Today, July 10th, is my 33rd birthday and my twelve year travel anniversary (that’s 12-years of non-stop travel since I graduated university and hit the road). Since I’ve already contemplated the lessons I’ve learned from years of travel before, today I’ve decided to look at another important life achievement. It turns out that I’ve been […]MORE
Learning a new language enriches your life in so many ways. I didn’t start seriously learning another language – Spanish – until my early 20s. I had no idea what to expect, and I never imagined all of the ways my life would change as a result of learning a language. A huge change has […]MORE
Does it really take up to 4,400 hours to learn a language? According to the US Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute, that’s how long it should take. Study for 20 hours a week, and that’s over four years! Reduce that to five hours a week – a more realistic amount for most of us […]MORE
There are plenty of language learning myths, especially about people who speak multiple languages (also known as polyglots). You’re probably familiar with the romanticised image of the polyglot. It goes something like this: A polyglot is a carefree genius with a perfect memory who, without any social obligations or financial limitations, travels the world with a […]MORE
Have you ever wondered “Why learn a foreign language?” I recently asked members of the Fluent in 3 Months community their reasons for learning a new language. The response was amazing! Over 200 language learners chimed in with a startling variety of answers. I thought it would be fun to take a look at what all […]MORE
Do you dream of learning a new language, but then find you rarely take action towards making your dream a reality? I’ve said before that the biggest factor that holds people back from success is a lack of confidence. Fear of doing the “wrong thing” can cause you to not start in the first place. […]MORE
I love to encourage language learners here on Fluent in 3 Months, but language learning isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Life inevitably gets in the way and prevents you from reaching your language goals. This has happened to me more times than I care to remember! My Czech project (the first one I ever blogged […]MORE
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 […]MORE
You just spent a few hours studying your target language, and you’re feeling great. You’re feeling like you can do this. You’ve got a routine planned. You’ve got it all mapped out. But a day goes by. Then two days. And you haven’t gotten back to your language practice. Before you know it, you start […]MORE
Why is that some people are worse language learners no matter how hard they work? Among the many emails/tweets and in-person comments I get about those who have tried and failed to learn languages, what comes up more often than not is something along the lines of “I know that I can’t ever learn French/German/Chinese […]MORE
Every year around January 1st, my inbox gets filled up with language learners excitedly declaring to me their New Year’s resolutions. They tell me, this is the year I will learn French! Learn Spanish! Learn Chinese! To all you resolved language learners out there, hoping to make 2015 the year you finally reach your language-learning […]MORE
In my inbox I see hundreds of people sharing their language learning woes every day, and in person I meet many people everywhere I go who struggle to start a language. There are many reasons they give, some of which are valid, but many times they are just excuses. Nothing reminds us more of this […]MORE
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 […]MORE
My philosophy in language learning is, always has been, and always will be to Speak From Day One.
But for many people, this is terrifying! And because I have been talking so much about how effective I’ve found using Skype and language exchange websites, or in-person meetings early on in a language project to chat with native speakers right away, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about what to do if you’re too shy to speak from day one.
So today I’m going to answer these questions.MORE
So, I’m Julie Ferguson and I have nothing on Helen Keller! I am, however, severely deaf and partially sighted.
My parents realised that I had a hearing problem when I was 2 years old, though I didn’t get my first hearing aid until I was 4. Unfortunately, when I was 4, nobody could understand me babbling away in my version of English, except for my mum and my brother. Apparently, I was bad. I couldn’t even pronounce my own name (it sounded like Ooee Fehuhoh).
I was sent to speech therapy for intensive work before I started primary school, and I remember working on all those weird sounds especially “spoon”. My particular hearing loss makes it difficult to hear consonants, especially s, h, and f.MORE