Listening: A How-To

Of the four language-learning pillars, listening is most likely to induce panic. Speaking, reading and writing can all be done at your own pace, but you can’t pause native speakers or hit “x0.5 speed”. Classic example – Tina Fey’s 30 Rock character trying out her high school German #hubcap? Hearing the real language has to happen, but you have to manage it carefully. I had to study French and German between … Continue reading Listening: A How-To

2 Years of Spanish: What Does That Mean?

Zero is an interesting place from which to start a Duolingo course, as it was when I began Spanish about two years ago. I recognised a few words, but to give you an idea, when I saw the word mujer I thought “what the hell is that”. The private disappointment that I knew hombre but not the word for women made me more determined to gain some Spanish. Two … Continue reading 2 Years of Spanish: What Does That Mean?

Let’s Talk “Failure”

Language learning can feel full of setbacks if we start with super-high, new-year style goals. In an ideal world, you take up studying, speaking and writing in Spanish, and 18 months later you’ve got a mountain of vocabulary and speaking confidence. Most online resources – including bloggers like me – don’t often acknowledge lost motivation and ‘lost’ skills. Instead of goals, here’s my language failures and ‘abandoned’ languages: French ||My first – … Continue reading Let’s Talk “Failure”

Everything You Need to Start Learning a Language

It is almost the new year and if you are thinking about your language goals, here’s all the most useful languageuntangled tips for apps, podcasts, books and vocab. Resources  8 apps for language learning irl 6 podcasts for language nerds 3 European shows to binge Don’t know what to read auf Deutsch? Game Plan New Language Starter Kit Wondering how to take your language learning … Continue reading Everything You Need to Start Learning a Language

The German Teacher Who Makes Mistakes

I learned about the accidental German teacher/life coach Jaime Beck from this article in the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel (in German). Jaime came to Germany from Colombia aged 14, with barely any German, and eventually became a hotel owner and business consultant. In 2015 he visited a shelter to make a donation at the start of the refugee crisis, where he was mistaken for a German … Continue reading The German Teacher Who Makes Mistakes