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Another 6WC?

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Senior Member
United States
Joined 4802 days ago

168 posts - 176 votes 
Studies: Russian, Spanish

 Message 1 of 74
01 June 2007 at 12:51am | IP Logged 
Most people in the 6WC thread indicated that they would like to participate, but could only do it in the summer (like myself). So what do you all think about starting another challenge? Assuming most are down for a new challenge, I propose a bit of a change though.
-First, I think we need to choose 4 or 5 languages ONLY. (If there is enough interest, maybe we could later run a Germanic, Romance, etc.. only challenge.) What languages?
-Second, while there are many things that come up in life, we need people who will do everything in their power to stay in for the game (i.e. no summer classes in different subjects, etc..)
-Third, it would be nice to see people using different strategies. For example, we discuss people listening and reading only, people pre-learning vocabulary, etc.. This would really only work with at least 20 people (assuming at least 5 will need to drop out for various reasons).

A lot of the polyglots on here may not be able to participate, but it would be nice if they could sort of supervise.

Maybe it might be nice if we could create goals as well. Probably this could take the form of reading, i.e. those never studying a foreign language should try to get to a medium basic level, while those with multiple language experiance should strive for basic intermediate (though this depends on the language, again the reason for polyglots like Iversen, Frenkled, administrator to watch over the design of the goals)

I say we set a goal to create the rules and the format by mid June and start the challenge July 1.

So who is down for Sprachprofi's challenge?
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Senior Member
United States
Joined 4802 days ago

168 posts - 176 votes 
Studies: Russian, Spanish

 Message 2 of 74
01 June 2007 at 12:54am | IP Logged 
I vote for Spanish, but if no one wants this language, I am cool with French or German as well.
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Korea, South
Joined 4735 days ago

1417 posts - 1499 votes 
Speaks: EnglishC2, Korean*, GermanC1
Studies: Hindi, Spanish
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 Message 3 of 74
01 June 2007 at 1:44am | IP Logged 
It sounds really interesting. But the problem with languages like Spanish, French and German is that so many of us here already know these languages, that it might be troublesome to find people who haven't studied those languages AND willing to take part in it.
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Senior Member
United States
Joined 4802 days ago

168 posts - 176 votes 
Studies: Russian, Spanish

 Message 4 of 74
01 June 2007 at 2:20am | IP Logged 
Jiwon, that is a good point. What languages do you suggest?
I will choose one of the languages that everyone agrees on. I was just putting out my vote for Spanish. Even though I really want to go for Polish or Georgian, I know others will not (at least not 20).

I know many people in the other thread mentioned that they wanted to see at least 10 people per language so we could really compare techniques and learning styles. I think that was the whole point of the challenge.

Really it all depends on everyones general concensus. I only stated my thoughts because of what I saw last time. The end results were not summerized (the whole point of the challenge), a great deal of people dropped out, and proper logs weren't kept (leading me to suspect even more dropped out).

Quoting Sprachprofi
"Here's the idea: everybody will learn a language they haven't studied at all yet for 6 weeks, everybody at the same time. Afterwards, we test our vocabulary, grammar, comprehension etc. to see 1) in which languages were we able to make the most progress and 2) which methods worked out best."

"For testing purposes, it would be best to have several people for each language. And we should probably agree to study a more or less equal amount of time during those 6 weeks, so that results are more comparable. I was thinking 21 hours total, that would translate to 30 minutes per day or 3,5 hours per week."

And finially
"What languages? The original thread suggested to compare "easy" languages, so that would probably mean Esperanto, Indonesian, Swedish or the like."

Thoughts on a more rigorous challenge?
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SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5208 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
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 Message 5 of 74
01 June 2007 at 4:17am | IP Logged 
As soon as I'm finished with the original 6WC (I've been too busy with other things lately) I would definitely accept a new challenge, provided I could get good material for the language. I've thought of (re-)learning French with Assimil, but after six weeks I wouldn't even have reached the second wave... (and I don't want to speed things up).
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Super Polyglot
Joined 5002 days ago

9078 posts - 16471 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
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 Message 6 of 74
01 June 2007 at 4:33am | IP Logged 
I had to skip the first challenge because I had recently begun my Russian studies, and I may still be too much a beginner in this language to be ready July 1. Time will tell, but if I think I'm ready I will probably have a go - provided that I can find a relevant language.

As for the test it should not be too formal - after all several of us are learning languages for fun. One solution would be to let a native or advanced user choose two texts or podcasts in the target languages (one easy, one medium) and then ask the participants to make a resume of the content in their own words IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE. Another solution would be something like the online proficiency tests*, where you have to fill in missing words - but these can only be written by native or near-native speakers of the relevant languages.

I don't think that the number of languages that some of us have on our profiles makes us better test designers, - the level in a specific language is more relevant.

I do see some trouble ahead if you want to limit the number of languages you can choose. What you can do is to provide tests for some languages and hope that this will to some extent inspire people to choose those languages. But people who want to learn exotic languages will probably do so regardless of the framework.

* (there are several proficiency texts of that kind on this homepage)

Edited by Iversen on 01 June 2007 at 4:40am

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United Kingdom
Joined 4981 days ago

29 posts - 29 votes
Speaks: French, English*

 Message 7 of 74
01 June 2007 at 4:55am | IP Logged 

I would like to participate in the 6 week challenge and I could easily commit 30 minutes daily to the study of the new language.

How about we keep it simple and just supply a list of languages and people pick from the group?

We could base the list on geographic areas ie 2 languages from each area for example, 2 from Africa, 2 from scandinavia, 2 from west europe, 2 from east europe etc. If we limit the 2 languages to what is most "widely spoken" then we can ensure that people are able to gather the materials for their study easily.

The time frame to kick it all off on the 1st July is a great one. It may influence what peoples summer holiday choices are!!!!

It would be great if everyone could clearly define their learning strategy for the said language ie I would like to try the method of just listening to dialogues with Assimil for example and do this soley for the first 4 weeks and only start to speak in weeks 5 and 6.


Edited by Maxwell on 01 June 2007 at 4:57am

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Senior Member
Joined 5257 days ago

374 posts - 382 votes 
Speaks: German*, English
Studies: Czech

 Message 8 of 74
01 June 2007 at 5:53am | IP Logged 
While I think it is a good idea to set up tests for the more common languages, I don't think it is wise to ban exotic ones just because you can't assemble a test or a comparison for them.
I'd like to choose one of the exotic languages and honestly, I don't want to be tested anyway.

However, if it starts July 1st, I won't be in since my summer holidays will start July 19th and those people that say "Ohhh, the six week challenge has started 5 weeks ago, but I wanna join you nevertheless" and whatsoever get on my nerves.
So I hope the 6WC will be rescheduled about 2 weeks.

Edited by Zorndyke on 01 June 2007 at 6:02am

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