BlogArchive by Category "Motivation"
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
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?
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?
15 May 2018
Traditionally, language learners have been divided into three groups: those who learn informally on their own, those who attend school, and those who do both. In a classroom environment, the teacher can assign tasks to the learner and provide some overview and even coercion to ensure that the learner carries out these tasks, regardless […]Read more Online Language Learning & Measuring Progress
8 May 2018
Conversation implies a two-way exchange of language. Therefore, reaching a conversational level implies quite a high level of comprehension of the language so that we can understand what is being said to us. That means in order to converse properly we need to prepare ourselves.Read more How Long to Get to a Conversational Level in a Language?
23 Apr 2018
I have been asked to redo the recording for this podcast that I did over two years ago. Here it is again. This evening I have to give a short talk in Japanese to about 30 members of the Japan-Canada Chamber of Commerce. I am a Director of this Cha...Read more Learning a Language is Like Falling in Love
27 Mar 2018
13 Feb 2018
The goal of fluency in a foreign language can often seem vague and elusive. It is not always clear what fluency means. Those who have not experienced the feeling of achieving fluency in another language doubt they can get there, and doubt they would know if they did. Learners often feel they are not making […]Read more Meaningful Language Learning Goals
30 Jan 2018
When I wrote my book The Linguist: A Personal Guide to Language Learning, I began with what I called ‘The Parable of the Crooked Tree’. The author of the parable was Zhuangzi, an early exponent of Taoism, a school of Chinese philosophy from over 2,000 years ago. I referred to Taoism on a number of occasions in my book. Zhuangzi’s basic principle in life was to follow what was natural, what [...]Read more How to Learn Any Language Effortlessly
2 Jan 2018
Can I become fluent in a foreign language? If your answer to this question is no, then you are best to stop trying. If you don't believe that you can reach the destination in your journey, why start? On the other hand, if you believe you can become fluent in a foreign language, you are well on your way to achieving fluency.Read more How Can You Become Fluent in a Foreign Language?