BlogArchive by Category "Learning Languages"
1 Aug 2017
Many of us are watching the Olympics in Brazil. Despite all of the bad reports that we always get in the lead up to any Olympic Games – some British newspaper called the 2010 Vancouver Winter games the worst Olympics in the world ever, then there were all the problems with toilets in Sochi and now pollution in Rio – it looks like actually things are proceeding swimmingly, so to [...]Read more How To Learn Portuguese
4 Jul 2017
I am back in Vancouver after a month in Europe, mostly in Ukraine. I still have vivid images of that country, and particularly of Lviv where I spent the better part of three weeks. I see the city in my mind, the cafés, the public squares, the cobblestone streets, the friendly people filling the streets, […]Read more Thank You, Ukraine!
26 Jun 2017
People often ask the question “when” about language learning. “When should I start speaking?” “When should I start reading authentic content?” “When can I say I am fluent?” Or even “When should I really commit to learning another language?” When should we commit to learning a new language? One answer to the this question that […]Read more When Should We Start Speaking A Language?
8 May 2017
Good language learners notice what is happening in a language. They notice the sounds of the language, and the structure and the vocabulary. They notice as they listen and read. They notice when they use the language. How can we train ourselves in the ability to notice, in order to become good language learners?Read more The Best Way to Learn a New Language
1 May 2017
How long does it take to learn Spanish? How long does it take to learn any language? I hear these questions quite often. There is no simple answer. It is really up to you. The US Foreign Service Language institute published some numbers about how many hours required to learn different languages. For Spanish […]Read more How Long Does It Take to Learn Spanish?
24 Apr 2017
To paraphrase Tolstoy, all happy language learners resemble each other. They develop a passion for the language they are learning. Each unhappy language learner, on the other hand, finds his or her own reason to be turned off. I got turned on to French flair long ago and my passion for French has stayed with […]Read more Why learn French? Six Reasons
30 Jan 2017
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 […]Read more Learning Languages is a Subconscious Process
22 Jan 2017
I had lunch earlier this week with a college professor who is head of the Asian language department in a large university here in Vancouver. He told me that a majority of students who enrol in Asian languages quit after the first year. I was surprised to hear that. Then I did some research […]Read more Language Goals and Frustrations
9 Jan 2017
What are the similarities and differences between Japanese, Chinese and Korean, and how should we go about learning them? To what extent can learning one help you with the others? Let me share my experience in learning these three Asian languages. Mandarin Chinese: Intense and Structured I spent almost a year studying Mandarin full time […]Read more Differences Between Chinese, Japanese and Korean
1 Jan 2017
In Stephen Covey’s famous book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People he gives advice for people in many aspects of their lives: advice for managers, for business people and for people generally. His advice can also be applied to language learners, and here’s how.Read more The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Language Learners