LingQ 90-Day Challenge Review
I have finally done it. I have reached the end of my 90-Day Challenge and I think it’s time I write a little review or summary of my experience, before continuing to the next stage of becoming an intermediate Spanish speaker. This is my 90-Day Challenge review.
The Many Reasons To Learn Spanish
When I first started the challenge I did not know a word of Spanish, but I was very motivated to learn for many different reasons. I am definitely not the only one. Spanish is spoken worldwide by 400 million people, making it one of the largest and most important languages in the world. About 17.5 million people speak Spanish in the United States. It is estimated that by 2020 there will be 51 million people Spanish speaking in the US alone. Also if I ever find myself out of a job, I know that, employers everywhere are looking for people who can speaks Spanish, in almost all professions.
I am not quite there yet with my limited word count, however I know that some of the world’s greatest literary works are in Spanish. Spanish language films are becoming more and more popular and get high praise from critics. Finally Spanish is one of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers, especially because many words are identical or very similar to English. The list of reasons to learn Spanish goes on and on which is why I dove into the 90-Day Challenge with much motivation and anticipation.
One of the first and most important tasks you have when learning Spanish on LingQ is to create LingQs – change the blue words into yellow. To get from beginner level 1 to level 2 you have to create 1183 LingQs. It is one of the easiest tasks there is and also one of the most entertaining. I got really hooked on this task, particularly in the beginning. In my 90 days I created 3174, which is more than twice as many as I was supposed to. The reason it was so addictive is that each yellow word indicates that you have already familiarized yourself with that word, and it gives an awesome sense of accomplishment.
The aim, of course, is to eventually know the words completely, but that takes time and as some clever person once said (I have no clue who) It’s not about the journey, it’s about the destination. The only downside, if I can even call it that, of my addiction to creating LingQs is that I didn’t stick with one lesson for very long. I wanted new lessons full of blue words that I could make yellow.
Patience & Flashcards – The 90-Day Challenge Review
During my 90-Day challenge my lack of patience has sometimes gotten the better of me. As I said earlier, I am not good at sticking with one thing for very long. I am always rushing to the next activity or lesson, otherwise I get really bored. That’s why I love the flash, cloze, dictation and multiple choice activities on LingQ. I honestly doubt I would have completed the challenge without them. They make learning fun, because they are like a game, but they are also a good indicator of how many words you know. Some words are tough to remember, and as a beginner of Spanish almost all words are hard-to- remember words.
Sometimes you need more stimulation than a single flashcard to remember information that’s particularly far removed from your every-day experiences. The more times I practiced using the flash, cloze, dictation and multiple choice cards, the easier it became to memorize a lot of words, and in turn I forgot all about my lack of patience. Learning became a lot of fun. I will keep this habit up as I hopefully continue my journey towards becoming an intermediate Spanish speaker.
The Exchange Is Your Friend
It was only in my last couple of weeks of the 90-day challenge that I realised the usefulness of the exchange. As I discussed in one of my previous posts, to me studying online is far better than studying in class. Some people disagreed with that sentiment, saying that when you are studying in class you at least have other people around you, as independent study can become a bit lonely at times. That may be true, but that is exactly why I have come to think of the exchange as my friend.
At the exchange I was able to reach out to people and ask for advice regarding my Spanish writing, my pronunciation and much more. What is even more amazing is that you make friends with actual people on the exchange. And more often than not these people are real authentic Spanish speakers. Now, if I was still at school in Denmark I’d be learning Spanish, French, German or whatever from a Danish teacher with good intentions. But learning Spanish from someone who really is from Mexico, Spain or wherever seems better to me. The Exchange rules. My worry is that people don’t realise it’s there, but now that I have told you about it, don’t miss out. It’s really helpful.
Now that I can call myself a Spanish learner at beginner level 2, what’s next? It seems pretty obvious that I should continue learning. A 90-Day Challenge just gives that extra push and motivation, as there are targets to be met and statistics to upkeep. At LingQ there are plans to bring in other exciting language learning challenges – I am not allowed to reveal just which ones yet – but it will be great fun and it will up the ante for us language learners.
Until the new challenges are ready I may begin a second 90-Day Challenge to reach an intermediate level faster. I realize that the further I get the trickier it will be. For example, there will come a time when I have learned enough words that I will have to stop and smell the grammar, and go out and speak to people in public. But I have made it this far, and I am not giving up yet. You shouldn’t either whether you are doing a 90-Day Challenge or learning a language by yourself. Good luck to you and me both.
I would be happy to hear your 90-Day Challenge review if you have done the challenge let me know what you think.