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.
Meet the Author
I'm John Fotheringham, a linguist, author, teacher, and entrepreneur. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
A selection of my favorite articles from the Language Mastery Blog
Most of you are probably familiar with Stephen R. Covey’s best-selling book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change”. I’ve listened to the audiobook a number of times and return to it whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, adrift, or caught up in “the thick of thin things”. Many of the 7 habits actually apply quite well to language learning (especially when it comes to prioritizing and making time for study), but I’d like to tweak them a bit to make them more specific to what it takes to become a highly successful language learner.
If an adult fails to learn a foreign language (and most do), most of us assume the learner did’t study hard enough or simply isn’t good at languages. The real problem is not usually a lack of talent or effort but using the wrong methods, choosing the wrong materials, and having self-defeating beliefs. Read on to see how to choose effective methods, fun materials, and empowering attitudes.
To do lists seem like a good idea in theory, but they have a major disadvantage: there are infinite potential to do items. Instead, Tim Ferriss, best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek (and a speaker of 6 languages), recommends “not to do lists” instead since they define a limited number of unhelpful behaviors to avoid. This idea applies perfectly to language learning, where most learners waste a lot of time on ineffective methods and bad materials. Read on to see my list of NOT to do items for successful language learners.