How to Learn a Language While Studying Abroad

Studying Abroad Buddy Group

After I finished my university degree and moved to Spain, most of my initial friends there were not Spaniards but exchange students learning Spanish. Europe’s Erasmus programme brings together students who are interested in the cultural and language exchange options of spending one of their university years (usually the 3rd) in a foreign country. Similar […]


How I prepared for the French C1 exam


How can you master French? One way is to set yourself the goal of reaching C1 or C2 level. I’ll explain more about that in a moment. So far on this blog I’ve usually written about how to get started in language learning. Getting started is one of the biggest hurdles for many language learners, […]


A Powerful and Underrated Beginner Language Goal


Why is language learning all about the intermediate or advanced levels? When you start learning a new language, it’s easy to get carried away with huge, unrealistic goals.  Maybe you dream of having deep conversations in your target language, or of reading advanced novels, or making play-on-word jokes. You may even want to talk about […]


What’s it like to start learning a language?: Lauren’s 6 Week Update


I’ve now been studying Russian for 2 hours a day for 6 weeks. In some ways, I can’t believe it’s already been 6 weeks. In other ways, I can’t believe it’s only been 6 weeks! I’m so pleased that I’m able to actually communicate in my “Tarzan” Russian with my teachers – some of which […]


What can you do in 4 hours? Benny’s first Indonesian class


Inspired by Moses McCormick’s unfiltered uploads, I’ve decided to share an unedited crucial moment in my language learning processes; both the first time I’ve ever spoken the language and my first ever class. What I did was study four hours over 2 days last week, starting from absolute scratch, and then on day 2 of studying […]


Juggling Languages: The Balancing Act That All Polyglots Must Perform

Polyglottery is a bit of a balancing act. Because we only have so many hours in a day, we can’t learn all languages. But when you have the itch for language learning like I and so many other polyglots do, you sometimes can’t help but to take on a new language challenge even though you […]


How to Start Learning a New Language (Right Now. Today. Seriously).


Let me ask you a question: If you really wanted to learn a new language, what would you be doing right now to make that happen? The thing with language learning, and really with any goal or desire we have in life, is that we spend a lot of time thinking about what we want and talking about […]


Stop hoarding language learning books/products and USE your language!


People are always asking me which courses I use for my language learning projects, and what books I recommend, as if product choice is some huge determination in how successful you will be in learning your target language. What if it’s really just throwing money at the problem?

The solution isn’t to get as many courses as possible either – I ran a survey a while back, the results of which showed me that people who buy less materials are actually MORE successful in language learning!

Rather than spending time figuring out which courses work best for them, they just pick one, work with it and use it, while focusing much more on some kind of interaction with real natives (or native content) to improve their level. Your energy is better spent on doing something active with your language, not with your product/book research.


My Japanese Skype Call After One Week


Please note that this article was written in September 2013. In a change to my initial plan to wait a month before uploading conversations, here is my 10-day update – a video entirely in Japanese, and absolutely and utterly non-scripted (apart from the intro). I simply messaged my Facebook page, targetting just those in Japan, […]