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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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Now displaying: December, 2016
Dec 26, 2016

Clay asks: "For how long should I use the same material?"

In this episode:

  • One of the most destructive language habits is jumping from one material to the next
  • Usually, my advice is to stick with ONE thing, simply to guard against the "butterfly" problem
  • "Don't let the great be the enemy of the good"

When I'm studying, I usually have a few different strands to my learning:

  1. Speaking on a regular basis
  2. Flashcard review of vocabulary
  3. Study time

In my study time, I tend to do one thing over and over, until I get bored.

  • I wonder why you're asking this question?
  • You should know deep down if the activity you're doing is productive or not
  • If you feel it's productive, keep going!
  • You will certainly lose motivation to do it sooner or later... wait till that time! (For me it's usually 3 weeks)
  • If you feel it's not productive, stop immediately and try something else
  • Try to avoid FOMO - providing you're speaking, learning vocabulary, and doing other holistic activities, you won't be missing out on anything!

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

  • "Sprints" - My 3-week approach to studying language material

Start speaking today

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. iTalki is the best place online to connect with affordable and effective native speakers teachers and tutors. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, simply 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!

Dec 23, 2016

Chen asks: "How can I teach my child a foreign language without a native environment?"

In this episode:

  • Studies comparing school education systems don't find any benefits to starting school tuition before the age of 11. However, this is an indictment of the education system more than anything
  • It is possible to teach children many languages at the same time

It's always good to follow the child's interests, but since children change their tastes so frequently, I would pick the language you want him/her to learn, and focus on that over the long-term The ideal scenario is as follows:

  • Set aside one hour a day for the language
  • If possible, bring in an au-pair or nanny to interact with the child for that time ("One Person One Language")
  • If that is not possible, learn the language yourself, and teach him/her as you go
  • Use the same teaching methods you would use in your mother tongue - songs, games, cartoons
  • Be VERY patient, and don't expect quick results

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Start speaking today

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. iTalki is the best place online to connect with affordable and effective native speakers teachers and tutors. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, simply 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!

Dec 21, 2016

In this episode, I discuss learning languages abroad.

In this episode:

  • Moving abroad to learn a language isn't always as easy as it seems
  • The need to feel comfortable can lead to decisions that aren't helpful for language learning

What I've been doing in Hong Kong:

  1. Talking to people on the street is neither easy nor productive. Create dedicated opportunities to speak: ConversationExchange.com, MyLanguageExchange.com
  2. Learning local vocabulary for daily life is the biggest benefit to living abroad: Use flashcards to store what you learn
  3. Keep an ongoing record of phrases you want to use, and ask someone later (again, I use flashcards for this)
  4. You only need a couple of good friends to create a perfect learning environment - go out as much as possible
  5. Use commuting time for study
  6. Use all dead time for revision
  7. Don't stop studying!
  8. Look for ways to involve yourself in the language - I'm creating my own materials

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Today's quote:

A wise man will create more opportunities than he finds Francis Bacon

Start speaking today

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. iTalki is the best place online to connect with affordable and effective native speakers teachers and tutors. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, simply 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!

Dec 3, 2016

Marco asks: "My teacher says I don't speak like a native. What should I do?"

In this episode:

  • When you begin talking to native speakers, most of the value comes from simply speaking
  • Getting used to speaking is the most important thing
  • If you have a lot of existing language knowledge from school, you need to spend time with native speakers in order to get used to how they actually speak

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

  • Speaking Bootcamp - A crash course in speaking fluently and communicating better with native speakers

Start speaking today

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. iTalki is the best place online to connect with affordable and effective native speakers teachers and tutors. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, simply 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!

Dec 1, 2016

Andy asks: "Why am I still a beginner?"

In this episode:

  • Asian languages can take a long time to get used to
  • 6 months seems to be the length of time it takes to become familiar with a new language
  • If you're not seeing progress, you need to increase the frequency and depth of your learning

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Start speaking today

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. iTalki is the best place online to connect with affordable and effective native speakers teachers and tutors. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, simply 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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