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Super Challenge discussion thread 2014

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
432 messages over 54 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 20 ... 53 54 Next >>
Serpent
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 Message 153 of 432
14 February 2014 at 4:04pm | IP Logged 
FWIW, I don't think the ribbon will have the word "winner" on it, because it's different from TAC where winners are chosen by voting. From emk's post it seemed like there would only be the words Super Challenge and the diamonds.

But I agree about words like winner, loser, failure. It's harsh to choose a goal for someone, then tell them to focus on just one language to reach it, then call it a failure if they don't achieve it in any single language, no matter how much they've done in total.

There's now a new challenge for reading poetry in Sanskrit ;) It's not that anyone is diminishing the achievements of those who finished the challenge because they have a spouse who's a native speaker or live abroad. It's just that all serious learners deserve to have a doable goal. But we don't agree on what learners are not serious enough for this challenge.
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emk
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 Message 154 of 432
14 February 2014 at 4:44pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
FWIW, I don't think the ribbon will have the word "winner" on it, because it's different from TAC where winners are chosen by voting. From emk's post it seemed like there would only be the words Super Challenge and the diamonds.

Yeah, there weren't any winners or losers or anything. I just wanted to do something nice for people who slogged through 5,000 or 10,000 pages. This is probably caused by too much exposure to the US school system, but I just wanted to give everybody a gold star for accomplishing something so crazy. :-)

So if anybody don't want "Super Challenge ✧" under your name (no "Winner" or anything like that), I'm totally OK with that. Just send me a PM and let me know; no problem.

This part is addressed to everyone, and it's not in response to Serpent's post:

Solfrid is a wonderful person, and she works really hard to make everybody happy. And she's gotten really heated criticism from many different directions. And so she spent two months listening to feedback, coordinating with surrealix, and trying to find some way to take everybody's concerns into account. Seriously, I've been party to some of these conversations, and Solfrid's been working hard. Everything she has done has been done with the very kindest of intentions, and I know that she doesn't want to knock anybody's accomplishments.

I don't know why this thread keeps turning so negative. If anybody wants to vent, feel free to vent at me in PM. But (putting on my moderator hat here), please give Solfrid a week without any angry comments about the Super Challenge. Thank you.

Edited by emk on 14 February 2014 at 4:45pm

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Serpent
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 Message 155 of 432
14 February 2014 at 5:34pm | IP Logged 
Yeah reminds me on all the criticism JK Rowling gets tbh.
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csidler
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 Message 156 of 432
14 February 2014 at 9:02pm | IP Logged 
I am excited. I was in a bookshop today in Munich and there was a table with discounted items..

I thought.. 400 pages for 3.99euros? This will be fantastic for the super challenge!

Even got myself an extra suitcase in case I find any more book bargains before I return home from Europe!

The bad thing everyone seems to have forgotten: we still have to wait another 2 and a half months before we
can start :(
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Jeffers
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 Message 157 of 432
14 February 2014 at 9:25pm | IP Logged 
csidler wrote:

The bad thing everyone seems to have forgotten: we still have to wait another 2 and a half months before we
can start :(


I haven't forgotten! But there's nothing stopping you from reading and watching right now. Consider it a warm-up.
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Serpent
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 Message 158 of 432
14 February 2014 at 10:00pm | IP Logged 
Quote:
400 pages for 3.99euros? This will be fantastic for the super challenge!

We lived like that for 20 months. We're looking forward to more, but for now it's time to chill out.
My reading usually happened in waves prior to the challenge: I would read a lot for a year or less, then focus on some other activities. Right now I'm totally fine with just waiting and focusing on other challenges :)

Edited by Serpent on 15 February 2014 at 3:15am

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patrickwilken
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 Message 159 of 432
14 February 2014 at 10:18pm | IP Logged 
BAnna wrote:
I can't speak for patrickwillen, however since I did post in support of his feelings, I can share with you my perspective. He can speak for himself, but I do owe an explanation for my "me too" comment.

First, Solfrid Cristin, Thank you for this idea and the work you've put into it. I really enjoyed participating, and I imagine all this bickering is very dismaying to you. I'm very sorry about that. Someone said something like "her challenge, her rules". That's how it should be, end of story. One can choose to participate or not.

