Add1challenge

Hello everyone, today I wanted to share with you my recent experience completing the add1challenge. So first of all, what is the add1challenge? The add1challenge, founded by Brian Kwong, brings language learners together from around the world with the common goal of holding a 15 minute conversation with a native speaker at the end of 90 days.

Before the challenge started I could speak a little bit of Cantonese, but it was far from perfect. Check out my video on day 0 of the challenge:

After looking at countless blogs, comments and videos, three obstacles seem to come up again and again. These are; losing motivation or "burning out", getting overwhelmed with the task and resources and not knowing where to begin and a fear of speaking. From my experience over the past 90 days the add1challenge addresses all of these problems and pushes you out of your comfort zone with the support of other challengers to massively accelerate your learning leading to breakthrough results.

Keeping you accountable through the study tracker along with regular updates and an amazing community I found myself never short of motivation while in the challenge. On top of this the community has a wealth of knowledge giving plenty of advice to stop you from burning out. When I first set off to learn Cantonese I decided I was going to put in 2 hours every day, however this quickly became too much and after just 2 short weeks I was fed up, tired and didn't want do do any more. The end result? I ended up doing nothing for an entire week!! What I learned, was that small achievable and regular targets is what work in language learning. The add1challenge makes you define how long you want to study each day, and holds you accountable with the study tracker as well as regular update videos.

Getting overwhelmed for anyone learning a new language can be easy. Endless resources to try out, countless words to memorize, grammar rules, verb endings, language partners. At times it can all be a bit too much. Which is why as language learners, we need to take a step back and break the situation down. One thing that helped me massively with this is the three mini challenges throughout the challenge, each with a separate goal to push you in a different area of the language. Instead of this never ending uphill battle, suddenly we have one challenge and one goal, and a clear path of how to achieve it designed to push you outside of your comfort zone.

This links in directly to the last point, which is a fear of speaking. Everyone thinks they are not ready to speak, and that they need to memorize more words and grammar patterns before they are ready imagining that some day, they will magically become fluent despite having no spoken experience whatsoever. Unfortunately, this is quite far from the truth. As blatantly obvious as it sounds, you will never become good at speaking unless you actually SPEAK. The minichallenges force you to do just that. The first of which being only a few weeks in, challenges you to find three different partners, online or otherwise, that you can practice with on a regular basis. There will be mistakes, lots of them, but this step is crucial if you want to get to any sort of spoken proficiency. Pushing you outside of your comfort zone and the best part is that these things usually go a lot better than you would think if only you would give it a try! All you need is that first push.

The final thing I wanted to touch upon was making regular video updates throughout the challenge. Check out my day 90 Video:

As a result of this, it forces you to do two things. Document your progress, giving you reference points to look back on as well as holding yourself accountable.

On top of this, one lucky person in every challenge will win a round trip flight ticket to a country of your choice where your target language is spoken. All of this together gives you the motivation, direction and support you need to accelerate your learning, join an amazing community and get the results you want. All that is left is you putting in the work!