How can you become fluent in a language quickly?

Now's the time to learn the secrets of effective language learners:

        - Step-by-step guides for how to study a foreign language
        - Strategies for improving your speaking and understanding native speakers
        - Tips for remembering vocabulary, overcoming shyness, and staying motivated!

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How I learn foreign languages

[For a complete script, scroll down to the end of the post]

Hi, I’m Olly.

Nice to meet you!

As you can probably tell from the video cover, I’m from the UK. :)

They say that Brits are rubbish at language learning. Perhaps it’s because we live on an island and have no need for any other language. Perhaps it’s because wherever we go in the world, chances are most people speak English.

However, I’ve managed to learn 7 languages.

That’s 8, if you include English.

So how did I do it? Continue reading…

How to stop people talking to you in English

stop-speaking-english

It really sucks. You’re learning a new language, and it finally comes time to try it out with some native speakers! So, you pluck up the courage, walk over to them, try your best to say something nice. They look at you… They think for a second… …and they reply in English! You want to keep […]

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How to Learn the Spanish of the Canary Islands

spanish canary islands canarian

You might not know where the Canary Islands are. Don’t worry, though… you’re not the only one!  You also might not know that the Canary Islands belong to Spain, and that Spanish is the local language.  It’s actually a topic close to my heart, because I originally learnt my Spanish with Canarians, which is where I […]

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Pimsleur Egyptian Arabic Review – A Good Way to Learn Arabic?

pimsleur egyptian arabic

When I started my project to learn Egyptian Arabic, one obstacle I faced straight away was that I didn’t have any materials! In Qatar, where I was living at the time, there were very few good bookshops. The ones that did exist catered almost exclusively for Modern Standard Arabic resources, which, thanks to this interview, I […]

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One simple strategy for learning the hardest grammar in the world

learn hard grammar

If you’re learning a difficult language, you might be wondering how best to set about learning its grammar. You might have flicked through various textbooks, maybe even done a few of the grammar exercises… and felt so overwhelmed that you wanted to throw the book through the window! Well, fear not! This post will show […]

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The Grammar Myth… Debunked!

library_by_asuka111-d81a3eb

This is not the first article ever written about grammar. And it certainly won’t be the last. But I was shocked to discover recently that, despite talking about it quite often, I’ve never actually written a post dedicated to that big question that kicks up so much controversy and divides opinion like Marmite: “Should I […]

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19 quick changes you can make today that will make you a better language teacher

better language teacher

In a recent article, I asked the question: Are you wasting your money on language classes? The article made the point that, while classes can help with your language learning, the reality is that they’re probably doing more harm than good. So where does this leave language teachers? Well, I believe that language teachers need […]

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Are you wasting your money on language classes?

language classes

If you want to learn a new language, you’ve probably thought about taking language classes. But is this the best way to go? Are language classes really worthy of your hard-earned cash? In an industry said to be worth around US$200 billion, it’s a question that we’re entitled to ask, and I’m going to explore […]

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How NOT to suck at language challenges

language challenge

“Language challenges”, you may have noticed, are cropping up all over the place! Typically lasting either 30 or 90 days, you come together with other learners from around the world to set goals, learn from each other and make giant strides forward in your language learning. That’s the theory at least. In language challenges, as […]

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What to do if you lack the passion for language learning

passion language learning

Where do you think desire to learn a language comes from? Yes, it’s great to cultivate a desire, a love, a passion for the language you’re learning, but I wonder if sometimes that’s not a bit too idealistic. It might be all very well for me, with the good fortune to be able to live […]

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Why being a translator isn’t as easy as you think

being a translator

Lots of people dream of being a translator.  Perhaps this is because you need to be very, very good at another language in order to do the job! But how certain are you that you’d actually enjoy it? In this fascinating guest post, written by Pauline Durant, of London-based translation agency Language Reach, you’ll get […]

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Advice On Learning Egyptian Arabic – Interview with Olly

best way to learn egyptian arabic

When my friend Jan van der Aa visited Cairo last week, we had the opportunity to sit down and talk about all things “Egypt”. In this short video, shot on my balcony, we discuss my progress since I started learning Arabic 3 months ago: How is life in Egypt? Is Egyptian Arabic more difficult than […]

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Good Study Habits…For Lazy People

good study habits

I’ve lost count of the number of books I’ve read about routine, willpower, and getting things done. And yet I still find it so hard to develop good study habits. Are there people in this world who just can’t stick to routines? Were some people simply born without the willpower gene? Well, are there? In fact, […]

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Is drinking with new friends the best language learning solution?

drinking with friends

Language exchanges have been a core part of my language learning strategy since the very beginning. Sitting down with a real person and practising a new language over a coffee (or something stronger) is one of my favourite things in life. That’s why I welcome this guest post today from Santiago Montero, founder and director of […]

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What I wish I knew about language learning 10 years ago

olly sphynx pyramid

When I was 20, I thought that the passing of time didn’t apply to me. I didn’t really think I’d get old. The future was hypothetical. As it turns out, I was wrong. Quite a few years have insisted on passing in spite of my protests. One of the things I now know is that […]

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