14 Aug 2018
Language learning is essentially a subconscious process. I saw these words in a LinkedIn post from a group I belong to that includes language teachers. The topic of discussion was how grammar instruction and error correction don’t have as much impact on language learning success as is traditionally imagined. This is a concept that leading […]Read more Learning Languages is a Subconscious Process
7 Aug 2018
You are unlikely to learn to speak a new language perfectly, but perfection should not be your goal. Your main goal should be effective communication. I am not perfect in any of the languages that I speak, but I can communicate. And whenever I communicate in another language I'm satisfied. I also know from experience that my ability to speak and to pronounce well will only improve with time, [...]Read more How To Improve Your Speaking Skills
31 Jul 2018
I studied Mandarin Chinese 50 years ago. It took me 9 months to reach a level where I could translate newspaper editorials from English to Chinese and from Chinese to English, read novels and interpret for people, I did this in the age of the open reel tape recorder, long before the age of the […]Read more How to Learn Chinese: My Top 6 Tips
24 Jul 2018
I often hear this question from adult learners. Sometimes my followers on Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter bring this up. In fact, not so long ago I had the following request from one of my followers. “I want to do some research on the problems of older language learners and see what I can do to help them.” I replied by asking. “What do you consider to be an older language learner?” His [...]Read more Can Older Adult Learners Acquire New Languages?
17 Jul 2018
The myth is that there exists a battle in language learning: introverts vs. extroverts, and that extroverts are the better language learners. I do not believe at all that you need to be an extrovert to learn a language. Language learning comes down to the three keys: number one, attitude. You have to be interested in the language. You have to like the language. You have to believe you’re [...]Read more Introverts Vs Extroverts in Language Learning
10 Jul 2018
Many people, even if they’ve only learned one foreign language, may only visit the country where the language is spoken once a year or once every few years, so it can be hard to maintain or improve those language skills. Not being able to maintain a language can lead to something many multilingual people fear: language attrition, or the weakening or loss of a language. In my case, I claim to [...]Read more How to Avoid Language Attrition
3 Jul 2018
There are many reasons we might decide to try to learn another language. We might need the language for study or work purposes, to communicate with family or friends or to connect with the culture of the country where the language is spoken. I must admit, I am motivated initially just by the possibility of accessing a new culture, with all that that can bring me in terms of learning about [...]Read more Why Learn Another Language?
26 Jun 2018
They say “you are what you eat”. In the global information age, maybe it should be “you are what you can say”. Language, in its varied manifestations, is mankind’s defining achievement, and it also defines us. Language can be social, political, technical, practical, entertaining, sensual, philosophical, and much more. At the banquet of life, each language is another course. The better you can [...]Read more The Three Language Acquisition Stages
19 Jun 2018
What is the hardest language to learn? It’s a question I’m asked often. Here I reveal the answer from my experience and give advice and tips on how to get the most out of your language learning, even if that language is a tough one.Read more What Is The Hardest Language To Learn?
12 Jun 2018
I can speak 17 or so languages to varying degrees of fluency. Some I speak really well, like French, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish. Even in languages that I speak less well, like Swedish, German, or Russian, my accent is not too bad, people tell me.Read more Can We Learn to Speak a Foreign Language Like a Native Speaker?