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Super Challenge discussion thread 2014

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
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Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 4638 days ago

2151 posts - 3960 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Hindi, Ancient Greek, French, Sanskrit, German

 
 Message 73 of 432
07 February 2014 at 12:45pm | IP Logged 
Sorry I'm a bit late to this particular party (forum notifications are hit and miss for
me, so I missed the launch of this thread).

I have skimmed over the whole thing, but I personally like the way Solfrid designed the
challenge on the first post of this thread, and I like option A: 100/100, with a star
awarded for each 25 completed. Although with the star system (1 per 25), we don't
really have to set a limit at all, it is still nice to have a target.

As to "winners", I don't really care, especially as I don't expect to come close! For
me it's just about participating, and enjoying my progress while observing the progress
of others. But if there has to be a winner, I think we could give a set of wreaths,
and this would hopefully work well for learners like Serpent who do a lot of languages,
as well as those who will focus on only 1.

1) A prize to the person who gets the most stars overall (even if it's just 1 star per
language in a load of languages).
2) A single language prize, to the person who gets the most stars in a single
language.
3) A film prize, to the person who gets the most film stars (however gained).
4) A book prize, to the person who gets the most books.

It could also be fun to award special mentions to the people who get the most stars in
a specific language. Some languages would have a lot of competitors, others might only
have one.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to this one!
5 persons have voted this message useful



RMM
Diglot
Groupie
United States
Joined 4956 days ago

91 posts - 215 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Ancient Greek, French, Swedish, Japanese

 
 Message 74 of 432
09 February 2014 at 10:41pm | IP Logged 
Cavesa wrote:
5. I think 100/100 (the classical sc) is as well awesome because it is surely possible to complete 2 or even 3.


This may be theoretically possible to be sure, but I really think we need to keep in mind what people actually were able to accomplish during the last Super Challenge. Unless I missed something, NOBODY successfully completed two or more full 100/100 Super Challenges. Please keep in mind too that of all the many people who did the Super Challenge, only five successfully completed a single 100/100 challenge. If we are changing things at all, why not make this legitimately doable for a larger number of users?

Also, I think the results also clearly suggest how much less of a challenge movies are than books for the average person (a 25 to 1 difference, counting each language challenge!), so why not try to balance these up better too?

Solfrid Cristin wrote:
I would particularly point to those who have finished the film part of their challenge, so a big congratulation to:

FILMS ONLY

Serpent (Portuguese, German and Romanian)
Kerrie (French, Korean)
Anna Popkova (French)
Sh' naya (Spanish)
Geoffrey Williamson (French, Italian)
Suzie (French)
RMM (Spanish and Italian)
Patate (Spanish)
Jason Wood (Korean)
druckfehler (Korean)
This name is (Portuguese)
Lane (Japanese)
Sprachprofi (Chinese)
Ling Gao (English)
Zhuzilu6wc (English)
Jeff Lehman (French)
ks (Japanese)
Laurence B (English)
Hekje (Dutch)
Snowflake (Mandarin)


Reading only

ks (English)


Surely, we should take the actual results into account for the next round. These results indicate pretty strongly that the current challenge is too hard and that the listening/watching and reading parts of the challenge are very imbalanced.
5 persons have voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 4738 days ago

3277 posts - 6779 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 75 of 432
09 February 2014 at 11:33pm | IP Logged 
The list you use as a reference (completed film parts) is incomplete because 1.not everyone was in the bot 2.some of us tried the Advanced SC (200/200) which was a beautiful madness but still madness. I suppose I am not the only one who is missing on the list for these two reasons. I completed 200 English films and 100 French films (but I signed up for 200 French films, true).

So, while it is a nice argument, the numbers are somehow incomplete and therefore nothing to swear by. And I dare say 2 SCs are definitely possible for many learners who normally manage to study 2 languages. The people who are too busy usually have enough sense not to sign up for too much. Especially considering the vast amount of experience we have got as a group trying the first round.

Noone forces you to take on 2 SCs and noone forces you to personally aim for whole SC and not "2 stars in Italian, 3 stars in Swedish and 1 in Japanese". It's just that the rules should be simple enough and the variability should be in the hands of individual participants. Holding everyone's hands by dumbing down the challenge (I could think of a few analogies in the educational system :-D ) will lead to no good, in my opinion. 100/100 is a challenge. Significantly less is not a challenge. Or will people need to take on 2 SCs per language in order to make a goal dragging them further?

