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I Will Teach You A Language | Weekly Motivation and Language Learning Tips to Help You Become Fluent in Any Language

Learning a new language? Get your language learning questions answered by polyglot Olly Richards, who speaks 8 languages and runs the popular blog - I Will Teach You A Language. Whatever's holding you back on the path to fluency, tune in twice a week to get your regular dose of language learning motivation, with Olly and other polyglot guests, such as Luca Lampariello, Richard Simcott, Alex Rawlings, Benny Lewis, Anthony Metivier and Jonathan Levi. Learn Spanish, Learn French, Learn German, Learn Italian, Learn Portuguese, Learn Arabic, Learn Japanese, Learn Chinese
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I Will Teach You A Language | Weekly Motivation and Language Learning Tips to Help You Become Fluent in Any Language
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Sep 19, 2017

Max asks: "What are the benefits of monolingual flashcards?"

Episode Summary:

Today's podcast:

  • Monolingual flashcards at the beginner / intermediate level
  • Challenge the assumption that you should create monolingual flashcards - how else can you be using the time?
  • Do not use monolingual flashcards to learn the meaning of vocabulary:
    • Definitions
    • Example sentences
  • Instead, use flashcards to practise your output - i.e. choosing the appropriate word and recalling it quickly
  • Big danger: You quickly "learn" the cards, and the exercise stops being useful. Make sure you're not deceiving yourself about the benefits. For this reason, I would avoid creating cards with e.g.:
    • Definitions
    • Complete the dialogue
  • How I might approach monolingual flashcards myself: Don't see it as a "testing" mechanism, but rather a "retrieval" mechanism - i.e. use the technology to help you see the vocabulary more often.
  • Some thoughts:
    • Close deletion (but how soon until you "learn the card"?)
    • Learning Chinese characters
    • A deck of synonyms... perhaps... but how do you scale?
    • Mine Google for example sentences with a particular word, and simply build your flashcard decks with that
    • Question and answer cards - don't test yourself, but simply use it as a mechanism of "repeating" the vocabulary as much as possible so you get more exposure
  • My essential point... if you want to go "monolingual", then just do that... no need to use up your time with flashcards

Resources mentioned in today's episode:

  • Make Words Stick - my complete guide to using flashcards to learn and memorise vocabulary in a foreign language
  • Skritter - a great app for learning Chinese characters
  • Episode 188: What are the benefits of monolingual flashcards?
  • Episode 213: Conversation with Gabe Wyner

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Sep 15, 2017

In this episode I chat with Gabriel Wyner about his language learning background and new Kickstarter project.

Episode Summary:

  • Gabe's linguistic background
  • His experience on the Middlebury immersion programmes
  • How the book Fluent Forever came about
  • What’s the link between his previous language learning, and his method with flashcards
  • What languages is he working on right now?
  • The new Kickstarter project

To read Gabe's interesting blog post response to my episode (188) on monolingual flashcards click here:

Kickstarter Details:

If you'd like to support Gabe's Kickstarter project, please mark the following start date in your calendar:

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Sep 12, 2017

Olga asks: "How should I use all my free time this summer?"

Episode Summary:

  • Managing 3-4 foreign languages
  • Why focusing on one is a good idea
  • How to "live" the languages you already speak well

 

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Sep 7, 2017

Aral asks: "What's the best way to organise my vocabulary notebook?"

Episode Summary:

Housekeeping:

  • Upcoming guests
  • New French Book
  • Conversations
  • British Sign Language course

Today's podcast:

  • How valuable is the time you're spending organising a vocabulary notebook?
  • What's the value of a vocabulary notebook in and of itself? Does it help?
  • The big question: Will you ever look at it again?
  • Some people recommend keeping exhaustive notebooks with every conceivable detail about the new word, organising thematically, etc...
  • I've tried all this before, but it's too slow!
  • Steve Kaufmann's thinking: How are you going to cover enough new vocabulary to make progress, if you spend so much time on each individual word?

