What is your biggest challenge when it comes to learning Italian? Let me know in the comments!
For me, it’s consistency.
I’m sure I’m not the only one with a never-ending to-do list. Once you check something off another item appears! It’s easy for language learning to get put on the back burner.
I love the freedom to study Italian however I want whenever I want, but sometimes I miss the accountability of having a a class to attend and homework to do!
Have you ever heard of Benny the Irish polyglot who runs the language learning website Fluent in 3 Months? He’s been a huge language learning inspiration to me over the years. His language learning philosophy is that you should speak from day 1. He created a “language hacking” challenge on Italki (a language learning platform) with 10 different “missions” that will prepare you to have a 15 minute conversation with a native speaker.
The number one thing I want to improve is my speaking, so I started the challenge back in December 2017 with the intention of completing it in a month. Well, 8 months later, and I haven’t even done another mission!
Here’s my first mission talking about myself: (really need to change that cover picture by the way, ahahah)
I don’t think we should beat ourselves up if our goals take longer than expected. Just reflect on what challenges you are having and come up with a solution to overcome them.
- Filming: Problems with my slow/old MacBook Pro. Every time I even touched iMovie it would freeze! I ended up filming & editing my first video above with my phone, which isn’t practical to unless you do minimal editing.
- Confidence: As a teacher, I don’t mind talking in front of a group of people, but stick a camera in my face and I clam up!
- Time: I put improving my blog as a priority above completing the challenge. Sometimes you just have to choose and focus on one thing at a time!
- Filming: I invested in a new MacBook Pro, and my sanity has been restored.
- Confidence: Believe it or not, I wanted to start recording my Italian progress years ago (you can see my first interview in Italian here). There’s a lot of other footage that never made the cut. I’ve realized that I say UMM and SO waaaaay too much. I’ve also found that planning out what I’m going to say and rehearsing it before turning on the camera makes me feel so much more confident. Confidence = preparation.
- Time: Now that I feel like I’m happy with the direction my blog is going, I can incorporate this language challenge into my content!
Another thing that really motivates me is community! If you’re learning Italian, I’d like to invite you to do that challenge with me!
Why You Should do the Challenge Too!
- Learn with & from each other
- Cheer each other on
- Keep each other motivated & accountable
- HAVE FUN!
How the Challenge Works
You can see Benny’s Language Hacking Challenge by logging into Italki (if you’re not familiar with Italki, it’s a language learning platform where you can find a language exchange partner or paid tutor; however, it’s free to create an account). Once you are logged in, click on COMMUNITY from the top menu, and then select LANGUAGE HACKING from the drop down menu.
There are 10 “language hacking missions,” which are really just speaking prompts. Once you complete the mission, you have to add your YouTube video to mark it as complete. I do want to put my videos on YouTube because I’m a super nerd and am doing some informal second language acquisition research on myself, lol. However, I realized that not everyone wants to put their language progress on the Tube, and that’s okay! So, I have a solution for you below.
- Join my English/Italian Exchange group on FaceBook. That’s where we’ll be sharing our progress, getting feedback, and keeping each other accountable.
- The challenge will run starting this Saturday, August 25 until October 27, so that’s one mission per week for 10 weeks. One mission should only take you 15-30 minutes a week to complete! Make your response simple or complex to suit your current level.
- Share your completed mission with the group to get feedback. If you don’t want to make a video, you could do an audio recording or write a response instead. The missions will be organized in “units,” a great new feature in FaceBook groups! I’ll be sharing my completed missions on Italki and in the FaceBook group. If you don’t have Italki, and don’t want to make videos, no worries, you can just write a post or share audio in the group! The important thing about doing this challenge together is to keep each other motivated and to get feedback to improve.
If you have any other questions, let me know in the comments!
P.S. If you choose to take private lessons with an Italian tutor on Italki using my link, you’ll get $10 towards your lessons and so will I! 🙂
La Dolce Vita through from California to Italy. I’m Kelly, an American girl with Italian taste in food & wine. I blog about learning Italian, food & wine pairings, how to find authentic Italian ingredients in the US, and seasonal recipes from scratch.