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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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Now displaying: June, 2015
Jun 30, 2015

Max asks: "How can I improve my listening comprehension?"

In this episode:

  • Three reasons you might not understand a native speaker:
  1. You don’t know the words
  2. You can’t distinguish the individual words (whether you know them or not)
  3. You understand the individual words, but you still don’t understand what they’re trying to say
  • A simple process for using textbook dialogues for improving your listening skills

Today's featured resource:

 

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 26, 2015

My new book of Spanish short stories was published today. Grab your copy on Amazon Kindle for only $0.99 for a few days only.

"Spanish Short Stories for Beginners" - Olly Richards

Click the link below to grab your copy:

http://amzn.com/B010BO84W0

Thanks so much for your support,

Olly

Jun 25, 2015

Ferdaous asks: "I'm learning English, how can I develop a good American accent quickly?"

In this episode:

  • Why a good accent is important
  • The difference between phonemes and prosody
  • Why developing a good accent is the result of extensive communication in your target language

Tips for improving your accent:

  1. Tackle pronunciation immediately with a native speaker to perfect your pronunciation, before you develop any bad habits.
  2. Observe native speakers in action and their voices when they interact, especially at key social moments, such as introductions or meeting friends. If you only work with a teacher, how is their voice when they greet you? This is often the most authentic moment of the conversation. TV and movies are also a good place to focus in on this.
  3. Imitate how native speakers say common words and phrases that you’re familiar with. Try to copy their exact intonation, and say it aloud over and over. If you’re working with audio recordings, this app is incredibly useful for this.
  4. Copy body language too. Face, arm, and shoulder movements are intimately related in the persona that you’re developing in your target language.
  5. Learn and sing songs. Using songs to learn languages is an effective way to focus on the pronunciation of words and the rhythm and flow of the language.
  6. Develop mini-speeches. Writing, preparing and learning the words that you’re going to say frees you up to focus on the delivery.
  7. Use study material with native-like audio. Listen to long dialogues on repeat and pay close attention to the melody of the language.
  8. Practise whole lines of dialogues, not just single words. Try to embody the emotions of what’s being said, feel the speaker’s joy or pain, and become that person in that moment. Similarly, with spaced repetition software, work on whole sentences rather than individual words.
  9. In live situations, focus on the effect on the listener, instead of the accuracy of your pronunciation.
  10. If possible, record and listen back to yourself speaking with native speakers. This can be rough, but you might be amazed at how you hear yourself. If you find it hard to speak with native speakers, think of ways to beat your fear of speaking.

Today's homework:

  1. Choose one activity from the list above
  2. Try it out for a week
  3. Leave me a comment below to let me know how it goes!

Also, I'd love it if you could share this post on Facebook or Twitter - it helps me reach new people and is really appreciated!

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, 2015

Doug asks: "I know I need to focus on one language, but I'm torn between two languages. What should I do?"

In this episode:

  • Why it's important to focus on one language
  • The difficulty of leaving behind one language
  • Why a language is never "lost"

Three ideas for choosing which language to focus on:

  1. Learning one language well will be beneficial for all the others
  2. A language is never lost - you can always come back to it
  3. The "Rocking Chair Test": Imagine your 80-year-old self sitting in a rocking chair looking back on your life. Look at your current dilemma through those eyes. What should you do?

Today's quote:

Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” 

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 18, 2015

Cecilia asks: "How do you stay motivated when you don't speak much of the language and it's such a long way ahead"

In this episode:

  • The importance of identifying your core reasons for learning a language
  • Knowing your "why" helps you concentrate on activities that fulfil you
  • How motivation can actually come from hard work

Today's featured resource:

  • The Add 1 Challenge - a fantastic support community where language learners from around the world come together to motivate themselves over 90 days

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 16, 2015

Greg asks: "There are so many varieties of Spanish. Which dialect should I focus on?"

In this episode:

  • How I learnt Spanish
  • About different varieties of Spanish
  • Why going "narrow and deep" is better
  • How this applies to learning varieties of Spanish

Today's featured resource:

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 for listening

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 11, 2015

Isabelle asks: "My Chinese friend is learning English. How can I help her best?"

In this episode:

  • How to help someone learn another language

Three exercises you can use to figure out how to help someone learn your language:

  1. Have a discussion, just as you normally would. Don't interrupt, keep the conversation flowing. During this time, make lots of notes about their language. What mistakes are they making? What doesn't sound natural? When you've filled up a couple of pages with notes, look for patterns. What things keep cropping up again and again. Here's your starting point for helping them improve.
  2. Record the conversation. Listen back to it together, and give your friend control over the start/stop button! Ask them to ask you questions about what they have said. This helps them raise awareness of their own language use.
  3. Ask your friend what they most need to use the language for: making notes in lectures, reading books, giving talks etc. Once you've got this clear, simply do that activity together and help them improve.

Resources mentioned:

Today's featured resource:

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 for listening

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 9, 2015

Cody asks: "I'm travelling to South America in a few weeks time. How can I learn the Spanish I need to make the most out of my trip?"

In this episode:

  • What happened to me when I first went to Spain
  • The best approach to learning Spanish quickly
  • Why you need to think about the situations you'll need Spanish in
  • The most impactful phrases you can learn

Today's featured resource:

  • Survive in Spanish - this is a video where I talk about how to learn Spanish quickly in order to survive a trip and have a great time. You can also find out about my new guide: Survive in Spanish

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 for listening

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 4, 2015

Nate asks: "I'm currently living in Bolivia and working on my Spanish. Do you have any advice for getting from intermediate to advanced?"

In this episode:

  • What is the "intermediate plateau"?
  • Why this affects so many language learners
  • What you can do to break through and become more advanced

Resources featured in this episode:

Today's featured resource:

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 for listening

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, 2015

Steve asks: "The thing I most struggle with is not having anyone to speak with. I live in a rural part of the country so there are no Japanese language courses or classes."

In this episode:

  • Why it's important to start speaking
  • Why you won't necessarily speak very much by taking a language class
  • Where to find people to speak with locally
  • Where to find people to speak with online

Resources featured in this episode:

Places to find language exchanges locally:

Places to find language exchanges and teachers online:

Today's featured resource:

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 for listening

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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