LMS S4 E7 – Jim & May from “Spanish and Go” on Spanish Immersion & Traveling the World

LMS S4 E7 – Jim & May from “Spanish and Go” on Spanish Immersion & Traveling the World

Jim and May describe themselves as a “gringo/Mexican international couple” on a mission to connect English speakers to the Spanish-speaking world. Their excellent podcast, YouTube channel, blog, and Spanish immersion retreats in Mexico help learners bridge the gap between learning and actually living in Spanish. In the interview, they share what they have each learned in their own language learning journeys, their best tips for learning Spanish, and favorite resources for immersing yourself in Spanish right at home.

LMS S4 E6 – Mikkel Thorup on Visiting 100+ Countries, Mastering Languages & Making the Most of the Expat Life

LMS S4 E6 – Mikkel Thorup on Visiting 100+ Countries, Mastering Languages & Making the Most of the Expat Life

Mikkel Thorup is a seasoned world traveler, entrepreneur, consultant, author, and the host of the Expat Money Show. Since he left Canada in his teens, he has circumnavigated the globe over 400 times, visited more than 100 countries, and lived in 9. In our conversation, he shares his best tips for traveling or moving abroad, learning languages, and making the best of the expat life.

LMS S4 E5 – Slow Chinese Founder Andrew Methven on Learning Chinese Through Chunks, News & Internet Slang

LMS S4 E5 – Slow Chinese Founder Andrew Methven on Learning Chinese Through Chunks, News & Internet Slang

Andrew Methven is the creator of Slow Chinese 每周漫闻, a weekly newsletter that helps Mandarin Chinese learners immerse themselves in authentic, colloquial language via interesting stories and news events handpicked from Chinese media, social media, and TV. Instead of learning the stilted and stuffy language of Chinese textbooks, Andrew’s excellent newsletter trains you to understand the way people really speak and write the language today. In the interview, Andrew shares how he first fell in love with Chinese, differences between Mandarin between Mainland China and Taiwan, and his top tips for language learners.

LMS S4 E4 – Hack Chinese Founder Daniel Nalesnik on How to Master Mandarin & Find the Fun in Language Learning

LMS S4 E4 – Hack Chinese Founder Daniel Nalesnik on How to Master Mandarin & Find the Fun in Language Learning

From full-time Mandarin immersion at Peking University and Shanghai’s Fudan University to years of independent study online, Daniel Nalesnik has spent the last 13+ years on a mission to figure out the most fun and effective way to learn Mandarin Chinese. The result? The creation of Hack Chinese, a powerful spaced repetition tool designed from the ground up just for Mandarin learners, unlike generic SRS apps that struggle to properly handle Chinese characters, tones, etc. In our conversation, Daniel shares the lessons he’s learned, what he would do differently if he started from scratch, and how new language learners can get started.

Drops App Review: Does Drops Work? Will it Get You Fluent in a Language?

Drops App Review: Does Drops Work? Will it Get You Fluent in a Language?

From its beginning as a lean, bootstrapped startup to its recent $50 million acquisition, Drops represents a seriously impressive origin story. But this is a blog about languages, not start-ups. So the question remains: Does Drops actually work? Will it help you get fluent in a language? That is precisely what I answer in the detailed review, over one year in the making!

LMS S4 E3 – Author Scott H. Young on How to Apply His “Ultralearning” Principles in Language Learning

LMS S4 E3 – Author Scott H. Young on How to Apply His “Ultralearning” Principles in Language Learning

Scott H. Young is a Canadian writer, programmer, entrepreneur and metalearning expert. He is the author of the best-selling book “Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career,” and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The BBC, Popular Mechanics, Business Insider, and Lifehacker. He has applied and refined his principles in a number of accelerated learning challenges, from completing MIT’s four-year undergraduate computer science curriculum in just one year, to spending a year abroad in four countries with a “No English Rule,” to a one-month at-home challenge to learn Macedonian, his wife’s native language.

LMS S4 E2 – Attitude > Aptitude

LMS S4 E2 – Attitude > Aptitude

In this episode of the Language Mastery Show, I share three more tips for building the three foundations of mastery: 🧠 Master Your Mind — Realize that mastering a language is more about psychology than ability. ⏱ Master Your Day — Make language learning your primary focus. 📍 Master Your Environment — Decide not to decide by making your target language the default.

