Super Challenge: questions and discussion

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

Postby jeffers » Tue Jan 16, 2024 12:40 pm

We have successfully run the Super Challenge at least 5 times (or maybe 6? I tried to work it out by searching for my old Tweets, but it turns out searching for my own Tweets is tricky). It has become one of the major organising principles of how I study languages: 20 months focusing on input, 4 months focusing on grammar. It has pushed me to read more, listen more and watch more than I ever would have done without the challenge. For this reason, I would love to see the challenge continue, and to grow in popularity and usefulness for other language learners.

For these reasons I have a couple of suggestions for tweaks moving forward:
  • First of all, I would suggest simplifying the film requirements somewhat. Although I have always defended the rules as set the first year, they have always caused confusion and disagreement. My suggestion would be to allow any type of audio to count as film and any length as well, but retain the concept that a total of 90 minutes counts as one film. So new audio would count, and short videos would count (but of course someone would have to watch a *lot* of 2 minute videos to get to one film). This will deviate a bit from Cristina’s original vision for the challenge, but I think that the challenge has been in our own hands long enough that we could make these modifications as long as there is general consensus and agreement.
  • Secondly, I think it might be helpful to set up another discussion hub on another site or forum. One reason is to attract more competitors, and also as a backup in case our beloved site goes down. I know in the past the 6WC has had competitors from places like the Duolingo forum. This may have happened with the SC as well, but I’m not aware of any attempts.
  • Finally, although I didn’t use it this time round, a nice bot is a good way to build enthusiasm and to gain inspiration from the successes of other competitors. I know rdearman is working on a new bot, and I’d like to offer my help with that.
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Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien (roughly, the perfect is the enemy of the good)

French SC Books: 0 / 5000 (0/5000 pp)
French SC Films: 0 / 9000 (0/9000 mins)

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Re: Super Challenge: questions and discussion

Postby rdearman » Wed Jan 17, 2024 7:16 pm

Crap, that reminded me. I need to put up the new site and the mastodon bot.
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Sprachprofi
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Re: Super Challenge: questions and discussion

Postby Sprachprofi » Wed Jan 31, 2024 2:17 pm

The all-new 6 Week Challenge site is up, both the frontend and the backend were redone completely, and it no longer relies on people using any external site to submit their logs.

In the future, I could imagine federating other challenges (so people can submit their studies in one place and have it count towards all challenges they may be in) or outright hosting smaller challenges that we come up with. :D
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emk
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Re: Super Challenge: questions and discussion

Postby emk » Thu Mar 14, 2024 6:23 pm

jeffers wrote:First of all, I would suggest simplifying the film requirements somewhat. Although I have always defended the rules as set the first year, they have always caused confusion and disagreement. My suggestion would be to allow any type of audio to count as film and any length as well, but retain the concept that a total of 90 minutes counts as one film. So new audio would count, and short videos would count (but of course someone would have to watch a *lot* of 2 minute videos to get to one film). This will deviate a bit from Cristina’s original vision for the challenge, but I think that the challenge has been in our own hands long enough that we could make these modifications as long as there is general consensus and agreement.

I was one of the handful people who finished the original 10,000-pages-in-20-months version of the Super Challenge the first time through. And I strongly suspect that I sometimes counted RFI's and FranceInfo's radio broadcasts, provided that I was actually focusing on them. (I never counted "background" listening of any type—listening needed to be my primary task.)

RFI and FranceInfo are commonly used on the DELF B2 and DALF C1 exams. They're dense, they often involve multiple speakers, and plenty of the discussion and interview shows are at least as challenging as French TV. It's a lot of work to untangle three different speakers discussing international politics. On the other hand, the 150 hours of watching has always been the easy portion of the Challenge to complete. If I didn't end up counting RFI, it's probably only because I logged over 75 hours just on Buffy, and it was easier to log "Oh, aother 15 episodes" than do the time-keeping for shorter formats.

I don't remember anyone being super-strict about "narrative" content, either. Logging those volumes of content kind of ate your life. And people would want to mix up their media types eventually.

So I would favor moving towards a rule like "focused listening, not background listening." I'm a huge fan of video formats, as everyone probably knows by now! :lol: But there are some excellent audio-only formats out there.

(I was thinking about the SC, because I was wondering if I wanted to commit to 2,500 pages in Spanish this time around. My starting level will be too low, but I think I could bridge it. And by the time I reached 2,500 pages, well, my reading level would probably be approaching B2 anyways.)
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jeffers
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Re: Super Challenge: questions and discussion

Postby jeffers » Thu Mar 14, 2024 7:00 pm

Sprachprofi wrote:The all-new 6 Week Challenge site is up, both the frontend and the backend were redone completely, and it no longer relies on people using any external site to submit their logs.

In the future, I could imagine federating other challenges (so people can submit their studies in one place and have it count towards all challenges they may be in) or outright hosting smaller challenges that we come up with. :D


Now that this 6WC is over (or is today the final day?), have you thought any more about using your site for people to record their Super Challenge progress? I like the way your site works, but the tricky thing is you would have to add the ability for people to record pages alongside time. Reading might still require time if you want to page to work for multiple challenges at the same time.

What's your current thinking about how feasible this would be @Sprachprofi?
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Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien (roughly, the perfect is the enemy of the good)

French SC Books: 0 / 5000 (0/5000 pp)
French SC Films: 0 / 9000 (0/9000 mins)

jeffers
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Re: Super Challenge: questions and discussion

Postby jeffers » Thu Mar 14, 2024 7:02 pm

emk wrote:(I was thinking about the SC, because I was wondering if I wanted to commit to 2,500 pages in Spanish this time around. My starting level will be too low, but I think I could bridge it. And by the time I reached 2,500 pages, well, my reading level would probably be approaching B2 anyways.)


