Free and Legal Challenge FLC 2019

Ongoing language-learning challenges, and team challenge logs (but not individual logs)
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iguanamon
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Free and Legal Challenge FLC 2019

Postby iguanamon » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:00 pm

Now that the "new" has worn off the new year, it's time to restart the Free and Legal Challenge (FLC) for 2019. The old challenge thread is here.

So what is the FLC? This is a challenge for anyone who wants to learn a language using only free and legal resources. The idea came to me when I started learning Haitian Creole. Simon and Schuster were giving away the Pimsleur course for Haitian Creole for free immediately after the earthquake in 2010 and I, of course, downloaded it. I also downloaded the DLI HC Basic Course and the resources from Kansas University and various others. I bought a course and never used it because my free resources were so good, and in this case... better than the course I bought. I also had a Haitian friend on-island here with whom I could converse. This was my inspiration for the challenge. I figured if I could do this for a small, less commonly learned language like HC, that larger. more commonly studied languages would be relatively easy to learn for free and legally without downloading any copyrighted material at all illegally or purchasing anything other than internet access and a computer, tablet and/or smartphone.

So, last year, I started the FLC. Like most challenges there was an initial wave of enthusiasm followed by the inevitable waning of enthusiasm. Nobody actually completed the A1/A2 challenge (perhaps Systematiker did for A1/A2 though he is still working on his goal of B1). It was my first challenge and I bent a little too much to accommodate people. I won't be making that mistake again.

The challenge is to learn a language to A1, A2 level within 9 months from the start date. If you start today then that will be November 1, 2019. I'll keep registration open til March 15, 2019. If someone wants to try to reach B1- add six months.

Why should you consider the FLC? Because it will teach you how to make the most of what you have and that you can indeed learn using less than optimal resources. It can lead you to thinking outside the box in language-learning and make you a better learner when you are using optimal resources outside of the challenge.

There are plenty of ways to learn without courses. There are plenty of free and legal courses available for download. Plenty of free raw material for parallel texts and the LR method exist. Seek and ye shall find. Please ask in this thread if you don't know how to use free and legal materials or how to find them. I can help and so can others.

This time, there will be no crazy variants. There will be only two variants in the new challenge:
1) Pure FLC- only free and legal resources which are available online *can be supplemented by native-speaker help and non-library resources, see FAQ below.
2) Library assisted- resources available through your public library or via an inter-library loan and can include any free and legal online resources.

FAQ:
Streaming services where you already pay to eliminate ads? Yeah, ok. Tired of arguing about this one and I've changed my mind on it. Few people are going to use streaming video to learn a language to A1/A2 anyway.
Netflix? If you already have it, sure.
Cable TV? Yep.
Youtube? If you're watching or listening to copyright material there... and you pretty much know it is, then don't do that. Youtube sometimes lets a lot of stuff slide in other languages that they wouldn't let slide in English- like audiobooks, films and series.
Scribd? Again, it's free, but I know there's copyright stuff on there.
Books you've already bought- courses? No.
Stuff someone gives you or lends you? No.
A helpful native-speaker? Yes!!! Absolutely, as long as you don't pay them. It can be in person or online.
Italkie credit? Sure, you earned it! If people wanted to become community tutors in their L1 they can do that too and earn credit.
DVD's you already own that have language tracks? Yes.
TL books you already own? Sure, as long as they're not specific language-learning books like graded readers, courses, ready-made parallel texts.
Q: "Does this count?"
A: If you think it won't count, you're probably right. If you want to learn a language without any limitations, fantastic! Please, go right ahead!!! You'll just be doing it outside of the challenge. Yes that's unfair. Sorry about that.

Lastly, be honest. If you already speak Norwegian and want to learn Swedish, tell us. If you are a false beginner (studied the language before), tell us. Basically, if you have some sort of built-in advantage that other learners don't or won't have, please tell us.

