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Tag: interviews

I just finished editing my interview with Shannon Kennedy for Lingsprout. Unlike my last few interviews which were focused tutorials, this one was just a story. It’s not that she wouldn’t have something great to teach. She does and she teaches it on her site Eurolinguiste, but her story is just epic.

As a music student, she had some language learning requirements and just took them really seriously. She simultaneously learned multiple languages to a B level (which is European for “intermediate/able to get by”), and then went on to take on other languages such as Mandarin that aren’t even required of classical musicians.


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Check it out here: A story of learning two languages at once

I recently interviewed Lindsay Dow for Lingsprout and asked her about using social media for language learning. She talked about Snapchat, Instagram and Periscope, which made me feel a bit old but it was pretty fun talking to her! Also the thing I liked about both Snapchat and Periscope is their ephemeral nature, which makes speaking a language you’re learning a lot less scary than YouTube, for example.


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Check it out here: Language practice on social media

Since the first interview with Chris Parker went well, I did second video interview for Lingsprout. This time I interviewed Jeremy Ginsburg AKA “the Vietnomad”, whose incredible story was on Benny Lewis’s blog.


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Unlike the previous interview I did, this one was more of a “how to” than a story. I dug in and pushed pretty hard on one topic—What can you do in terms of social interactions to learn a foreign language in a country as a beginner?

Check it out here: How to befriend locals and learn their language with Jeremy Ginsburg

I did a video interview of Chris Parker of Fluent in Mandarin on Lingsprout. It requires a login to view, but everything on the site is free:

An interview with Chris Parker

It was about 15 minutes and covered his background as a monolingual kid in the UK, his transition to being a foreign guest on Chinese TV what his friends back home thought when they saw it. Check it out here: Becoming fluent in Mandarin with Chris Parker

Recently, John has started up yet another well-designed and interesting blog. This one is called Global Maverick, and it’s focus is language learning. It’s also got a tools section where he’s sharing iPhone apps he’s written.

One series of posts I found interesting was his interviews of three successful language learners– Steve Kaufmann, Kelly McGuire and Khatzumoto of AIJATT fame. Steve Kaufmann is a Canadian polyglot who has achieved excellent proficiency in six languages and varying degrees of skill in another four. I’ve written about him on Toshuo before. Khatzumoto made a name for himself learning enough Japanese through self study in the US to get himself hired at a Japanese tech company before ever setting foot in Japan. He’s also written a very motivational if quirky guide on his site. I hadn’t heard of Kelly McGuire before, but her experiences with Mandarin, Dutch and Japanese were also interesting to read about.

Despite the fact that my work is teaching a second language to kids who rarely start out with any motivation at all, I’m very interested in self-directed adult language learning. Language learning has been an interest of mine for years. I haven’t really been that good at it, but I have steadily gotten better at it and examining the habits of more successful learners has been a big help.

John’s new blog is full of good stuff and just might be worth archiving, just in case.