Super Challenge 2024-25 (from the Language Learner's Forum)

Here’s a language challenge which would go well with using LingQ. Every 2 years since 2012 has been running a reading and film input challenge called the Super Challenge. The basic idea is to read 100 books and watch 100 films in target language(s) in the space of 20 months. The next Super Challenge starts on the 1st of May and anyone is able to join. First, a few details:

How the challenge works

The default goal is to read 100 books and watch 100 films in 2 years. You can also do a half challenge or even a double challenge.

A “book” is defined as 50 pages of reading. If you read a book which is 360 pages long, that counts for 7.2 books of the 100 books for the challenge. If you read a 5 page article, that counts for 0.1 books. In other words, the basic reading goal is to hit 5000 pages of reading.

Children’s books with large text count as 1 page per 5 pages with text. This is a great way for relative beginners to rack up some mileage in the challenge. You could also read things like comics, BDs and manga, by making a general estimate based on the idea that an average book page is 250 words. This is necessarily somewhat opaque. Just keep reading and count pages as appropriate.

A “film” is 90 minutes of watching in your target language, but any sort of active listening counts. You could watch 90 YouTube 1 minute shorts, and count that as a film, and a film lasting 180 minutes would count as 2 films. Participants listen to audiobooks, podcasts, news, watch TV shows, etc. The only things that don’t count are musit, or background listening (e.g. putting on the radio while at work). In other words, the basic film goal is to hit 9000 minutes of listening/watching.

Learning material can be counted if it is entirely in the target language. For example, the videos from French in Action count since only French is spoken in them. In other words, any reading or watching in your target language can count towards your page or minutes goal.

One thing you can’t do is double up and try to count two things at once. For example, if you watch a TV series in your target language with the subtitles on, please don’t count that as reading and watching. Count one or the other. Or even better, watch it twice and count it once as watching and the next time as reading! The same applies to reading while listening to the audiobook. This is a great idea, but for the challenge, choose to count it for one thing.

You can also do multiple challenges for multiple languages. For example, last challenge I went for a full challenge in French, a half challenge in Hindi and a half challenge in German.

The benefits

Those of us who have worked on past Super Challenges have found consistent and strong improvements in reading and listening comprehension. This doesn’t mean that reading and listening/watching is all you need to do to get better at a language, but the benefit of large amounts of reading and listening is immense.

It doesn’t really matter if you finish or not, participation is half the fun. I have participated in the challenge every time since it started, and I have only completed one full French challenge, but along the way I read and listened to way more in my target languages than I would have otherwise. Even if you fail at the challenge, your language learning will win!


Participants can track their progress any way they like. Some people track their progress in a language log. I normally make a spreadsheet to keep track of my totals. We used to have a Twitter bot, but X doesn’t allow it any more, so someone is working on a tracking bot for Mastedon. Send it a message about something you read or watch, and it will record your running total.

All tracking is based on the honour system. You can keep track of your progress any way you like. It is fun to share your progress on the forum, but there’s no requirement to do so.


The sign up thread is here: 2024/25 Super Challenge Registration Thread - A language learners’ forum

If you want to participate, head to the sign up thread and post your intentions.