The 3 Essential Ingredients You Need to to Learn Any Language

The 3 Essential Ingredients You Need to to Learn Any Language

Mastering a foreign language is at once extremely complex and predictively simple. On the one hand, you have to learn the nuanced meanings of thousands of words, internalize hundreds of grammar patterns, and be able to understand and use these terms and structures at rapid speed. On the other hand, most of the complexity happens at a subconscious level. Our brains do almost all of the heavy lifting for us if we get enough exposure and practice. In essence, you just have to show up. But how you show up matters. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t learn languages by osmosis. Just being around foreign languages is not enough. Read on to see the 3 essential ingredients you need to ensure that this exposure will lead to fluency.

LMS S4 E1 – The 3 Foundations of Mastery

LMS S4 E1 – The 3 Foundations of Mastery

In this first episode of the year, I would like to experiment with a new format. I have some exciting interviews lined up in the coming weeks, but I’d like to kick things off with a new segment called The 3 Foundations of Mastery. If you already subscribe to my Language Mastery Monday newsletter, you will already be familiar with this framework. So what are the three foundations and why do they matter? 1) Foundation 1 is Mastering Your Mind, which means conquering fears and self-limiting beliefs that are blocking your path to fluency; 2) Foundation 2 is Mastering Your Day, which involves building better habits and learning more efficiently. 3) And Foundation 3 is Mastering Your Environment, which means creating your own immersion wherever you happen to live. Ready? Let’s get started! Listen to today’s episode to hear this week’s tips for mastering your mind, day, and environment.

Is There Such a Thing as “Bad English?”

Is There Such a Thing as “Bad English?”

Studying Linguistics in university changed my life. It lead me to travel the world and dive into the languages and cultures of far-off lands, including Japan, Bangladesh, and Taiwan. Linguistics also helped me develop a greater appreciation of my home language and culture, including the many regional dialects, accents, and linguistic varieties found right here in the United States. Perhaps the greatest lesson from Linguistics was learning the difference between “prescriptive linguistics” and “descriptive linguistics.” This critical distinction accounts for the vast majority of the language-related arguments I’ve had with friends, family, and internet trolls. So what is the difference and why does it matter? Read on to hear my two yen.

Is Poor Sleep Hurting Your Language Learning?

Is Poor Sleep Hurting Your Language Learning?

As Greg McKeown puts it in “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less”: “The best asset we have for making a contribution to the world is ourselves. If we underinvest in ourselves, and by that I mean our minds, our bodies, and our spirits, we damage the very tool we need to make our highest contribution. One of the most common ways people―especially ambitious, successful people―damage this asset is through a lack of sleep.” That was certainly true for me in my 20s and 30s, when I regularly burned the candle at both ends in a foolish quest for productivity. I now know that my chronic sleep deprivation (and all the coffee and alcohol I used to self-medicate) significantly impaired my studies and work. May it be acquiring foreign languages, writing books, or launching businesses, more sleep would have made me more productive, more effective, and more efficient. So what is an optimal amount of sleep? And what kinds of sleep do we need to optimally consolidate, encode, and recall new words, phrases, and structures? Read on to find out.

How & why to use “language stacking” to learn or maintain multiple languages at once

How & why to use “language stacking” to learn or maintain multiple languages at once

Since starting the Language Mastery Show in 2009, I have interviewed over fifty of the world’s best language learners, including some “polyglots” who speak five, ten, fifteen, or even more languages! One of the most impressive such individuals is Lindie Botes, a South African UX designer based in Singapore who speaks 12+ languages to varying degrees, including Korean, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Hungarian! So how did she acquire so many languages when most people struggle to learn just one? And just as important, how does she maintain the languages she has worked so hard to acquire? She has many interesting methods, but the one I find most intriguing is “language stacking.” Read on to learn more about what the method is and why you should try it, too.

How to improve your listening, reading & spelling skills with Clozemaster

How to improve your listening, reading & spelling skills with Clozemaster

I’ve written before about whether or not you can learn a language well using smartphone apps. The short answer? It depends. Some language apps can help, but none can replace the primary tasks that will actually get you fluent: tons of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Moreover, most language apps teach languages indirectly and out of context. Not exactly a recipe for fluency. But there are a few apps that do a pretty good job of providing contextual, direct practice. Clozemaster is one of them. Instead of trying to teach you words in isolation as many apps do, the gamified app teaches you vocabulary in context through mass exposure to complete sentences. So how does Clozemaster work? And how can you get the most out the app and ensure that you aren’t wasting your time? After thoroughly testing the app, here now are my best tips for how to use Clozemaster and maximize its effectiveness.

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