Language Challenge 180: Week 14 Check In

by Corey · 13 comments

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Did You Squirm?

Did get risky and make some videos of you/your children speaking in the target language? If you aren’t sure what I am talking about, then check out the Week 14 post and videos to find out. It might make your squirm but it will move you ahead in language learning!

Although I have been doing videos for Multilingual Living for the past few years, I have been increasingly inspired by what I see happening over at the Mezzofanti Guild. Donovan Nagel has the kind of passion for language learning which spills over and motivates us to keep doing what we are doing. Yes, he is young and doesn’t have a family to feed, clothe, raise and help become multilingual… but that shouldn’t detract from the lessons that we can learn from him and his language-learning experiences!

When Language Challenge 180 was starting, Donovan was in the throes of a full-blown Irish language-learning session, complete with videos in the target language. Before that, he had been sharing videos he did of himself speaking Arabic! This guy is serious about his love of language learning – what a delight.

But not only did Donovan create videos of himself using the target language, he also encouraged others to do the same – what fun!

It is such a relief to see others struggling along like us, especially when it feels like we aren’t making any progress. It also reminds us that language learning (for us and our children) takes time and dedication – there is no magical bullet available to anyone when it comes to language learning. Yes, there are some tricks (like what to focus on during each step of the way, how to use other languages as crutches, memorization strategies, etc.) but even those are often based on the individual and will only get you so far. People who learn languages well put in a lot of work and focus.

You Need to Squirm a Bit

What many don’t realize is that feeling uncomfortable in our language learning is a good thing! It means we are progressing and pushing our boundaries. It shouldn’t be painful. But it should create a few butterflies in our stomach and the kind of exhilaration that a good challenge brings.

When we talk about language learning being fun, we mean the kind of fun that leaves you feeling fulfilled and satisfied. Not the sit-in-front-of-the-TV-with-a-bag-of-chips-zoning-out kind of fun. I mean, come on, is that really fun anyway? No. That is called “tuning out.” Fun is about engaging and being fully present.

So, it is great if you and your kids are squirming at least a little bit. Think of it as the excitement we feel right before jumping into a cool river on the hottest day of the year. Sure, it is going to feel cold but it is also going to feel more satisfying than anything we could describe!

Today’s Check-In Activity

  • Check-In Activity: In the comment section below, tell us if you made any videos this week of you and/or your children speaking in the target language. If so, are you willing to share them with us?If you didn’t, then no worries! Instead tell us what you think about making a video of you/your children speaking in the target language. Does just the thought make you squirm? Or would you have done it if you had had more time? Or did you try but your kids didn’t cooperate?
  • Giveaway: After you leave a comment below, head over to the current giveaway and enter! Once you check in, you can enter! It is another fantastic giveaway prize!


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. And come check us out at Pinterest! We’d love to share with you there!

Have you checked on your target language pages lately? Add comments for new products/tips/advice/conversations that you have on your mind!

Keep an eye out for your next email which will arrive on Monday! Keep up the fantastic work!


1 Heather June 8, 2012 at 8:32 pm

I did it! I don’t want to share, but it is done and I am glad to have this to record my progress as time goes on. Yes, it made me squirm to watch it.

2 Alex June 8, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Five videos. I did five videos and all of them are embaressing ! But it broke some part of my insecurities . I am going to make some more now. They are helpful.

3 Murray June 9, 2012 at 5:12 am

No, I did not make a video.

4 Adina_B June 9, 2012 at 6:03 am

Oh, yes. I squirmed, and even my English went all wrong :)) here’s my daughter, speaking a bit of French, after we created a ‘basse-cour’ for the chicken. Then we switched to English, and you can hear my son asking me a question in Romanian in the end:)
I also recorded my daughter singing ‘A la volette’ last night on the terrace, no image though, just sound. I say she’s been making great progress with French, we’re only started with French 2 months ago.

5 Erin Johnston June 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm

We did not make a video but I think my children would love the idea. We’ve often sent short clips of us speaking in French to our friends in France but of course the expressions are very minimal. My children have always gotten a kick out of it–perhaps they’d like watching themselves speak a bit more!

6 Andrew June 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I made a video to send to my friends in russia. also i made one in portuguese to send to my friends in brazil both describing my city!

7 Jane June 10, 2012 at 2:10 am

I don’t have a video recorder, but I wouldn’t object to videoing myself (I can say that safe in the knowledge it’s not possible)!!!

8 Seana Parker-Dalton June 10, 2012 at 4:11 am

I don’t know if my children can say enough by themselves? I suppose they could recite some nursery rhymes and sing in French. I will try it. Maybe we could make a video greeting card for our Spanish teacher, who is spending a few weeks in Mexico…That’s a thought!

9 Wendy June 10, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Yes, we made four videos. I pulled out our Flip camera, which we haven’t used in 3 years and made a video of the girls playing with their stuffed animals with their Spanish tutor. In the second one, my daughter held the camera while I read from a script about myself that I translated into Spanish last night. Then she handed the camera to me, and in the third and fourth videos, I interviewed her and her sister and asked her simple questions like “What’s your name? What’s your favorite color? Do you have any hobbies?” My daughters love getting their picture taken, and I’m sure they’ll enjoy watching the videos. Maybe we’ll try this again.

10 MamaInArabic June 11, 2012 at 6:50 am

I haven’t made any videos since my recent trip to the middle east, but I made some recordings beforehand so that I could compare them to recordings I’d do afterward. So it’s time to do them! I also recorded my daughter before and during the trip. Time to do an after-trip recording! I know her language evolved–she was learning every day very obviously! I think I improved, too.

11 Tracey June 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I haven’tmade a video yet but intend to do so with the girls. I imagine they will really enjoy it as they love watching themselves on TV. I will participate in their video I think as I have been videoed lots in my work in Spanish and already know what it is like. They also need a bit of stimulation to get into the English and it isn’t really our focus at present even though it will be their challenge in a few months.

12 Gale June 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I didn’t…I just got where my children are attempting some of the language a little, and having fun with it in stead of groaning every time I use Spanish. So, I don’t feel like its the time to push it. Once they’re a little more comfortable, than yeah, my lil hams might like that. And I might try it too!

13 Dominick June 13, 2012 at 10:50 am

Videos? Why yes! I’ve been making them for quite a while! At one point I decided to get off my butt and out into the world while filming. I have toured some popular stores in America, such as Walmart ( giving narrations about the things you see. You can click on my name to see my Italian language blog and videos, but since the birth of my son in September I haven’t done anything with it. I may post some more as he gets a bit older.

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