Why Many People Fail at Language Learning

Right now I've been at my Arabic for three years and my Persian for two, I can't say that I speak either language particularly well. I really struggle. My Farsi is now better. I've had the opportunity to use it a bit here and there around Vancouver, North Vancouver, especially West Vancouver. I'm now exploring Egypt in Arabic with Mohammed, my tutor, and I do struggle in our conversations, [...]
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How To Improve Your Listening Skills

Reading helps you acquire more words, but listening gets your brain used to the language. And of course listening comprehension is a tremendously important skill because if you're speaking to someone, and we all want to speak in the language, if you can't understand what the other person is saying, then it's very uncomfortable and you can't have a very meaningful conversation.
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Do NOT Go to Language School

What the language school provides is instruction in the language. In other words, explanations of how the language works. The language school provides the materials, the textbooks, the content from which we learn, the language schools can provide encouragement and motivation also. The language school provides a social context where you meet not only your teacher, but other students. The [...]
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How To Learn Portuguese

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 [...]
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Do NOT Study Grammar

Grammar basically describes usage. So since languages evolve over time, sounds in languages evolve over time, usage patterns evolve over time. Therefore the grammar which describes the usage will evolve over time. So how useful is it to attempt to teach people what the rules of usage are before the learner has had enough experience with the language?
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Italki Review: Get the Most Out of the Language Learning Resource

The last 15 years have brought revolutionary change to language learning. Amongst the most popular new opportunities is the possibility to connect with native speakers of the languages we are learning via the Internet, and specifically via Skype. We all take Skype for granted today, but the app was first launched in 2003, in Estonia.  […]
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How I Learned Japanese

***   This post is a transcript of a video on my YouTube channel.   Studying English? Here’s the transcript as a lesson to study on LingQ. Back in 1968, I was sent to Hong Kong by the Canadian government to learn Mandarin Chinese. I spent a year learning Chinese and then the idea was […]
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