Why Motivation and Passion Are Everything

Back when I was 19, I started learning languages with a vengeance. Back when I was 19, I’d just finished my first year of university, studying jazz piano at a fancy music school in London. I had decided to take a year off from formal study. (I had this crazy idea that I’d just practice […]

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How I Learned Eight Languages

It all started back in 2000. I had just finished my first year at music college and had decided to take a break. A lot of my friends had gone off travelling during their gap year and I was left wondering whether I should have done the same. I arranged to take a year off […]

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7-Language Welcome Video

  I’m learning Cantonese right now. You can follow my update videos here!

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Interacting with native speakers

It’s probably fair to say that speaking effortlessly with native speakers is the holy grail for most language learners. Who doesn’t want to saunter down a leafy avenue in Buenos Aires, stop off for a quick drink in a local bar and shoot the breeze with the locals? Here are some things to remember about […]

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10 principles for language learning

Don’t listen to anyone who says that a particular way of learning is right or wrong – they don’t know how you learn. Most teaching methods, including those derived from the mammoth field of second language acquisition (SLA) research, are based on sweeping generalisations about learning. By definition, a method will aim to work for […]

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Creating the right conditions – know yourself!

However you learn best, without the right conditions you’re in trouble. Create the right conditions and you’re setting yourself up for success. We’re talking about fitting your learning into your daily life in a way that is most likely to work. First, there’s the basics: if you know you’ll be tired after work, study in […]

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Eight Tips For Improving Your Vocabulary

Words. We all need them. However fancy your grammar may be, without words you can’t communicate. And that sucks. The trouble is, there are a lot of words to learn. Here are eight things to keep in mind on your quest for a larger vocabulary. 1) Love dialogues When I’m starting out with a new […]

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10 reasons you will fail to learn a language

There’s no doubt about it – learning a language is no easy task. One of the key elements in mastering any skill is knowing how to identify, and then avoid, those things that will sabotage your progress and stop you following through on your plans. This post will give you 10 of the most common […]

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SMART goal setting

This is where it all begins. Whatever stage you’re at in learning a language, without clearly defined goals you’re denying yourself clarity in the road ahead. In this post I’m going to talk about how to define your goals using the SMART criteria. As with everything else in life, a good plan is the foundation […]

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