The Language Mastery Show
Interviews with the World’s Best Language Learners
The Language Mastery Show brings you interviews with the world’s best language learners. The show is hosted by John Fotheringham, a linguist and author obsessed with making language learning as fun, accessible, and effective as possible for listeners. Each episode includes a long-form interview with a linguist, language expert, polyglot, innovative educator, or top language blogger, with just enough silliness and puns to keep things interesting.
The real deal!
John is a true language aficionado. Knowledgeable, motivating, entertaining… he hunts out the best guests and does awesome interviews which are inspiring for aspiring language learners. Great stuff!
Great Language Learning Advice
John’s philosophy and approach are spot-on: You don’t need to be gifted, spend tons of money, or move to another country to learn a language. You just need to be dedicated and consistent.
I really love this podcast. I wish there were more resources like this. It is truly refreshing to hear people who know what they’re talking about and are not just trying to sell something. I was teaching a Russian class when I stumbled on to this and I had my students listen to selected episodes as homework. The host and all of his guests are realistic. They are not salesmen. They are not dogmatic. They enjoy languages and they are eager to be helpful to new language learners. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Aaron Myers is the man behind The Everyday Language Learner, a wonderful blog that aims to help the average Joe (and John, and Rosemary, and…okay, you get the idea) learn a foreign language in fun, effective, efficient way. Above all else, Aaron strives to empower learners by showing people how to learn, not just what. To that end, Aaron has written heaps of excellent blog posts, a host of useful language learning guides, including The Guide to Getting Started, Activities and Strategies for Everyday Language Learners, The Guide to Self-Assessment, and Stage: Before You Move Overseas. He also offers private language coaching for those who want more personalized help.
In our interview, we discuss: 1) Aaron’s daily language learning routine while learning Turkish. 2) The importance of practicing numbers spoken at real speed. 3) How to create learner-centric “Total Physical Response” (TPR). 4) The power of “Language Acquisition Projects” (LAPs). 5) Creating a corpus of comprehensible listening material. 6) Handcrafted text and audio materials. 7) How to maintain a language when you move back home. 8) The importance of preserving motivation. 9) The six pillars of learning a language: Accountability, Assessment, Encouragement, Knowledge, Planning, and Resources. 10) Why the imperfect method you stick with is better than the perfect method you quit. 11) How to be an independent language learner. 12) The power of “password phrases” (a.k.a. “power tools”).
Donovan Nagel is an Applied Linguistics graduate hailing from rural Queensland, Australia (the amazing soundscape you hear in the background of our interview) and the man behind the language learning site and community, The Mezzofanti Guild, and the Arabic learning site, Talk in Arabic. Donovan named the site after one of his heroes, Cardinal Giuseppe Gasparo Mezzofanti (1774 – 1849), a hyperpolyglot who Donovan felt a strong connection to given their mutual background in theology, Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic, and the fact that they both focus on learning via contact with real people.
Kevin Morehouse is the man behind LanguageHero.co, a site dedicated to helping language learners start their journey, find allies, and stay the course. Kevin is a certified Italian teacher and soon to be certified in Spanish as well. In our interview, Kevin and I discuss: 1) The advantages and disadvantages of learning a foreign language in the classroom, 2) The problem with waiting until one is “ready” to start speaking, 3) The fact that immersion is a choice, 4) The power of social accountability (e.g. making commitments to other people), 5) The problem with letting emotions drive when/if one studies, 6) The importance of focusing on process over end goals, 7) The many linguistic and social benefits of working with tutors, 8) The fact that extroversion is not required to learn a language well, 9) What “Language Hero” is and why he created it, 10) Why learning a language is no longer a resource problem, but rather a confidence problem, 11) That the difference between polyglots and failed learners is drive, not ability, 12) A typical day of language learning for Kevin, 13) Kevin’s favorite language learning tools and resources, and 14) The dangers of uncontrolled Internet use.
I just binge-listened to the whole backlist of episodes. Gosh, this is an absorbing show.