First, yesterday, I wrote about something I think is really brilliant, but it’s hard to get people to take the little extra step and get involved. So go read yesterday’s post. Make a $5 contribution, leave a comment on that post and I will match every $5 donation from now until the end of the campaign. See, now you have an incentive. Go.

Then come back, because it’s still the Bilingual Summer, where I’m trying to learn Spanish, a bunch of folks have joined me either on DuoLingo (it’s totally free) or in their own studies to focus on doing a little bit, every day to start learning a second language of their choice. The original post is here.

It’s June, it’s getting hot and you know what I feel? LIKE NOT STUDYING. (It’s 88 F and 75% humidity…)

At all. It’s like an emotional brick wall where I’m like, ugh, and I scrunch up my nose and I’m like, really, really? Do I have to?

Am I the only one? I’m looking at the DuoLingo scores of people who added me and it looks like we’re all… slow…ing… down.

That’s the thing with language learning, is that everyone would do it, except it’s hard, and just as you’re on a roll, your brain starts rejecting this new language and you hit the first big hurdle: Resistance!

Cole and his box. Oh and a brick wall.
This is so my child.

If you’re not careful, resistance turns into quitting.

So then I thought… hmmm… how can I get everyone re-energized about this? What if we change the goal?

Maybe it’s the idea of ‘learning a language’ that is too daunting. It’s really big. It seems like it will take forever. Maybe the goal could just be:


I will finish all 25 levels in DuoLingo for my language.


Somehow that feels like something I can do. That’s it. Fluent? Learning? Who knows. That’s not your job. Your job is to do a little bit, every day, and to keep going.

Here’s the challenge:

There are 25 levels to DuoLingo. If you finish before Labor Day, September 2, 2013, then you can enter yourself into the “Bilingual Summer Giveaway”. I’ll be picking winners randomly from the entries, but let me say this: there will be free travel involved.

How to Enter:

There are three parts:

1. Add me (Christine Gilbert) as a friend on DuoLingo before August 1, 2013.

2. Add a comment to this post before August 1, 2013 with all these things:

A) The language you are learning

B) Your current city

C) Where you’d want to travel to if you could go anywhere that speaks the language you’re learning

If you don’t do all those steps, then your entry won’t count!!

3. Use DuoLingo over the summer and finish all 25 levels before September 2, 2013. After August 1st, 2013 we’ll have another post for you to comment on when you finish all 25 levels.


(By the way I have to do this in three steps so people don’t cheat and just use some fluent dude’s DuoLingo account and claim to have completed that language this summer when they didn’t. I need proof that it’s your account (adding me), that you learned it this summer (commenting now) and that you did all 25 levels (commenting at the end of the summer). If you are not using DuoLingo at all and want to enter, there will be a way to do that too. Details to follow.)

PS: Interested sponsors can email me.

QUESTION: how do you beat language learning resistance?