As Kerrie mentioned, all the bickering is hard to tolerate. The focus seems to be shifting to using the challenge as some sort of tool to validate people's worthiness, which is what I'm extremely uncomfortable with.
The problem with all the discussion of conditions is that it gives the impression that only certain goals are worth pursuing, that if your partner speaks L2 or if you are only studying one language or if you're studying an "easy" language with lots of speakers, etc. etc. somehow it's not as much of a challenge as the person who is reading poetry in Navajo, Sanskrit and Quechua while living in Timbuktu (or whatever). The lengthy discussion has just made me realize that a public challenge like this can lead to a lot of comparison if people are inclined to go that way, and that I personally find comparison not only useless but a hindrance to my progress (and sanity). If, as a result of this challenge, a person watched some soap operas and read a couple of comic books, that he/she wouldn't have otherwise done, that's great, that's a "win" in that person's learning, even if that's as far as it went. It doesn't make them a "Loser", the person just didn't attain the goal. Along those lines, I'm adverse to have "Winner" by my name, since in my case I felt what I was "competing" against was time and not other people. Competition against others definitely drives some people and that's perfectly fine, but I have realized that for me, in the area of language learning, it just isn't useful, so I have decided the public challenge isn't for me. That doesn't make me better or worse in any way than anyone else, it's just my choice and my preference... I'm not stamping my foot in a pique and refusing to participate, it's just that the discussion here led me to realize some aspects of a challenge like this that I was too oblivious to see when I was actually doing it (I also didn't follow any of the discussion about it on the forum, maybe it was there?)

I apologize if I seem ungrateful in any way. I really did enjoy pushing myself to do more using this challenge as a tool to do that.


First, I wanted to apologize for my "stamping of feet". Please put it down in part to adjusting to an 11-hour time difference (or 14-hour since I am staying up later, not going to bed earlier), which can drive you a bit crazy after a few days, especially if you are continuing to "work from home" in your original timezone.

Solfrid and EMK: Please anything I said wasn't directed at you. I apologize if it came across this way.

BAnna's post above states exactly my own feelings - it's actually reassuring and a little freaky how closely we think about this. Given we both have such similar thoughts without any other interactions it's perhaps worth keeping in mind that at least some of us might be have similar grounds for disappointment with the direction things have gone.

I really enjoyed the original challenge and found it extremely helpful for my own learning, but this constant petty competitiveness has really sucked out the joy of the challenge for me. I loved the way Solfrid originally phrased the end as "a few of us holding hands across the finish line" - at the moment it seems more about pushing other's out of the way to make sure you finish first.
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Solfrid Cristin
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 Message 160 of 432
14 February 2014 at 11:32pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
Yeah reminds me on all the criticism JK Rowling gets tbh.


I am sure she has a much harder time :-)

Well seriously, I do so not need anyone to be grateful for the Super Challenge. I just need you to have fun
and get motivated. And I cannot even bend my head around the idea that anyone might think that I would find
anyone less worthy for doing any language at any level. I think everyone who finished are awesome. And I
find a lot of people who did not finish it awesome. In fact there are tons of people on the forum which did not
even participate who I find awesome.

Asking people to state their level was strictly in order to avoid people feeling bad for not being able to
progress as fast as those with easier languages and higher levels.

You all just have to keep in mind that one challenge can not be everything for everyone. It is not a magic
bullet.

As for how to spend the time while you are waiting for the next round, I have three main pieces of advise.

- If you are B1 or lower, hit your textbooks, grammar books, Anki cards or whatever you need in order to
progress.
- At any level - start reading or watching some of the things you want to do for the challenge. If you need to
look up a lot of words, you can do some of that now, and then it will be so much easier to read it again in
May. And if you watch a couple of the films now, you will understand so much more when you watch them
again in May. Just remember to actually do them again after May 1st
- focus on your other languages - you may feel the urge to focus on your Super Challenge language once it
starts - so working a lot on your other languages would be a good thing.

If the rest of you have more ideas about how to prepare for the challenge, go for it. It would make this thread
a lot more productive.

I would also like to wish all of you, regardless of age, gender or nationality a wonderful St. Valentines day. I
have had the best St. Valentines day in 20 years tonight (in a no-brains-no-headache sort of way :-) so I hope
the rest of you have had/ will have a great evening as well.


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