Output Challenge 2015/2016 Discussion

Ongoing language-learning challenges, and team challenge logs (but not individual logs)
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Output Challenge 2015/2016 Discussion

Postby rdearman » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:14 pm

Grabbing the most important posts (of mine) in the thread, with the prompts and the mini-challenges!

I decided to start a separate discussion thread for the Output Challenge where we can post things others might find useful. Links to audio & video recordings, etc. Because we all need to do output I thought it might be useful to start with a list of potential subjects you might want to generate output about. I've previously posted this elsewhere but it seems very appropriate here.

Writing Prompts:
- What was your favorite food when you were a child? Is it different now? Why did it change/not change?
- What’s the #1 most played song on your MusicPlayer? When did you discover it? Why do you like it? Who introduced you to it?
- What is one of your favorite quotes? Why? What is the background of the person who said it? Do you admire them? Why?
- What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Who do you do it with? For how long? How did you start?
- If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?
- If you could paint a picture of any scenery what would you paint? Have you neen there? With who? Why? When?
- If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? For what? Why? For how long?
- If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? Why?
- When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
- Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best?
- What was one of the best parties you’ve ever been to? What made it great? Who else was there? Where?
- What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
- What was the last experience that made you a stronger person? Why did it make you strong?
- Tell us about the best/worst gift you’ve ever given/received?
- What story does your family always tell about you? What do they get right? What parts have they got wrong?
- Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island? Why?
- If money was no object, what would you do all day?
- What is your favorite memory?
- Describe your perfect day.
- If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to, why, and who would you meet with?
- If you had to evacuate your house immediately, what is the one thing you would grab on the way out?
- What does it mean to have courage?
- Can you keep secrets? Describe a time you didn't.
- When did you kiss for the first time and what was it like?
- Describe an activity that you think is truly romantic.
- If you had to pick one place in your town to bring a tourist, where would you go? What would you do? Why?
- Describe your favorite vacation.
- When someone fails at something, what should he or she do?
- Do you know how you got your name? Why did you parents give you that name? Do you like it?
- If there is any place in the world that you could go to live for 1 year, where would it be and why?
- What would your previous co-workers say about you?
- A madman has tied five innocent people to a train track. An out of control train car is careening toward them, and is moments away from running them over. Luckily, you can pull a lever and divert the train to another track. The only problem is the madman has also tied a single person to that track. Considering the circumstances, should you pull the lever? Describe your thoughts.
- Write a description of your hometown for someone who has never been there. Include history, important landmarks, etc.
- Write a short biography of your favorite celebrity.
- Write about the rules of your favorite sport or game.
- Write instructions on how to prepare a meal you enjoy.
- Write about the traditions surrounding your favorite holiday and where they came from.
- Write an objective summary of a television show or movie you dislike.
- Compare and contrast one job or class with another job or class.
- Describe the view from your window as factually as possible.
- Write out instructions for how to ride a bicycle.
- Compare and contrast your house with a friend's house.
- Make something simple out of building toys or craft supplies, then write instructions on how to make it.
- Write a detailed description of the first object on your left.
- Write a short biography of a family member.
- Write instructions on how to use a phone, camera, or another device you use frequently.
- Write about your family history.
- Write detailed instructions on how to use an everyday object like scissors or a spoon as though you were explaining it to someone who had never seen the object before.
- Compare and contrast your city with another city you have visited.
- Write about the type of tree you see most in your area.
- Pick a month. Write about the type of weather your hometown generally has in that month.
- Compare and contrast two different places you would like to visit.