I've already sent some Hindi subtitle files to my Kindle, and I plan to read episodes after watching them, and then try to watch them again (possibly with no subtitles at that point). Something like that might work as a starting place for you.
1 x
Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien (roughly, the perfect is the enemy of the good)

French SC Books: 0 / 5000 (0/5000 pp)
French SC Films: 0 / 9000 (0/9000 mins)

Sprachprofi
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Re: Super Challenge: questions and discussion

Postby Sprachprofi » Fri Mar 22, 2024 9:12 pm

jeffers wrote:
Sprachprofi wrote:The all-new 6 Week Challenge site is up, both the frontend and the backend were redone completely, and it no longer relies on people using any external site to submit their logs.

In the future, I could imagine federating other challenges (so people can submit their studies in one place and have it count towards all challenges they may be in) or outright hosting smaller challenges that we come up with. :D


Now that this 6WC is over (or is today the final day?), have you thought any more about using your site for people to record their Super Challenge progress? I like the way your site works, but the tricky thing is you would have to add the ability for people to record pages alongside time. Reading might still require time if you want to page to work for multiple challenges at the same time.

What's your current thinking about how feasible this would be @Sprachprofi?


It's only a few weeks' work, but right now I'm snowed under. That will only get worse until the European elections (June 9), because I work for a political movement and have somehow gotten myself listed as a candidate as well (for MERA25 in Germany). Remind me to work on it in July.
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jeffers
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=19785
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Re: Super Challenge: questions and discussion

Postby jeffers » Tue Apr 16, 2024 1:33 pm

jeffers wrote:We have successfully run the Super Challenge at least 5 times (or maybe 6? I tried to work it out by searching for my old Tweets, but it turns out searching for my own Tweets is tricky). It has become one of the major organising principles of how I study languages: 20 months focusing on input, 4 months focusing on grammar. It has pushed me to read more, listen more and watch more than I ever would have done without the challenge. For this reason, I would love to see the challenge continue, and to grow in popularity and usefulness for other language learners.

For these reasons I have a couple of suggestions for tweaks moving forward:
  • First of all, I would suggest simplifying the film requirements somewhat. Although I have always defended the rules as set the first year, they have always caused confusion and disagreement. My suggestion would be to allow any type of audio to count as film and any length as well, but retain the concept that a total of 90 minutes counts as one film. So new audio would count, and short videos would count (but of course someone would have to watch a *lot* of 2 minute videos to get to one film). This will deviate a bit from Cristina’s original vision for the challenge, but I think that the challenge has been in our own hands long enough that we could make these modifications as long as there is general consensus and agreement.
  • Secondly, I think it might be helpful to set up another discussion hub on another site or forum. One reason is to attract more competitors, and also as a backup in case our beloved site goes down. I know in the past the 6WC has had competitors from places like the Duolingo forum. This may have happened with the SC as well, but I’m not aware of any attempts.
  • Finally, although I didn’t use it this time round, a nice bot is a good way to build enthusiasm and to gain inspiration from the successes of other competitors. I know rdearman is working on a new bot, and I’d like to offer my help with that.



The next Super Challenge is fast approaching! Yay!

This means we need to get ready with the rules and also with the various means that people can track their progress. So here are a few questions:
  • Are people happy with the minor rule sinplifications I suggested above? Nobody commented either way.
  • Does anyone mind if I discuss this on Reddit to encourage others to join in?
  • Does anyone want to advertise the challenge on other language sites/forums?
  • Is the bot ready? Does rdearman need help and/or testers?

Please share your thoughts!

EDIT: when I wrote "new audio would count", I meant "news audio" (because the rules to date have allowed us to count watching news, but not listening to news).
5 x
Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien (roughly, the perfect is the enemy of the good)

French SC Books: 0 / 5000 (0/5000 pp)
French SC Films: 0 / 9000 (0/9000 mins)

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emk
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Re: Super Challenge: questions and discussion

Postby emk » Tue Apr 16, 2024 4:07 pm

jeffers wrote:This means we need to get ready with the rules and also with the various means that people can track their progress. So here are a few questions:
  • Are people happy with the minor rule sinplifications I suggested above? Nobody commented either way.
  • Does anyone mind if I discuss this on Reddit to encourage others to join in?

I will almost certainly participate, given the simplified audio rules, with the goal of a 2,500-page SC for Spanish. I've been pushing hard to get my reading from sub-A1 to a point where I can maintain the necessary daily pace.

I also think it's worth mentioning the challenge on other forums that are interested. The Super Challenge is the single best thing I ever did for my French comprehension, and the 5,000-page version is just about the right size to get people to roughly C1 comprehension in Category I/II languages. It's an idea worth sharing more widely.

Also, since I'm back and hopefully participating, the forum should be a bit more reliable. :? Umm, yeah.

Let me know the bot status—if someone else writes one, perfect! If not, I will probably eventually get frustrated enough to make a tracker website, though it wouldn't have X/Twitter integration. But someone else doing the hard work is definitely ideal, from my perspective. :lol:
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deekin
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Re: Super Challenge: questions and discussion

Postby deekin » Tue Apr 16, 2024 9:11 pm

I'll be participating for the first time, focusing on Spanish (maybe a 1/2 Super Challenge for French??). I'm onboard with either the original rules or the minor changes proposed above. Either way, I'm looking forward to it.
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Super challenge 2024-2025 (updated May 30, 2024):
Spanish Reading: 230 / 5000 230/5000 pages
Spanish Movies: 288 / 9000 288/9000 minutes
French Reading: 33 / 2500 33/2500 pages
French Movies: 97 / 4500 97/4500 minutes


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