IWTYAL 321: Social Activism – A case study in language learning

In this episode, Olly speaks with Simon Robinson about his social activism projects and their impact on his language learning.

In Today's Episode:

Simon Robinson is an English language teacher living in Okinawa, Japan. He's been involved in multiple social-change projects over the year and has witnessed how being part of a movement has had a huge impact on his Japanese.

In this episode, we explore his various projects, how they've helped him with his languages, and also suggest ways for you to do the same.

To connect with Simon, please visit:

Here's an overview of the benefits of social activism in your language learning:

  1. It's learning by doing
  2. It's exciting and emotionally involving (even more so than stories!) – perfect for effective retention of new vocabulary etc
  3. It covers all skills (reading listening writing speaking) as well as translation/interpreting (if that's what you like) – for example it can be fantastic for speaking skills – you will be having emotionally-engaging high-level communication pretty much every time you participate (daily, if you get very involved!)
  4. A learner can choose how to participate, focusing on the activities/skills they feel drawn to – if you like translation you can do it, or if you prefer to ditch your L1 and go full-on immersion you can do that too!
  5. It's completely free
  6. It can take up a lot of time if you want it to – perfect if you are serious about developing your skills via an immersion approach
  7. You can do it from anywhere – most organisation takes place over the internet (You don't even have to participate in your country of residence – live in japan but want to participate in the UK? No problem!)
  8. Most projects are desperate for as many willing volunteers as they can get – if you want to participate you will be welcomed with open arms!
  9. As real work in real projects it will be fantastic work experience, which will be invaluable on your CV
  10. It may even lead to paid work (many projects do have paid positions) tho I should add that it would be unwise to count on this: the vast majority of participants in projects are voluntary.
  11. Last but not least….as a by-product of your language learning you will be helping to make the world a better place!

Start Speaking Today:

I’d like to thank italki for supporting the show. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, visit: https://iwillteachyoualanguage.com//italkishownotes

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