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The Big Listening Con – Why Most Listening Practice Material Isn’t Fit For Purpose

listening practice materialI used to think that speaking was the most important skill in language learning.

After all, learning to speak fluently is what we all ultimately want.

But there’s a problem…

In all the languages I’ve learnt in recent years, my speaking ability has outpaced my ability to understand (my listening ability).

As a result, I’d often find myself able to start speaking, and have conversations quite early-on in the language learning process.

But when it came time to understand the reply in a conversation, I’d often be a little bit lost.

Have you ever felt this? You have? It doesn’t feel good.

Poor listening skills…

  • Make conversations hard
  • Leave you feeling demotivated (or embarrassed)
  • And ultimately hold you back

On the other hand, when your listening skills are strong, you quickly become more familiar with the language, and your speaking ability soon improves as well. (It’s a win-win.) Continue reading…

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Language Learning & Coffee: How To Use “Productivity Anchors” To Upgrade Your Language Study

productivity anchors language learning

It’s been some time since we’ve had a really good look at productivity on the blog, so today I’m delighted to feature this guest post from Quincy Smith.  What is a “Productivity Anchor”?  How can this help you become a better language learning? And what on Earth does coffee have to do with it? (Hint: It’s […]

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The Big Baselang Review – An Undercover Report Of The Spanish Tutoring Service

big baselang review

Welcome to the Big Baselang Review – a review with a twist! What’s the twist? Let me explain… Baselang is a service that offers unlimited Spanish tutoring for $129/month. But as a Spanish speaker myself, I thought it would be difficult for me to do a fair review from a learner’s perspective. So I decided to remove myself from […]

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Cantonese Conversations – Behind The Scenes Of An Exciting New Online Cantonese Project

learn cantonese online

In this blog post, you’re going to see behind the scenes of a “passion project” I’ve been working on for months. It’s called Cantonese Conversations, and it’s my answer to a horrible lack of study material out there for people trying to learn Cantonese online. After traveling thousands of miles, working with dozens of people, […]

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3 Hidden Links Between Music And Language Learning

music and language learning

When I tell people I did a music degree, most people assume there is a link between music and language learning. The predictable response: “Being a musician must really help with learning languages!” For a long time, I never really thought about this. But then it occurred to me… I’ve been a musician all my life and […]

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Maintaining A Foreign Language: 7 Creative Ways To Keep Your Dream Alive

how to maintain multiple languages

After all the blood, sweat and tears it takes to learn a foreign language… The one thing you really want to avoid is… Forgetting it! “Imagine if I lost this language, after all those years spent learning it!” Well, fear not! Maintaining a foreign language is far more fun than learning it, and in this […]

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Learn A Language Abroad: How I Learnt Spanish in Barcelona

Learn A Language Abroad: Spanish in Barcelona

This is a guest post written by Jessica Elliot from Sky Blue English. Jessica moved to Barcelona in order to improve her Spanish, and here is her story! I’ve been told that my eyes light up when I talk about Barcelona. I lived there for two incredible, life-changing years, and I’m going to tell you […]

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How To Learn A New Skill Quickly With Jonathan Levi

how to learn a new skill quickly

If you could learn a new skill this year, what would it be? How about if you could increase your reading speed – which books would be at the top of your list? And how would improving your memory impact on your life? These are just some of the questions I discuss with Jonathan Levi from the […]

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Why Authenticity is the Missing Link in Language Learning

Speak to people with authenticity and make them open up to you.

In the following guest post, Lukas Van Vyve of The Polyglot Life discusses the importance of being authentic in your language learning. Do you dream of effortless conversations with locals during your travels and being able to say everything you want? Or maybe of speaking without making a single mistake? Perhaps what you want is perfect fluency? […]

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Core Study Sequences: Learning & Memorising Songs

core study sequences learning songs

This is Part 8 in a series of articles in which I show you exactly how I’m learning foreign languages every day, and today is about transcribing audio. In these articles I talk about how I’m using my Core Study Time – a 30-45 minute period at the start of every day which I set […]

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The Worst Language Exchange Ever (And What I Learnt From It)

worst language exchange ever

A few days ago, here in Hong Kong, I had the worst language exchange of my life. By all accounts, it was terrible. I walked out at the end feeling thoroughly depressed… an unfortunate mood that took me a couple of days to snap out of. But it wasn’t the fact I wasted half my […]

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Core Study Sequences: Reverse Translation

core study sequences reverse translation

This is Part 7 in a series of articles in which I show you exactly how I’m learning foreign languages every day, and today is about transcribing audio. In these articles I talk about how I’m using my Core Study Time – a 30-45 minute period at the start of every day which I set […]

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Endangered Languages: Tips for Learning & Using the World’s Minority Languages

Studying endangered languages sets you apart!

It’s easy to say how every language-learning journey starts. You may hear a friend say it. It may come to mind while daydreaming – namely, “Gosh, wouldn’t it be nice to know (insert language of your dreams here)?” Sadly, while a lot of very successful language journeys do start this way, many of them don’t […]

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How To Learn Vocabulary In A Foreign Language – Part 3

how to learn vocabulary in a foreign language part 3

This is my comprehensive guide to how to learn vocabulary in a foreign language! To catch up on the earlier posts in the series, use the links below: CLICK HERE TO READ PART 1 CLICK HERE TO READ PART 2 In the first two parts to the series, we looked at: Some common misconceptions about […]

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How To Learn Vocabulary In A Foreign Language – Part 2

how to learn vocabulary foreign language part 2

Welcome to part 2 of this special series where you’re discover how to learn vocabulary in a foreign language… my way! If you missed part 1, you should start there. (This post make much sense otherwise!) CLICK HERE TO READ PART 1 In the first part, we looked at: Some common misconceptions about memory The first […]

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