The 6 Week Challenge is a challenge to upgrade your language skills in one language from beginner to something more worthwhile, and to see if you can find more time to study languages when competing with other participants in a global highscore. 6 Week Challenges start on February 1st, May 1st, August 1st and November 1st every year, so there is a rough 6 weeks on / 6 weeks off pattern. Note that you can only do the 6 Week Challenge with a language that you're a beginner at or lower-intermediate at most. This allows for a more just comparison between participants.
You do not have to use Twitter in order to participate in the 6 Week Challenge. However, this awesome stats page relies on people posting updates in tweets. In other words, if you want to be part of the highscore, you have to have a Twitter user name. (You do not need to install any software and you do not have to spend your life reading Twitter.)
If you want to participate without being tracked on this website, you may register by posting in a 6 Week Challenge thread at HTLAL.
If you want to participate and track your progress here, you have to (additionally or only) message your registration to the
tracking bot. For this, go to Twitter.com, log in and tweet something along the lines of
@6WCBot I want to #register to study #German intensively in November. #HTLAL user; working #part-time.
The exact wording and the order doesn't matter at all, just the tags.
The bot will reply to confirm your registration or to confirm your score. However, due to the nature of Twitter, you will only see the bot's replies if you look at your "Mentions" or if you're following @6WCBot.
If you later want to change your registration, tweet something like @6wcbot #change my team to #Reddit and work as #free. You can use any of the same tags as for registering. Note that you cannot change your language once you have started logging, only before.
If you want to drop out of the challenge and not be listed in the high score anymore, tweet @6wcbot #unregister.
When you have studied something, or at the end of the day, you should post an update to the bot, so that it can update your score and your rank. Additionally, this will keep other 6 Week Challenge participants informed. Maybe you even want to post something that you just read in/about your target language.
For example, an update might look like
@6WCBot I studied 1 hour and 45 minutes of #Deutsch using #Anki today. Ich spreche noch kein Deutsch.
Of this, only the time and the language tag are required. Instead of #Deutsch you could also use #German, #de or #deu. The #Anki tag is just for your own statistics - you could make a #tyger tag if that makes sense to you, name them whatever you like. During and after the challenge, this website will be able to tell you how much time you spent on each activity this way.
For the time, the bot can understand "2 hours", "120 minutes" or "120min" as well as any combination of these. However, you need to write a separate update for each language if you did work on more than one language. You can do any activity - studying textbooks, doing Anki, Listening-Reading, even watching movies in your target language. However, please consider whether you are focussing on the language. If you're doing something where the language is not your one and only focus (e. g. ironing while playing a podcast in the background, or watching a TV show where you mostly focus on the native-language subtitles and don't intently listen to the target-language audio), please only award yourself a fraction of the minutes, corresponding to the percentage of your attention that you gave to the target language. For 60 minutes of studying to count as 60 minutes in this scoring, you have to be 100% focussed on learning your target language.
Work done on your target language contributes to BOTH the target language score and the overall score. Work done on other languages only contributes to your overall score, so you will be tempted to do more for your target language. Think carefully about which language you really want to push ahead this time. You must at most be lower-intermediate in it though, better to be a complete beginner. We want to see progress.
To undo your last update (if you mistyped), type
To undo an earlier update, identify it by the language and amount of time, e. g.
@6wcbot #undo 20 minutes #Esperanto
Note that this only works if you had an update where you studied exactly 20 minutes of Esperanto. If you logged 25 minutes but intended to write 5, you cannot use this, you first have to undo the 25 minutes and then re-add 5 minutes.
One last tip: normally, only those who follow both you and the bot will see what you write to it. To make your tweet visible to everyone, start it with a dot (.@6WCBot) or include @6WCBot somewhere other than the beginning.
Contact @Junesun or e-mail yutian DOT mei AT gmail DOT com if you have any questions or encounter any issues.
Have fun! Good luck with your language studies!