Michael Heim (1943-2012) was a highly respected professor of Slavic languages at UCLA. He spoke 10 languages (though he claimed that the number is hard to tie down due to the slippery political nature of language-dialect distinctions). Heim believed that effective language learning must begin (and progress) with a specific purpose in mind; he never learned a language just for the heck of it. In a two-part interview posted on the UCLA Center for World Languages website, he explains why language experts produce poor textbooks, what he would do as “Langauge Czar” if such a position were to be created, and why Americans tend to do poorly in second language learning.
|Listen to Part 1||Listen to Part 2|