As a language coach and a learner myself, I am always on the look out for new ideas, new methods and new tips to both use myself and to pass on to you. That said, I’ve come across some pretty interesting ideas. Youtube is filled with videos about language learning, both how to videos like my own and videos teaching about particular languages. There are also a lot of videos produced by polyglots, people who speak many languages. Some are amazing: Richard from England tells you how he learned 16 languages – in each language! But much of what is out there is complex, techy and a little over the top for the everyday language learner. Most of us don’t aspire to be language learning super heros like Richard. We just want to learn a language. I was reminded of this again when I watched a Dr. Arguelles (who speaks over 30 languages) talk about his regular “routine.” Here is the beginning of his day:
Write two pages of Arabic
One hour of Arabic activities
Write two pages of Chineese
Read fifteen minutes of Persian
Write two pages of Russian
Read fifteen more minutes of Persian
Fifteen minutes of grammatical exercises in Turkish
Write two more pages of Arabic
Fifteen minutes of pattern drills in Swahili
Write two more pages in Russian
And that is just the beginning. For most of us, reading about people like Dr. Arguelles is interesting, but no more. They inspire us in some strange way, but we will never aspire to be like them. My desire with The Everyday Language Learner then, is to mine the internet, the books on language learning and the blogs and youtube posts of polyglots like Richard and Dr. Arguelles for the takeaways that the everyday language learner can use.
One takeaway from Dr. Arguelles video – he never does any language activity for more than about twenty minutes before he moves on to something else. This is helpful for me and my busy life of work and family. Studying in short chunks a few times a day is much easier to wrap my mind around than is finding a dedicated hour to sit down and focus on language learning. Keep checking back and I will continue to unpack and deliver great ideas from folks like these. And if you haven’t yet, be sure and sign up for the Everyday Mailer, my monthly newsletter, one part of which will be a collection of the months best blog posts, articles and videos from around the web.
And check out the Everyday Language Learner YouTube channel.
image: Dr. Arguelles Homepage
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