Anyone can learn another language - regardless of how old they are, where they live or where they work. But the thing that holds most people back is a series of limiting beliefs, which mean that they rarely end up getting started or get demoralised so quickly when they do that they give up within a few weeks!
That's why it's so important to unlearn a lot of the ideas that we absorb from the world around us - especially when they're ones that stop us from making progress in the thing we want to learn!
In this short episode, I'm joined by my friend Will Reynolds - writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner. We discuss a range of topics including:
- Whether there is a "language learning gene" that most great polyglots have
- Whether immersion is important for the language learning process
- Whether children are actually better language learners than adults
So whether you're looking to learn your first foreign language, or have learned one or two and feel that it's not your strong suit, this episode will eliminate any doubts you have about your abilities and give you the tools needed to make real, tangible progress.
Ellen Jovin is a polyglot, writer and the founder of Syntaxis, a communication skills training firm based in New York.
In 2009, she started a project to learn as much as she could of the languages spoken in New York in a year. But once she started, she never stopped - her schedule has included 21 different languages involving a total of nine different alphabets and writing systems - and she’s still going strong with no end in sight.
Ellen’s an accomplished polyglot and an excellent communicator as I found out when we met at the Polyglot Conference in Thessaloniki, where she gave a fantastic talk on language learning products.
In this episode we discuss a range of topics including:
- What it means to know a language and Ellen’s definition of fluency
- The method Ellen uses to learn languages and how this can be used by others
- The challenges Ellen has faced learning languages and how she overcame them
Whatever language you’re learning and whatever stage you’re at, you’ll benefit from Ellen’s insights and leave this episode with mindsets and skillsets that you can take away and start using straight away.
Luca Lampariello is a polyglot and language teacher who runs his own language learning company LinguaCore and the highly popular blog The Polyglot Dream. Luca speaks 13 languages and is currently fluent in 10 of them but he’s always adding more to his repertoire.
One of the main reasons I love learning languages is because speaking them is an amazing way to connect to other people and cultures and Luca is big proponent of this as well. To put it simply, he's my kind of polyglot!
In this episode we discuss a range of topics, including:
- What it means to know a language and Luca’s definition of fluency
- The method Luca uses to learn languages and how this can be adapted by others
- The challenges Luca faced in language learning and how he’s overcome them
Whatever language you’re learning and whatever stage you’re at, you’ll benefit massively from Luca’s insights and leave this episode with mindsets and skillsets that you can take away and start using in your own learning straight away.
Language learning seems far more complicated than it is. Ultimately it's a skill that can be broken down into three sub skills - grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation - which you'll need to develop to get to a good level of proficiency.
But one of the things that's rarely discussed is the importance of community for language learning. This is something I've experienced on my language learning journey and my time at the Polyglot Conference in Greece.
In this episode I’ll teach you how to become a better language learner, offering a series of tools and techniques that you can apply to any language to develop the skills of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.
Plus I answer some of your questions including:
- Can you learn two languages at once and what’s the best method to do this?
- How do you maintain languages that you already know?
- How important is a total immersion experience for language learning?
So whether you're looking to pick up a new language, maintain ones you already know or refresh and old one you've forgotten, this episode has you covered with practical strategies and techniques you can apply straight away.
Alex Rawlings is a polyglot and language teacher who runs the blog Rawlangs as well as a series of Polyglot Workshops and Conferences all over the world. In 2012 Alex was named Britain’s most multilingual student after winning a nationwide competition, where he was tested for fluency in eleven languages.
One of the most common language learning myths is that you have to live in a country to learn a language. But this simply isn't true if you're approaching the process properly and Alex is proof of that, having lived in the UK most of his life.
As well as being an exceptional learner Alex is also great at communicating his knowledge and helping others on their language learning journeys, which is why I reached out to him for a conversation.
In this episode you’ll learn Alex’s tips and tricks for:
- Picking the right language teacher
- Refreshing languages you haven’t used for years
- Using technology intelligently in your language learning
So whether you're just getting started on a new language, or want to refresh your high school French or Spanish, this episode will give you actionable strategies that you can apply right away.
Olly Richards is a language learning expert and entrepreneur, who speaks 8 languages (including French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese and Cantonese) and runs the blog and podcast I Will Teach You A Language.
There are a lot of myths about language learning - and while natural ability and upbringing definitely influence someone's ability, I believe that everyone is capable of learning a foreign language to a good standard.
Olly is a perfect example of someone who's developed his ability over time - he started learning languages when he was 19 and since then has managed to pick up eight, which should serve as a big inspiration to the rest of us.
In this episode you’ll learn Olly’s tips and tricks for language learning including:
- Choosing the right materials in the ocean of available options
- Creating good language learning habits and managing your time
- The most effective methods Olly uses and how to find the ones that work for you
Whether you’re a beginner picking up your first foreign language, or an expert with several already under your belt, you’ll leave with some great new insights and actionable strategies that you can apply straight away to your learning.