There are going to be times where you may want more optimal resources for learning. That's alright. Just drop out of the challenge. If you do decide to drop out, please come here to tell us why and what benefits you may have gained from participating in the FLC.
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Re: Free and Legal Challenge FLC 2019

Postby Elsa Maria » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:37 pm

My first attempt at the FLC taught me a few lessons, too. This time, I will pick a language for which I currently own NOTHING. That removes temptation :)

I’ll wait until March to register, though. After mid-March I can move Latin to the back burner.

I’n considering Polish. Greenlandic and Faroese are also possibilities.

Thanks for doing this again! I encourage others to give it a try.
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Re: Free and Legal Challenge FLC 2019

Postby samothin » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:07 am

I'm signing up with Tamil. I've bought Colloquial Tamil before, but I'll not be using it (too steep of a learning curve, doesn't have script). I'll use jblmflc.com instead as my main course. I'll also supplement it with native materials.

I'm living in a country where it's spoken and used as minority language, so I hope I won't be short of resources.

Thanks
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Re: Free and Legal Challenge FLC 2019

Postby strannik » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:20 pm

As not everyone is going to look at last year's thread anymore, I might as well announce my participation here too just to be visibly a fellow traveler. My target language is Uyghur, and I'll try to update my FLC log with some regularity.

samothin wrote:I'm signing up with Tamil. I've bought Colloquial Tamil before, but I'll not be using it (too steep of a learning curve, doesn't have script). I'll use jblmflc.com instead as my main course. I'll also supplement it with native materials.


That's great! Earlier this week I was thinking about how surprising it is that on a forum of such intrepid linguanauts so few have signed up, even tentatively, for the FL Challenge. In fact, Tamil was one of the languages I was considering. I would have used the same JBLM course as the foundation builder. (Chung helpfully linked all the available JBLM languages in this post.)
Last edited by strannik on Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Free and Legal Challenge FLC 2019

Postby Lianne » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:58 pm

This is so tempting! I will hold off on deciding whether to join until March, nearer the deadline. I'm doing the 365 Day Challenge in French and am determined to make real progress on it this year (and I'm too far in it to do this challenge in French). But I also wanna do this challenge in Esperanto. So we'll see. I'll be interested in following the progress of people who do participate!
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Re: Free and Legal Challenge FLC 2019

Postby eido » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:02 am

I want to join for Icelandic. I think it's possible for the pure version. But I don't know. Any ideas?
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Re: Free and Legal Challenge FLC 2019

Postby strannik » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:53 pm

eido wrote:I want to join for Icelandic. I think it's possible for the pure version. But I don't know. Any ideas?


It's definitely possible, it just depends on how you want to go about it. After all, the challenge is not only about learning the target language but also about exploring the possibilities of how to learn.

As to potential starting points for Icelandic, here are some links of interest:
A beginners' mp3 course in modern Icelandic
Icelandic online
Viltu læra íslensku?
Or something different and 19th century:
A short practical and easy method of learning the old Norsk tongue or Icelandic language
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Re: Free and Legal Challenge FLC 2019

Postby eido » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:24 am

Then I'll commit this time. Sign me up for the B1 one with Icelandic. False beginner here.
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Re: Free and Legal Challenge FLC 2019

Postby languist » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:59 pm

I love the idea of this challenge! However, I have to ask for clarification (I think it's my fault rather than yours) as I didn't understand whether using italki tutors is okay or not? I just started learning Moroccan Arabic, I'm an absolute beginner, and I'll be using only free resources to learn except italki tutors, which I'll pay for. My only job at the moment is as an italki tutor myself, so I'm kind of swapping an hour of teaching for an hour of teaching. Is that what you were referring to in the original post?
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Re: Free and Legal Challenge FLC 2019

Postby iguanamon » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:26 am

languist wrote:...I didn't understand whether using italki tutors is okay or not? I just started learning Moroccan Arabic, I'm an absolute beginner, and I'll be using only free resources to learn except italki tutors, which I'll pay for. My only job at the moment is as an italki tutor myself, so I'm kind of swapping an hour of teaching for an hour of teaching. Is that what you were referring to in the original post?

Many learners of other languages could work as either tutors or community tutors on italki. If you are actually trading credit for credit on italki, that's fine. If you are paying the tutors straight up, without an exchange, then no.
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