My 80/20 of vocabulary notebooks:

  • Get your vocabulary from rich, compelling context (reading, listening, speaking)
  • Write things down if you find it helpful
  • Choose only the most useful words and learn them using your favourite process

Resources mentioned in today's episode:

https://youtu.be/3voBSKr9Sl4

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Aug 29, 2017

This weekend, I was in Montreal for LangFest 2017. Since then, many friends have been asking me how it was. So, in this episode, I answer that question publicly.

Episode Summary:

  • Many people from the Community traveled from far and wide to attend the conference
  • It's great to take a few days to step away and think about language and language learning with calm... it's inspiring
  • My talk on memory
  • Stephen Krashen, Steve Kaufmann and comprehensible input
    • Does comprehensible input or conscious learning result in skill building?
    • Story and graded readers
  • The theme emerging from speakers that stuck with me was that of "compelling input" and "passion" ... nothing new, but the extent of the emphasis was a good reminder of what matters
  • italki
  • I personally found this a great boost for my work with graded readers
  • Montreal is a great, cosmopolitan city, despite taxes, tips and crazy weather
  • Alex Rawlings gave a great talk in which he parodied language learning methods
  • I had some great meetings with Stephen Krashen and Teach Yourself
  • Caught up with Richard and Alex, had good time to chat with Benny and Steve Kaufmann
  • Organising a conference is a LOT of work

Resources mentioned in today's episode:

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Aug 17, 2017

Michael asks: "How can I listen to older podcast episodes?"

Episode Summary:

  • I've recently changed the settings in my podcast feed to display the maximum number of old episodes
  • You can find all previous episodes on the website - simply navigate to the "podcast" tab

Today's Quote:

Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity. - Thor Heyerdahl

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Aug 14, 2017

Jane asks: "What's it like having so many languages in your head?"

Episode Summary:

  • Mostly, I focus on learning only one language at a time
  • To that extent, I don't have much confusion in the learning process
  • In daily life, I find that languages come and go, depending on who I'm spending time with, what I'm doing, what words I need
  • My default is English
  • When I hear other languages, my brain usually switches immediately into that "zone". With a few mins of speaking, I'm comfortable
    • Brazilians in the park
    • Spanish people blocking the door
    • Takeshi in the street
    • Chatting with my Cantonese friend
  • Sometimes words in other languages pop up inadvertently, without me realising it
  • Remember, it's more normal than not to be multilingual

Resources mentioned in today's episode:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5slVHy2JmcQ&feature=youtu.be

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Aug 7, 2017

In this solo episode, I describe what I consider to be the most effective approach to learning a language.

Episode Summary:

  • Begin by getting a thorough grounding in the basics - quantity over quality is best at first
  • Start speaking early on with a language tutor
  • Grow your vocabulary while getting used to the sounds of the language - listening & reading
  • Practise what you learn directly with a language partner or tutor
  • Create a lifestyle that involves using your new language as much as possible

Resources Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Jul 31, 2017

In this solo episode I discuss the design and creation of my new Spanish course for beginners.

Episode Summary:

  • Why I created a Spanish Beginner course
  • The main aims of the course
  • The concept I landed on
  • How it all came together through story

Resources Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Jul 27, 2017

Daco asks: "Should I learn Mandarin or Cantonese?"

Episode Summary:

  • Mandarin is the main international Chinese language, with around 1bn speakers
  • Cantonese is a related language/dialect of Mandarin, with far fewer speakers - around 60m
  • In many Chinatowns around the world, Cantonese is spoken, due to historical migration
  • However, Mandarin is the dominant language worldwide by far
  • The choice of which to learn can only depend on your personal motivations

Resources Mentioned In Today's Episode:

  • IWTYAL 042: Which language should I learn? 

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Jul 24, 2017

Crystal asks: "What do you think about watching English movies with foreign language subtitles"

Episode Summary:

  • If studying in a way that's helping, keep doing it!
  • With movies, it's worth experimenting with different audio/subtitle combinations
  • To improve your listening comprehension, it makes sense to have your movies set to the target language audio

Resources Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Jul 20, 2017

Myles asks: "Where can I find audio with transcripts?"

