have Spanish music on my iPhone to listen to in the car and my older daughter works with LiveMocha to practice. It’s the reminder to speak Spanish every day that is helping us the most!

15 Maria Iskenderoglu April 30, 2012 at 6:50 am

I think what most helps my daughter with learning English is that she loves to spend time with Mom and that she usually enjoys reading with me.
What most helps with my learning Turkish is that I am lucky because I live in the country where I am learning the language.

16 cami April 30, 2012 at 7:45 am

Im finding that we see the most progress when my son reads, writes,speaks and hears spanish on a daily basis. He hears it and speaks it almost everyday… But if I help him read and write in spanish…i see more progress.i guess just a dedication to daily study.

17 Gale April 30, 2012 at 8:30 am

Right now what’s helping most in my children’s language learning is a game I made. It has little colored squares I glued onto a piece of black contruction paper to make a candy-land style path. Scattered along the path I put small candy (like tic-tacks) and coins (pennies mostly, with a few nickles, dimes and quarters). I made cards, different sets for my two older boys, with various questions related to what they’re learning, including spanish (but also math, spelling, etc.). They have to get a question right to go forward and if they land on a space with a treat get to keep it. They really like it.

18 Alicia April 30, 2012 at 11:37 am

My 4 year old niece is an early reader and books are an effective way for her to learn. She doesn’t have an affective filter making her afraid of making mistakes while learning Spanish. She will sit for long stretches reading books and trying to pronounce the words. Then while playing I can hear her trying to use the new words in sentences. She is pretty remarkable that way. 🙂

19 Terra April 30, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Making sure to read for 20 minutes in my target language every day is definitely what’s working for me. Everything else is a bonus!

20 Georgia April 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Designing curriculum and teaching a Spanish class to 3- 7 year olds. I practice things that are rusty and learn all the words for a particular topic. Using the electronic pocket dictionary.

21 Katina April 30, 2012 at 11:53 pm

I believe that doing a little everyday has helped. My daughter is picking up the language and I am really getting new vocabulary everyday. It also helps to try to spend time with others who speak the language if possible. They really help to keep my mind fresh.

22 Irma May 1, 2012 at 4:30 am

My favourite website for language learning over the past weeks has been Livemocha This site targets the adult lerner. i purchased a gold key access before the start of the language challenge and this allowed me to access any language and change courses as I pleased. I started brushing up my French for a visit to Senegal, then I explored some Croatian, for a possible holiday with my mum later this month. After that I checked out whether I remembered any Finnish from way back and now I am starting to learn some Portuguese. I would love to spend some time in Portugal and see the Brazilian rainforest and know that language skills make it a lot easier.
The exercises in all languages have the same pictures, This makes loooking at a few languages at the same time less daunting, also I only paid once and have access for a whole year. Plus there is some interaction possible with other adult language learners across the world and you can review other people’s work who are learning your native tongue. Great site which appeals to my language needs.

23 Chris May 1, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Given my kids spanish is much stronger than mine, getting them involved in helping me learn has been great for everyone. They like helping me learn new words and phrases, and I get all the help I could possibly need. 🙂

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: