Inés Ruiz is an award-winning entrepreneur, a former Spanish teacher at Cambridge University, and now the founder and CEO of Medita Spanish, the world’s first language and meditation app. By integrating mediation and mindfulness practices, she hopes to make language learning more fun and less stressful.
In the interview, we discuss:
- Her experience as an immigrant in the United Kingdom and United States.
- Why learning a foreign language is like having scuba gear.
- Why there is no “correct” or “superior” dialect of Spanish or English.
- Why “fluency” and “mastery” do not mean “perfection.”
- How Inés learns English vocabulary using her Kindle.
- Why the imperfect study habits you stick to are better than the “perfect” habits you quit.
- A simple way to learn 12 new habits a year and how to make the language learning habit stick.
- Why attitude and resilience are more important in language learning than aptitude and intelligence.
- How positive psychology, mindfulness, and meditation can help you learn and use languages more easily.
- Why you don’t “learn” languages, you “get used to them.”
- The differences between acquiring one’s first language as a child and learning foreign languages as an adult.
- How to create an immersion environment no matter where in the world you live.
- The power of adopting an alter ego (e.g. an “inner Beyoncé”) when learning languages.
- iTalki: My recommended site for finding high-quality, low-cost online language tutors.
- Medita Spanish: Inés’ new app that combines meditation and Spanish language instruction.
- Kindle Word Wise: A nifty tool for learning new vocabulary in context as you read on your Kindle.
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
- The Alter Ego Effect: The Power of Secret Identities to Transform Your Life by Todd Herman
People & Concepts Mentioned
- Spanish dialects and varieties (Wikipedia)
- Castilian Spanish (Wikipedia)
- Valencian Language (Wikipedia)
- Affective Filter (Wikipedia)
- Howard Gardner (Wikipedia)
- Unconscious Competence (Language Mastery Post)
- Sir Ken Robinson (TED Talk)
- Paula Pant: Afford Anything
- Idahosa Ness, founder of the Mimic Method
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy