This Question Is Sabotaging Your Language Learning—Please Stop Asking It, My Friend

“HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR ME TO LEARN (insert language here)?” We’ve all heard it. “A person can learn Italian in X amount of time.” “You need X amount of hours to reach conversational fluency in Russian.” “It takes X years to master Japanese.” I’ve been teaching languages since 2015 and I’ve been learningContinue reading “This Question Is Sabotaging Your Language Learning—Please Stop Asking It, My Friend”

How Learning a Language is Like Climbing a Mountain

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir My wife and I love to be in the mountains. Recently on a hike on Mt. Rainier I thought to myself “Self: You know, learning a language is really a lot like climbing a mountain.” In what ways? No Two MountainsContinue reading “How Learning a Language is Like Climbing a Mountain”

A Day in the Life of a Polyglot

This week I decided to go with an easy subject for me to describe: a typical day for me as it relates to language study. In later posts, I’ll go into more detail about each method I use, how to make it work, and why it works. But for now I’ll give you a generalContinue reading “A Day in the Life of a Polyglot”

Duocon 2021 Recap and Highlights

On Friday August 20th Duolingo hosted their annual Duocon. This year it took the form of a free event on YouTube. You can watch the whole thing on YouTube, or just skip to the talk you’re interested in by going to duolingo.com/duocon. When I heard about Duocon, I wasn’t really sure what to expect fromContinue reading “Duocon 2021 Recap and Highlights”

Private Language Tutoring or Group Language Classes—Which Is Best for You?

If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you. – Zig Ziglar Should you take a language class, or should you hire a private tutor? The answer to that question is, like the answer to most questions: “It depends”. I’ve both studied and taught languages in both group and one-on-one settings. I’veContinue reading “Private Language Tutoring or Group Language Classes—Which Is Best for You?”

Get Emotional—Why Language Learning Is Not Just Business, It’s Personal

What we learn with pleasure, we never forget. – Alfred Mercier As you probably know, English is currently the international language of business. Therefore it’s not surprising that most of my English students are business professionals. Many of them are very highly educated and very successful in their fields. But I’ve noticed that it’s notContinue reading “Get Emotional—Why Language Learning Is Not Just Business, It’s Personal”

An Accidental Polyglot

pol·y·glot (/ˈpälēˌɡlät/) Noun: a person who knows and is able to use several languages. Ex: “Slovenians, being surrounded by many countries, are mostly polyglots” ac·ci·dent (/ˈaksədənt/) Noun: a whoopsie-daisy, oops As Groucho Marx said, “I was born at a very early age.” But maybe that’s going back too far. I am a polyglot. At the timeContinue reading “An Accidental Polyglot”