Italy photo by Sarah Dessert
my crazy challenge

My crazy challenge: learn Italian in 6 months!

Yep, here I am with another 2020 challenge: learn Italian in 15mn every day for 180 days!
Now you might ask yourself “Why in the world would you do that Sarah? Don’t you have enough to do already?”; well, yea, PLENTY! But I love to challenge myself and I’ve been meaning to go back to Italian for quite a while now, so, time for action!


There are actually lots of reasons that pushed me to create this crazy challenge:

  • Practice another language: I know how important it can be for your personal growth, both physically (healthy brain) and psychologically (self-esteem, self-confidence)!
  • Travel to Italy: it’s on my travel list to explore this country!
  • Speak with my Italian friends in their language: to broaden even more my international relationships, I love to have friends all over the world!
  • Sing more songs in Italian: music is a big part of my life, I sing all the time (sometimes even in class!) and I want to be able to do that in Italian too!

I made this challenge for personal reasons but also professional ones: I’m always looking to be a better version of myself, and it goes in my job too! I believe that to be the best teacher for beginners, you have to know and remember what it’s like to actually be a beginner. So I decided to be one again by going back to learning Italian! I love to be an instructor but I also love to be a student and learn different things.
But most of all, the main professional goal with this experience is to be able to create the best learning/practice routine for my students, even the busiest ones! I’m looking forward to learning from my experience to achieve this goal!


I’ve managed to reach and keep my advanced level in English thanks to my immersion in English speaking Canada. I still remember how, after the first few weeks in Ontario, my brain was just swallowing every single word, expression, sign, songs and I could use it right away or not long after. No books, no exercises, just pure immersion (I’ll do another article about my first Canadian immersion experience)!

This time, I won’t get to have an immersion and benefit from this amazing process; but that’s why it’s called my crazy challenge! I decided to register with Babbel (which is a resource I mention to my students to practice French as well) and practice 15mn every day through online classes.
I always advice my students to work on a regular basis so I will apply this great advice to myself! Yep, no fake teaching at Sweet French Learning: I truly believe in what I tell my students because I know it works! Now let’s see if I can keep up with the pace… 😉

Where do I start from?

Well, honestly, I can barely introduce myself and count to 10 lol! So basically, I’ll start from scratch and my goal is to be able to have a conversation 6 months from now…  Yea I know, I like to dream big, but I know it comes back really fast! Besides, what kind of a challenge is this if it’s not challenging?!

Speaking of, let’s see what the deal is here:

  • Challenges:
    1. I’m not in Italy so I don’t get the immersion benefit
    2. I take classes online and through the app so I don’t get to ask questions to a private teacher or talk to fellow students locally
  • Advantages:
    1. I’m French so learning will be easier as both languages have the same Latin roots
    2. I have Italian friends so I can practice for real!


I’m boarding for my Italian journey on September 1st!

Italy, 2016
photo credit: Sarah Dessert


You’re darn right I’m ready for my crazy challenge!
Of course, I’m worried about a few things: will my motivation last? Will I manage to make time every day? Will I get enough practice to be able to speak at the end? Will an Italian word arise in the middle of a French lesson I do?

But I’m super excited at the same time! I’ve been willing to go back to Italian for a long time and I can’t wait to practice this beautiful language with my friends in Italy!

I’m looking forward to telling you how it’s going: stay tuned!

What about you my Frenchies? Did you challenge yourselves lately? Or do you plan to do so?

Tell us more in the comments!


  • Severine

    Hi Sarah! Best of luck in this challenge. No doubt you will succeed. Once a learner, always a learner. Once you master Italian, Spanish and Portuguese will be just a few efforts away 😉 Looking forward to see how you’re getting on.

    • Sarah Dessert

      Thank you Severine!! 🙂 I like your motto! 😉 Yes I think I’ll go back to Spanish too one day and actually, I’m more and more interested in Portuguese…but we’ll see that after! 😀 Stay tuned! 😉

  • Mademoiselle Guiga

    Amazing challenge!!! Well done!
    I should do something similar to improve my Portuguese… I feel like I’ve been stagnating for a while now…