Master the 30/30 Challenge!

Maybe you're skeptical and think that there must be more to learning English than just 30 minutes of daily listening. Well, there certainly is, but mastering the 30/30 Challenge is crucial to success if you want to become a winner.

Here is how you should prepare for your challenge: First, you need to make sure you have enough audio materials to listen to for at least 30 days. You can use a variety of resources such as audio books, DVDs, TV and radio. In the "How do I get started?" section we have already discussed the steps you should take to get the ball rolling. The 30/30 Challenge will help you develop the continuity and consistency you need to keep on track.

Second, you should start a 30/30 Challenge diary – this is the beginning of your listening blog – where you write down the experiences you go through every day. It doesn't matter what format you choose for your diary, it can be a traditional notebook, an electronic calendar, or an Internet blog. The important point is that you make an entry in your diary every day, because this will help you maintain the self-discipline required to master the challenge. In addition, your diary has the following advantages:

1) It helps you organize your thoughts. When you write down your daily listening experiences, you think about what you heard on TV, radio or your recordings. You pick up observations that help you see your own situation in a different light. For example, if you hear a report about a conflict in another country, you might think to yourself "Oh, I'm very lucky to have this chance to learn English and communicate with positive-thinking people around the world. There are a lot of people who would give anything if they could only be in my place."

2) It helps you acquire new vocabulary. When you put into writing a word or phrase you heard during your listening, you visualize it. You recall some of the words and phrases you heard earlier that day, which helps you gain new vocabulary.

3) It helps you keep track of your progress. Your listening diary shows clearly how much you experience every day. If you go back to your first diary entries after a few days, you will notice that you now understand more than when you made those entries. When you see how much progress you are making daily, it will be much easier for you to keep your motivation up, which in turn will make you want to learn even more.

4) It allows you to share your experiences with your coach and other learners. If you are afraid that completing the 30/30 Challenge all on your own might be too difficult a task for you, you can use an English language coach to work with you regularly. Based on your diary entries, your coach can tell you exactly what you should do to learn even faster and more effectively. In addition, you can use your listening diary to share your experiences with other learners, which will increase your motivation even further.