Episode Summary:

  • Why listening is important, and why transcripts matter
  • Considerations for beginners, intermediate and advanced
  • The trouble finding good material

Resources that are unhelpful:

  • YouTube videos
  • Movies
  • Radio
  • Podcasts

Resources I consider helpful:

  • Graded readers with audiobooks (with caveats)
  • FluentU, Easy Languages, etc (with caveats)
  • Persist with native speaker resources that really interest you
  • Podcasts for language learners with transcripts (mostly for English learners)
  • Random language blogs and products
  • I have hired people to transcribe material I like in the past

Resources Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Jul 13, 2017

In this episode, I chat with Dr Barbara Oakley about her fascinating career in languages and learning.

Episode Summary:

  • For the full notes accompanying this episode, please see this post.

 

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Jul 7, 2017

Kyle asks: "What are some good careers using languages?"

Episode Summary:

  • My experience using languages abroad
  • Careers where you're likely to have opportunities to use your languages
  • The reality of "language jobs"
  • Designing your ideal life with languages at the centre

Resources Mentioned In Today's Episode:

  • An insightful video from Steve Kaufmann about careers with languages:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIRef1BryPM

 

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Jul 4, 2017

Welcome to episode 200 of the podcast! For this landmark episode, I decided to invite two of my favourite language podcasters to come together for a cosy fireside chat:

Episode Summary:

This episode is a long, unstructured conversation, in which we discuss topics of personal importance to us. The include:

  • What we really think about language learning?
  • What we are trying to achieve with our websites?
  • Do we practise what we preach?

The sound quality isn't always great, I'm afraid, due to a less-than-ideal Skype connection, but hopefully that won't prevent you from enjoying the episode!

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Jun 29, 2017

In this exciting episode, I speak with Sue Hart, the publisher who persuaded Michel Thomas to release his famous language courses to the world.

Episode Summary:

  • Note: The full summary notes for this episode can be found here.

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Jun 23, 2017

In today's episode, Olly and Jan discuss the naked truth about traveling abroad for language immersion.

Episode Summary:

  • Why it's important to travel to the right place
  • Speaking a foreign language among friends
  • Filming interactions with the locals
  • Forming friendships in a specific language

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Jun 19, 2017

In today's episode, Olly and Jan discuss how we make our travel videos. Use these tips to improve your own holiday films!

Episode Summary:

  • The importance of story
  • What do you talk about?
  • The "start of the day" process
  • Do you need a professional camera?
  • Recording good audio
  • How to edit the smart way

Equipment & Resources Mentioned:

Here's the (very affordable) equipment we use to make all our videos:

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Jun 15, 2017

Today's episode comes from Playa del Carmen in Mexico!

Episode Summary:

  • We chat about our mission to Mexico and what we're up to
  • Follow along the adventure with daily videos on YouTube and Instagram

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Jun 2, 2017

Ali asks: "How do you remember the gender of nouns?"

Episode Summary:

  • Unfortunately, noun genders just have to be remembered
  • At first it seems like an impossible task, but keep going, and you will start to know instinctively which is which
  • You will inevitably make some mistakes, but you will be forgiven!
  • If you use mnemonics, try creating some way of visualising the gender of the word
  • In practice, you can guess the gender of many words using generalised rules (see below)
  • Interestingly, the gender of words can vary between romance languages. For example, "planet": la planète (Fr), el planeta (Es)

Examples in French, taken from the French Your Way site: The following words are generally masculine:

  • Nouns ending in “_sme” Example : le communisme, le capitalisme, le marasme
  • Nouns ending in « _et » Examples : un ticket, un garçonnet
  • Nouns ending in « _euil » Example : le cerfeuil (chervil), un écureuil, un fauteuil, un cerceuil (coffin)

The following words are generally feminine:

  • Nouns ending in « _tié” Examples: une amitié, la moitié, la pitié
  • Nouns ending in « _ée » Examples: la journée, la soirée, une vallée, une fée (= fairy) Exceptions: words rerived from Greek, such as: le musée, le trophée, un scarabée, un lycée
  • Nouns ending in “_tte” Examples : une bouillotte (a warm water bottle), une fourchette, une maisonnette, une fillette Exception :un squelette

Resources Mentioned In Today's Episode:

 

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

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Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

May 31, 2017

Joe asks: "I study so much, I worry that I'm being inefficient."