Really, "watching a few films and a few hundred pages", that is not a challenge. That is the usual, slow paced routine for most learners relying on real input.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 4638 days ago

2151 posts - 3960 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Hindi, Ancient Greek, French, Sanskrit, German

 
 Message 76 of 432
10 February 2014 at 1:38am | IP Logged 
Do we really need to say that it's not winning that matters, it's taking part? The point is that it is a tough challenge. A mad challenge. That's why we like it. If everyone could do it there would be no point to the challenge. It would be like one of those (possibly mythical) school sports days where every student wins a medal.

And yes, the film part is obviously easier to complete. That's nice also. It enables us who are less superheroic to achieve something. But doesn't that make the few people who managed to complete their reading challenges even more proud? Of course!
5 persons have voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 6326 days ago

9753 posts - 15779 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 77 of 432
10 February 2014 at 9:50am | IP Logged 
Cavesa wrote:
And I dare say 2 SCs are definitely possible for many learners who normally manage to study 2 languages.
Those who are learning 2-3 languages are usually focusing on one anyway. Those who are learning more would have to sacrifice some of this "more" in order to focus on two.


Also, all the stuff about free choice reminds me on this (the comment above it also works out of context). I'm all for having a required number of stars to "count", such as 4-5. But don't tell me the choice between going for the official goal and not going for it is equal.

I think it's time for a poll about the number of films being the same or more than the books. can someone start one on easypolls.net? not sure how specific the options need to be. i'd really like to know how many people just think it's nice to keep it simple with 50/50 or 100/100 or whatever.
1 person has voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 6326 days ago

9753 posts - 15779 votes 
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Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 78 of 432
10 February 2014 at 10:17am | IP Logged 
Cavesa wrote:
The list you use as a reference (completed film parts) is incomplete because 1.not everyone was in the bot 2.some of us tried the Advanced SC (200/200) which was a beautiful madness but still madness. I suppose I am not the only one who is missing on the list for these two reasons. I completed 200 English films and 100 French films (but I signed up for 200 French films, true).

...
Holding everyone's hands by dumbing down the challenge (I could think of a few analogies in the educational system :-D ) will lead to no good, in my opinion. 100/100 is a challenge. Significantly less is not a challenge. Or will people need to take on 2 SCs per language in order to make a goal dragging them further?

Really, "watching a few films and a few hundred pages", that is not a challenge. That is the usual, slow paced routine for most learners relying on real input.
As much as I respect you, to me it really looks like you're the one asking for your goal to be validated as the best possible goal. Setting the bar high enough that you actually do something challenging is also holding hands. What if you were planning to do 200/200 in one language? (and I have no doubts that you can achieve that)

And yeah, in reality even more people completed the film challenge. If you did 200 and 100, you should be on the list, post in the official thread with the results. I completed a Spanish challenge despite trying hard not to. But if anyone didn't report completing it, it's because they didn't finish the reading part. And there's no way we might somewhat plausibly have more than 2-3 people who completed reading and never reported it. Also note how the only complete full reading challenges are for English, Spanish, French and German.

As for the last part, I think one of the goals of the challenge is to promote input. I don't think most learners get enough, even on HTLAL. Many people are not used to reading/watching a lot of L2, and this will make the challenge far less doable for them even in one language. They will need to learn to tolerate ambiguity, to find the resources suitable for their level, to know when to give up on a book or put it off and when to continue plodding. Even we experienced learners have faced some dead ends every now and then. This will happen much more to someone who's not accustomed to using input (especially extensively and especially reading). And if we imagine someone who's learning two languages with Assimil and Teach Yourself and whatever... impossible. And it really shouldn't be, this is one of the most common categories of HTLAL'ers.

BTW I've been considering a pre-SC challenge, for intensive work on smaller languages and for getting used to reading and whatever. I know that if we go for stars for 2500 pages, my actual goal will be 3k in two years (at least in Finnish and Spanish). Thoughts?

I also think we'd benefit from a standard questionnaire for everyone who signed up and maybe a separate one for those who've completed a challenge.

Edited by Serpent on 10 February 2014 at 10:49am

3 persons have voted this message useful



Kerrie
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/Kerrie2
Joined 5124 days ago

1232 posts - 1740 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 79 of 432
10 February 2014 at 3:22pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
Setting the bar high enough that you actually do something challenging is also holding hands.


Wow, really?

Isn't the whole point of a challenge to do something challenging?


Edited by Kerrie on 10 February 2014 at 3:23pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 6326 days ago

9753 posts - 15779 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 80 of 432
10 February 2014 at 7:02pm | IP Logged 
That was not a general "you". No challenge will ever be doable AND challenging for everyone.


1 person has voted this message useful



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