- Write about your birthstone.
- Write instructions on how to get dressed.
- Write about a historical figure that shares your birthday.
- Compare and contrast two different breeds of the same animal, like cats, dogs, or horses.
- Compare and contrast your clothes with someone else's.
- Write a summary of your favorite book.
- Write a detailed description of your work area.
- Compare and contrast two different types of hats.
- Compare and contrast the book version of a work with the movie version.
- Write about an older version of a current type of technology. For example: old telephones, letters or telegrams rather than e-mail, a slide rule or abacus rather than a calculator.
- Compare and contrast two types of fruit.
- Compare and contrast two objects that are the same color.
- Write instructions on how to clean your room.
- Compare and contrast the first book in a series with the last.
- Compare and contrast a remade movie with its original version.
- Write instructions on the best way to pack a backpack or suitcase.
- Write about a custom that your region has that other areas of the world do not.
- Compare and contrast the way people in your area say a certain phrase to the way it is said in other areas for example, people in different areas in the U.S. call soda different names; what the U.S. calls fries the U.K. calls chips.
- Write instructions for a basic safety procedure.
- Compare and contrast the governments of two countries that are on the same continent.
- Explain how to write an expository essay.
- Compare and contrast an expository and a persuasive essay.
- Compare and contrast two sources of information on the same subject; for example, a print encyclopedia entry and a Wikipedia entry, or a newspaper article and journal article.
- Write instructions on how to respond to a bully.
- Interview someone and write about their job.
- Compare and contrast two ancient mythologies (Greek/Roman, Egyptian, Norse, etc.)
- Write instructions on how to take care of a plant.
- Compare and contrast your typical breakfast with a friend's.
- Write about your favorite style of music- history, influential musicians, etc.
- Compare and contrast one style of music with another.
- Pick a fictional work that has at least one male and at least one female character. Compare and contrast their actions/role in the story.
- Write about how your school works or worked.
- Explain how to do a very simple cooking task, like boiling an egg or tossing a salad.
- Write directions on how to do laundry.
- Write instructions on how to replace batteries.
- Write about how to keep a car or bike in good condition.
- Write about the types of animals that live in your climate.
- Write about the types of animals that live in a climate very different from yours.
- Write instructions on how to take care of glasses.
- Write instructions on how to take care of someone who is sick.
- Write about the symptoms of a specific illness.
- Compare and contrast a man's shoe and a woman's shoe.
- Write about ways to cheer someone up.
- Explain how to play a video game.
- Write about the history of a food item, like peanut butter or soda.
- Compare and contrast tea and coffee.
- Write about an allergy or dietary restriction someone you know has.
- Write about how to tell when someone is upset.
- Write about ways to keep from getting scared.
- Write about how to dress for a certain type of weather.
- Write instructions on how to take care of a scrape or cut.
- Write about ways to tell someone you care about them.
- If you know two languages, compare and contrast them.
- Look in the mirror and describe yourself as though you were describing a stranger.
- Write about a 'behind the scenes' job- stagehand, cameraman, animator, etc.
- Write about how to plan an outfit.
- Compare and contrast a food with a substitute for someone who is allergic- for example, milk and soy milk.
- Write instructions on how to find and identify a constellation.
- Write instructions on how to play a musical instrument.
- Compare and contrast two types of cars.
- Write about how to introduce yourself to someone.
- Write about ways to stay warm when it's cold or cold when it's warm.
- Write instructions on how to find information for a report.
- Write about ways to remember something.
- Compare and contrast two different parks or playgrounds.
- Compare and contrast two different types of rock.
- Write instructions on how to solve a math problem.
- Compare and contrast a baby and an adult of the same species.
- Write instructions on how to break a bad habit.
- Write a guide to good manners.
- Write instructions on what to do if you get lost.
- Write directions from one place in your town to another.
- Compare and contrast two different types of fish or bird.
- Write about what you should put in a first aid kit.
- Write about what you should bring with you when you go camping.
- Write instructions on how to fish.
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Re: Output Challenge 2015 Discussion

