The Language Mastery Show
The Language Mastery Show is a weekly podcast bringing you expert tips for getting fluent anywhere in the world. I’m your host, John Fotheringham, a linguist, teacher, and the author of Master Japanese and Master Mandarin.
Get an inside look at how polyglots, linguists, and language lovers master languages more quickly, and learn the habits, methods, and mindsets you need to succeed in your own language learning adventures. Each guest shares proven strategies for reaching fluency, overcoming fear, speaking with confidence, and having more fun along the way.
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.
Listen to the Show
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.
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.
Richard Simcott is an accomplished British hyperpolyglot based in Skopje, North Macedonia. He has actively studied more than 50 languages to date, and works in 14 of them on a regular basis! His impressive linguistic feats have led HarperCollins to call him “one of the most multilingual people from The United Kingdom.” In our conversation, he shares how he got into languages, how he learns and maintains so many, and what you can do to learn one (or many!) foreign languages yourself.
I just binge-listened to the whole backlist of episodes. Gosh, this is an absorbing show.