The Super Challenge - discussion thread 2016/2017

Ongoing language-learning challenges, and team challenge logs (but not individual logs)
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Re: The Super Challenge - discussion thread

Postby rdearman » Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:05 pm

I'm happy to announce that we'll be hosting the Super Challenge Twitter Bot this year. A big thanks goes out to surrealix who open sourced the code and uploaded it to GitHub. If you're a programmer and want to do some enhancements to the source code you can find the github repository here. There has already been some requests for enhancements, and I've opened up a thread in order to collate all the requests into the same place.

The Super Challenge Bot is now live and you can register, but please don't log any books or films because I will be clearing down everything except the registration details on the 30th of April.

So again, I repeat, don't log any books or films until the 12:01 on the 1st of May your local time. or they will be wiped. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

The Super Challenge Bot is open for registrations.
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Re: The Super Challenge - discussion thread

Postby Brun Ugle » Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:15 pm

I haven't participated in the SC since the original, so I was wondering if the rules are posted somewhere for this time. I understand they've changed a little since the original. It would be nice to know what counts and what doesn't count as a book/movie. Also, what sizes of challenges are available (full, half, quarter?) and if you sign up for example, for a half challenge and then in December decide maybe you'd like to do a full challenge, can you just change it or will all your books and things disappear?

Thank you for organizing this. I'm very excited.
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Re: The Super Challenge - discussion thread

Postby rdearman » Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:32 pm

Brun Ugle wrote:I haven't participated in the SC since the original, so I was wondering if the rules are posted somewhere for this time. I understand they've changed a little since the original. It would be nice to know what counts and what doesn't count as a book/movie. Also, what sizes of challenges are available (full, half, quarter?) and if you sign up for example, for a half challenge and then in December decide maybe you'd like to do a full challenge, can you just change it or will all your books and things disappear?

Thank you for organizing this. I'm very excited.


I'll try to answer your questions based on last years rules and my understanding of how the bot works, but Solfrid Cristin is the final arbitrator of the rules, it is her challenge to us all.

The Super Challenge runs between 1st of May 2016 & 31st of December 2017. Your challenge is to read 100 books and watch 100 films.

A book is 50 pages of between 250-400 words per page. L2-only textbooks count also. Books are fairly straight forward. Character languages also run by word count, so 300-400 characters equal 1 page.
A film is 90 minutes long, but "films" aren't as straightforward, and Serpent posted a good graphic showing what does and doesn't count. viewtopic.php?f=21&t=769&start=20#p18315

As far as the "size" of the challenge, the bot only calculates based on a full challenge. But if you only want to do a 1/4 challenge then you just announce your intentions in the SC registration thread, and register yourself on the bot. The bot will assume you're doing a full challenge, but you can stop when you get to a quarter and announce you've won in the thread. The bot just tracks what you're doing, it doesn't care if your doing a 1/4, 1/2, full, double, or triple challenge! It just records what you've done and gives you stars for your work.

I hope that explains everything? I'm sure there will be more clarifications later, and perhaps some improvement to the bot to allow it to recognise registrations for something other than a full challenge.

EDIT:
Just for a little clarification; if you look at the bot, you'll see I'm registered for 4 languages, Chinese, Esperanto, Italian, and French. But Chinese & Esperanto will probably be 1/4 challenges, while French & Italian will either be full or double challenges or a mixture.

ReEDIT: Changed L1 to L2
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Re: The Super Challenge - discussion thread

Postby rdearman » Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:38 pm

If anyone has any problems with registration on the bot, please put a note in the Technical Room of the forum and I'll try to fix it as quick as I can.
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Re: The Super Challenge - discussion thread

Postby lingua » Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:55 pm

Something that finally got me to signup for Twitter. I've always thought Twitter was a strange concept. I signed up for Italian.
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Read 100 Italian books: 88 / 100
Generic (DE/PT) 366 Day Challenge: 57 / 366

Output Challenge:
IT written: 1019 / 50000 recorded: 30 / 3000
DE written: 455 / 50000 recorded: 21 / 3000
PT written: 1329 / 50000 recorded: 27 / 3000

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Re: The Super Challenge - discussion thread

Postby rdearman » Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:47 pm

lingua wrote:Something that finally got me to signup for Twitter. I've always thought Twitter was a strange concept. I signed up for Italian.

Yeah, I only use twitter for the bots. :lol:
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Re: The Super Challenge - discussion thread

Postby rdearman » Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:41 pm

Solfrid Cristin wrote:There is still 5 weeks left, so I hope all those interested have started gathering materials :-)
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Re: The Super Challenge - discussion thread

Postby Serpent » Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:13 pm

rdearman wrote:L1-only textbooks count also.
This was probably copied from my post (fixed now), but obviously it should've been L2-only textbooks :)

As for twitter, we've had this thread :) (and more on old HTLAL)
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Re: The Super Challenge - discussion thread

Postby rdearman » Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:11 pm

Last time I did the SC I kept some numbers which I turned into statistics for myself. Afterwards, I regretted not taking more notice of the numbers in order to review my progress. I did keep some information for example:
French : 59.3 books : 112.3 films
Italian : 55.6 books : 100.3 films
Reading Averages Change
French: 0.996 books per week --> 0.941 books per week
Italian: 0.948 books per week --> 0.882 books per week


This was useful to me as far as it went but this time I'm thinking about tracking more stuff. Some stuff I thought about tracking was:
  • reading speed - read as many words as I can in 1 minute, write number down each day, simplistic method of averaging.
  • unknown words - sampling a page each day and counting unknown words, simplistic method of averaging.
  • books per week - as per last time

So seems good for books and reading, but what about films? How could I track progress in listening comprehension? Any suggestions? Anyone else obsessed with charts and tracking? What are your plans?
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Re: The Super Challenge - discussion thread

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:30 pm

rdearman wrote:So seems good for books and reading, but what about films? How could I track progress in listening comprehension? Any suggestions? Anyone else obsessed with charts and tracking? What are your plans?


That's a little tricky, but my thoughts would be if you found a good series with more than one season available and watch season 1 first in the entire SC, perhaps you allow yourself to get warmed up a little (say watch a few or a handful of episodes, perhaps half of season 1) then do a count of unknown words starting with the next newest espisodes (not ones you've already seen) remaining in the season. How many words over a certain time frame, or over one full episode or over 5-15min from three random episodes which you have not viewed later in the season do you not know. Return to the series at/near the end of the SC (or maybe halfway as well) and watch some episodes from the next season doing the same process for counting unknown words.

Whether or not you would do the original 'warm up' suggested by watching half of season 1 is optional I guess, but I think it would allow the comparison to be fair since that by the end of the SC you would have watched a LOT and become used to the TL in that environment (TV). You could skip that warm up if you already watch a lot in your TL anyway. By doing the 2nd run at the end of the SC (and one in the middle perhaps) hopefully you have left enough gap to not have a bit of a bias in terms of comprehension level because you're already familiar with the series and the types of words/dialogues used etc. Hopefully by giving a BIG break between the tests you would eliminate some of that, but at least watching half of season 1 in the original test you would also have that same advantage to a certain degree.

I think it would be better to do random 10 minute snippets over a few episodes for example as opposed to one full episode (or even half of one) as the context and content may be wildly different and judging from a sample of only one episode compared to one episode isn't going to be very accurate.
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