Postby rdearman » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:15 pm

Sorry I didn't manage a Mini-Challenge at the begining of the month, but here is a new one which hopefully you'll be able to do in the short time left in this month! A quick reminder of the previous challenges, then the new challenge. Remember you can do as much or as little of these as you like and you can do them in any order, or repeat them constantly, or not bother, as you like. Remember you're trying to get your output up, up, up, so why not have a go?

The March Mini-challenge was:
Audio Challenge: Find a short fairy tale in your target language and record yourself reading it.
Written Challenge: Write a fairy tale, it can be as long or short as you want

The April Mini-Challenge was:
Audio and/or Written Challenge: Create an instructional video, audio dialogue, or a written manual which gives "How To" instructions. This can be on any subject from how to build a multi-hulled catamaran, to how to change a battery in a remote control. The audio/video should be at least 30 minutes long, and written instructions must be at least 750 words!

The May Mini-challenge was:
Audio/Video Challenge: Describe the rules of a game, it can be a board game, football, rugby, chess, card, whatever.
Written Challenge: Create a crossword puzzle completely in your target language on a 12 by 12 grid.

The June Mini-CHallenge was:
Audio/Video Challenge: Do some vlogging or audio recordings about your day and your life. A quick 5-10 minutes each day would quickly build up into a significant amount of output over the course of the month! So have a go.
Written Challenge: Grab a notepad, a diary, or whatever you want to write in, and keep a journal. Perhaps you could do a food diary, or just a list of cool people you met? Doesn’t matter what you write, you don't have to share it.

The July Mini-Challenge is to write, and possibly sing and record, a song. Simple huh?
Audio/Video Challenge: Record and sing the song. This assumes you have some musical talent, or could dub over something else. If you don't have any musical talent, you can head on over to http://opsound.org/music where you can get free/opensource music to record over.
Written Challenge: Write the song lyrics in your target language.

If you want a funny (but possibly very good) method for writing song lyrics check this out!

And come on guys! Post them on YouTube. You might become a super-star.
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Re: Output Challenge 2015 Discussion

Postby Spoonary » Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:23 pm

I started the output challenge in March and lasted a few weeks before I gave up on keeping track of my output. Let's just say that the last few months of a Spanish degree was not a good time to be spending so much time on output in Italian. :| I am considering re-starting the challenge (as I no longer have a record of my progress and would like to change the language to Spanish), even though I'm sure I won't reach the goal (maybe I'll just do a half challenge or something). Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for the writing prompts and the monthly challenges. They will definitely help me decide what to do!

How is everyone's output challenge going?
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Re: Output Challenge 2015 Discussion

Postby rdearman » Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:19 pm

Spoonary wrote:I started the output challenge in March and lasted a few weeks before I gave up on keeping track of my output. Let's just say that the last few months of a Spanish degree was not a good time to be spending so much time on output in Italian. :| I am considering re-starting the challenge (as I no longer have a record of my progress and would like to change the language to Spanish), even though I'm sure I won't reach the goal (maybe I'll just do a half challenge or something). Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for the writing prompts and the monthly challenges. They will definitely help me decide what to do!

How is everyone's output challenge going?


Given I don't have ready access to the registration thread. I'm ok with you jumping ship from Italian to Spanish. :)
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Re: Output Challenge 2015 Discussion

Postby Spoonary » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:52 pm

rdearman wrote:
Given I don't have ready access to the registration thread. I'm ok with you jumping ship from Italian to Spanish. :)


Wonderful! Thank you!
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Re: Output Challenge 2015 Discussion

Postby Anya » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:31 am

My Spanish output challenge is going slowly. I started to create a crossword but it's still not finished. May be I will switch to more easy tasks, like writing a diary.
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Re: Output Challenge 2015 Discussion

Postby Radioclare » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:32 am

My Output Challenge is going slowly too. I'm up to 9,646 words for the writing as of yesterday, but I think I'm really going to struggle to hit the target by the end of the year. And I've given up on the speaking part :(
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Re: Output Challenge 2015 Discussion

Postby steyyan » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:47 am

Mine (Spanish) is going pretty slowly as well. So far, I've only written ~5000 words, which isn't too bad considering that I started three months late, but I think I'd just give in and try again next year with German, in which I'm at a shaky B2 level, and such a challenge might be exactly what I need to "consolidate" my B2-level proficiency.
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Re: Output Challenge 2015 Discussion

Postby rdearman » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:36 pm

Anya wrote:My Spanish output challenge is going slowly. I started to create a crossword but it's still not finished. May be I will switch to more easy tasks, like writing a diary.

Writing a diary isn't what I would classify as easy, but I say GO FOR IT! And if you think of any other mini-challenges you might prefer, then PM me. I'm always happy to steal.... er... adopt other ideas. :)
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Re: Output Challenge 2015 Discussion

Postby rdearman » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:36 pm

Radioclare wrote:My Output Challenge is going slowly too. I'm up to 9,646 words for the writing as of yesterday, but I think I'm really going to struggle to hit the target by the end of the year. And I've given up on the speaking part :(


You'll win, you're a trooper with a gift for languages.
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