Is is possible to learn a language without buying courses? Is it possible to learn a language without somehow acquiring an illegally scanned and distributed copy of a commercial course online? Is it possible to learn a language for free with an internet connection, a phone, a pc, and/or a tablet? That's what the free and legal challenge is all about.
Why do this? Well, so far, nobody has completed it, or at least has come here and announced that they have done so. So it must not be all that easy to do then. In actuality, it is
something that can be done. It isn't all that limiting. Good resources exist for all the popular languages and some that are less commonly studied. A1/A2/B1 isn't such a hard bar to reach.
If you start now, you have til September 4 to reach A1, or A2. Using only free and legally available resources is a part of the challenge that can help a learner become a better self-learner- better able to search for, find, and take advantage of less than optimal resources to learn a language. It can show a learner that old courses are not necessarily so far out of date that they can't be used to learn a language and that individually available free and legal resources used in combination can be greater than the sum of their parts. Doing the challenge can make a learner better at learning.
Yes, it's limiting. That's the point. Yes, being limited to free and legal resources isn't as easy as just using commercially available resources or popping on to an illegal download website. That's why it's a challenge. Many of us, as self-learners are spoiled by choice... especially learners of big, popular languages. Sometimes too much choice can hinder a learner actually learning a language. Some learners dismiss FSI; DLI; Cortina; or other freely available online courses as too "boring"; too thorough; too challenging... when in fact they are quite good at what they do. I used two such courses to learn Haitian Creole and help learn Portuguese. I thought those two DLI Basic Courses were the most thorough, complete and effective courses I have ever used.
So, what have you got to lose? Maybe some of your prejudices about some courses and learning methods. That's not such a bad thing. Maybe you can gain
a perspective on how to better utilize sparse materials to make learning more effective. Maybe you might be the first to come here and announce you have successfully completed the challenge. Have a look at the first post for the rules
. Just remember, I really don't like answering "Does this count" questions. If you think it doesn't count- you're probably right. If you need help finding resources, I have some experience doing this. Just ask and I'll see what I can do to help. Good luck! Let the challenge begin!