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”