Episode Summary:

  • It's important to make a distinction between "study" and "practice"
  • What do you spend your time doing? There's a risk you are planted firmly in study mode, in which case wasting your time is a danger...
  • There's only so much new information your brain can take in in one day, so in that sense, you certainly do get diminishing returns after a certain amount of "study"
  • However, you can never spend too much time in the company of the language
  • I would suggest you experiment with spending no more than one hour a day on focused study, and instead try to consume French with real activities: speaking with people, reading books, watching TV
  • Create an immersion environment for yourself, based on the things you enjoy the most
  • You won't get the same sense of daily progress, but you'll be priming yourself for a transformation in your French abilities!

Resources Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

May 29, 2017

Paul asks: "What do you think of the ESL industry?"

Episode Summary:

  • I taught English as a foreign language for year, and enjoyed it immensely
  • CELTA is a wonderful course and I highly recommend it
  • There are a number of tensions between independent language learning and classroom teaching
  • The challenge for ESL teachers is how best to teach a classroom of 10-20 people who come for a few hours a week
  • Language learning ideology usually goes out the window when faced with the reality of a classroom and a language school
  • Nevertheless, you can have a hugely positive impact on people's lives, and enrich your own life at the same time

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

May 26, 2017

Syawal asks: "How can I give better presentations in a foreign language?"

Episode Summary:

  • With public speaking, you have to detangle the challenges of the presentation itself, with the language you use
  • Presentations in your mother tongue can ofter leave you nervous and rambling
  • It depends how much you want to prepare, and how much time you have
  • The problem is similar to writing in a foreign language, and relates to how well you can express yourself in more formal language
  • Method 1: Make sure you have a solid command of the specific vocabulary you need, then ad lib on the day
  • Method 2: Prepare word-for-word what you'll say in certain parts of the talk

Today's Quote:

Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. - Napoleon Hill

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

May 22, 2017

Saud asks: "Do you use apps for language learning?"

Episode Summary:

  • Because technology is always being promoted as making our lives more efficient, many people are tempted to look to apps to speed up the language learning process
  • All my opinions about apps are formed in the light of the fact that I remember what language learning was like before the internet
  • Nothing will ever be as effective as you, a good book, a pen and a paper
  • The critical mistakes that apps make is to try to offer a new learning methodology
  • The role of technology in language learning should be to help you consume learning material more efficiently
  • The criteria for judging an app should be: "Does it help me do more efficiently something I was already doing?"
  • Before the internet: Hard to access texts, audio on tapes was inefficient to listen to, everything has to be stored manually on paper, native speakers inaccessible
  • After the internet: Texts are freely available, you can manipulate audio easily, you have data entry on your phone, native speakers readily available
  • There's a big risk you have to mitigate against when you use apps: Attention and focus
  • I use two apps: Flashcards Deluxe and Speater
  • I also use dictionary apps and Skype
  • Part of the reason I haven't used more apps is because I've been learning less common languages. However, if I want to pick up German, for example, I would go straight to a book, not an app

Resources Mentioned In Today's Episode:

IWTYAL 051: Can technology help you learn a language? https://youtu.be/rM-N29vnYME

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

May 19, 2017

Miki asks: "How should I teach Japanese on iTalki?"

Episode Summary:

  • Firstly, be honest about what you are offering and your experience level
  • If you have no experience, you can still help Japanese learners a lot
  • Begin as a "community tutor" and offer conversation lessons so you can get experience
  • Have an honest talk with the student about what they're looking for an how you can help. Ask questions like:
    • What are you looking for?
    • How would you like me to help?
    • Do you want me to correct your mistakes, or let you talk?
  • The most important skill you have to develop as a teacher is the ability to listen
  • As the student is speaking, make notes of common mistakes, look for patterns - are they making the same mistake all the time?
  • Let the student talk as much as possible, and try to encourage them to speak (that's what most people want), make them feel amazing!
  • Every now and again, stop, and show the student what kind of mistakes they have been making (be selective), or opportunities to improve
  • At the end of the lesson, ask the student what you could do to improve.
  • "What would you like to work on next time" is a good question that allows the student to say what they want, without risking offending the teacher

Resources Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Start Speaking Today:

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

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

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