Most of us love to be challenged, right? 🙂
To get better at anything we need to be constantly pushed to rise to the next level. Most of the time we set challenges for ourselves but it’s great when we get a chance to participate in public challenges as well.
As I announced recently, from now on we’re going to be running topic challenges with prizes here on The Mezzofanti Guild again.
These are set topics where anyone and everyone is invited to submit a video or audio recording of themselves speaking briefly on a set topic in their target language (either alone or recording a brief chat with someone else).
This time we’ll also open it up to people who want to improve their writing as well and share their progress with others.
The goal is for you, no matter what level you’re at, to learn new words and expressions each time so you’re able to talk about a topic that you previously weren’t able to (or improve the way you already do).
One of the best ways to measure progress in a foreign language is with topics and themes since you can clearly see whether or not you’re able to talk about something or not.
Looking back on your progress is much easier when you can see that you’re able to do something that you previously couldn’t do. 🙂
Giveaway – italki gift cards valued at $20 USD each
To encourage you a little more (as if becoming more fluent wasn’t enough!) I’m giving away 3 x 200 ITC (3 x $20 USD italki gift cards) this time to three of the best participants.
100 ITC is roughly the equivalent of a one hour lesson on italki with a native speaker so this will be a great way to get yourself two completely free lessons in your target language.
If you haven’t yet tried out italki then this will be a good chance to do so (it’s a fantastic service that I endorse a lot on this blog – sign up by clicking here).
The winners will be determined partly by the ratings on the forum (click the little thumbs up button if you like it (thumbs down aren’t counted!)) and the rest at my own discretion based on who clearly puts in the most effort. 🙂
There are three things you have to do:
1) Register on the forum (if you haven’t already). You can update your profile too if you want to.
2) Post a short video or audio file to the Challenges section of the forum under the right topic (using services like YouTube, Vimeo or SoundCloud) and make sure to mention the words or phrases you learned when you post it (the prizes are only for people submitting video or audio). If you can subtitle it it’s even better. Look at some of the previous videos in the forum and you’ll see what’s expected.
3) Share the forum page or home page on Facebook or Twitter (you can use the buttons on the left side of the page). It’s really important to make sure to use the #The Mezzofanti Guild hashtag on Facebook or @mezzofanti on Twitter so I know. 🙂
I’ll contact the three winners later via private message or email.
New topic: What do you do for a living?
Nice and easy one to kick it off!
No matter what level you’re at in your target language this is something you’ll need to talk about a lot.
When you meet someone for the first time it’s pretty certain that you’re going to be asked about your profession. Obviously the level you’re at will determine how much detail you go into about what you do.
If you’re a beginner you’ll want to learn expressions like “I work at/as”, your profession name, basic time telling, whether or not you like your job, how you get to work, and so on.
For higher levels you’re essentially going to want to find new, more descriptive ways of saying the same thing. Instead of just saying something like “I’m a teacher” for example, you’ll want to explore ways to be a bit more natural and detailed about it, e.g. “I teach five days a week at a primary school”.
Obviously it will be different for everyone.
This challenge will motivate you to look up new words and expressions so that the next time someone talks to you about work (or whatever you do) you’ll have a better answer for them.
As it’s been a long time since we’ve done this, the level of participation for this challenge will determine how often new topics are posted (feel free to suggest the next one too).