Learn languages when you want, where you want, and how you want through Anywhere Immersion

Get instant access to my Quick Start Guide, a 10-step approach to learning any language, anywhere. You'll also get useful 1-pagers for Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, and Russian, plus weekly language learning tips, tools, and resources to help you along your language learning journey.

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Meet the Author

初めまして!幸會幸會!¡Mucho gusto!

I'm John Fotheringham, a linguist, teacher, and author. I grew up near Seattle, but have spent much of my adult life living, learning, and working abroad, especially in Japan, Bangladesh, China, and Taiwan. I've been learning and teaching languages for over two decades, and created Language Mastery to highlight the most fun and effective methods, materials, and mindsets. Everyone learns differently, so I've packaged my language learning tips, tools, and resources into four different formats:

  • The Language Mastery Blog for those who want to read free articles about language learning.
  • The Language Mastery Show (my free podcast) for those who want to listen to interviews with the world's best language learners.
  • The Language Mastery Insider (my free newsletter) for those who want weekly language learning tips right in their inbox.
  • My step-by-step language guides for those want to learn languages anywhere in the world using my Anywhere Immersion™ approach.

See the About page for more about the site, my philosophies, and my language learning journey.

My Language Learning Philosophy

Anyone can learn a foreign language with the right attitude, methods, and materials.


The DON'Ts

  • You DON'T need to be "gifted" at languages. Most adult learners fail because they spend all their time learning about the language instead of actually spending enough time practicing in the language.
  • You DON'T need to spend thousands of dollars on foreign language classes or hundreds of dollars on overpriced products like Rosetta Stone. But a little investment in the right tools and materials can go a long way.
  • You DON'T need to force yourself through boring textbooks, grammars, and declension tables. Fun, modern, relevant materials are readily available online.
  • You DON'T need to move abroad. Creative use of technology allows you to create a fun, effective immersion environment no matter where you live.

The DOs

  • You DO need to figure out what methods fit your learning style, schedule, and personality. There is no one-size-fits-all way to learn a language. You have to experiment until you find what works for you.
  • You DO need to pick materials, topics, and activities that are inherently enjoyable and fit your unique personal interests. When you do, motivation and retention increase dramatically. As the blogger Khatzumoto puts it succinctly, "Fun gets done."
  • You DO need to maximize your exposure to the target language everyday through input (listening and reading) and active output (speaking and writing). If you put in the time on a consistent basis, your brain will do the rest.

Begin Your Language Learning Journey

Read the blog, listen to the podcast, subscribe to the newsletter, or check out my step-by-step guides


The Language Mastery Blog

100+ free language learning articles that include tips, tools, tech, product reviews, and more to help you learn languages in a fun, effective, adult-friendly way.

The Language Mastery Show

20+ free podcast episodes including interviews with linguists, polyglots, innovative educators, and the world’s top language bloggers.

The Language Mastery Insider

8 free PDF guides including my Quick Start Guide and 1-pagers for Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, and Russian.

My Step-by-Step Language Guides

Detailed how-to manuals and resource guides that show you how to create fun, engaging, immersive environments no matter where in the world you happen to live.

Featured Articles

A selection of my favorite articles from the Language Mastery Blog


Master Japanese Now Available in Paperback from Amazon!

Master Japanese Now Available in Paperback from Amazon!

After many years of requests from Language Mastery readers, I am very excited to announce that today, the print version of Master Japanese is now available on Amazon for just $29! (Cue music and celebratory ninja dancing!) Master Japanese teaches you how to learn Japanese in a way that is both fun and effective, from the comfort of your own home, using my proven method called Anywhere Immersion. It’s not a textbook or course, but a complete guide that teaches you HOW to learn Japanese. Whether you have a business trip to Japan coming up, you want to be able to read manga in the original Japanese, or you want to wow your Japanese partner’s family with your Nihongo skills, I’m committed to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be.

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The Best 10 Japanese Dictionary Apps

The Best 10 Japanese Dictionary Apps

Today’s Japanese learner is but a click or tap away from a dizzying array of digital Japanese dictionaries. But which should you choose? The plethora of options available can lead to what author Barry Schwartz calls the “paradox of choice.” To help you avoid the anxiety, paralysis by analysis, and decision fatigue associated with so many choices, I have waded through dozens of Japanese dictionary sites and apps for you and selected just the essential few that I think are best suited to mastering the Japanese language. Here now are the top ten Japanese dictionaries available online and on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows.

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10 Common Thinking Errors That Cause Depression & Anxiety and Block Your Path to Fluency in a Foreign Language

10 Common Thinking Errors That Cause Depression & Anxiety and Block Your Path to Fluency in a Foreign Language

I have struggled with depression off and on for much of my adult life. If you’ve ever been severely depressed, you know just how hopeless and meaningless life can feel and how difficult it can be to accomplish even the simplest of tasks. Until recently, I thought that my depression was a product of genetics, my environment, and dietary factors. I now know that the primary cause of my depression has been something internal all along: my thoughts. It turns out that cognitive distortions were the real culprit, and that by identifying and talking back to the twisted thoughts, one is able to recover from depression and anxiety, beat perfectionism and procrastination, and stop self-sabotaging your language learning goals. Read on to see the ten distortions and how to overcome them.

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