It started as a simple wager. Two competitive guys challenging each other to see who would do better. Study Spanish everyday for at least 30 minutes a day for three months. Who would show the most growth.
Mike Biglan, the CEO of Analytic Spot, and I, David Bong, Avant's CEO both have studied Spanish sporadically over the years, but neither of us can use it in real life. Mike studied it for two years in high school and I worked as a waiter/bartender in Old San Juan using Spanish for a couple of months in my long ago youth. We both studied French for 5+ years in school and I speak Japanese at a high level of proficiency. But Spanish - No.
The more we talked about it, the more we thought it would be a great way to get a first hand understanding of what language learners are going through when they learn a language. As a language assessment company, that is pretty important. So here's what we are doing. We will both take the Avant STAMP assessment before and after our three months. The one showing less growth will contribute $1000 to the JNCL-NCLIS, our national language lobbying organization to support their fight to keep funding for language education and international programs alive. We will blog and Tweet/Facebook regularly to share our experiences and ask for advice.
We hope you enjoy sharing this adventure with us.