About Me

Welcome to my site! I’m Rich, a linguist, perennial language learner and educational software developer based between Edinburgh, Birmingham and London.

I create interactive activities to help students of all ages learn through play. The resources I make mainly support the teaching and learning of my own life’s passion, languages. But I have also worked on material in many other subject areas, including Maths, English and History. The main tools of my trade are Haxe / OpenFL for HTML5, Swift / XCode and Java / Android Studio.

I am lead content developer with Linguascope.com, the UK’s best-known site for language learning and teaching in schools. Amongst the many apps I have worked on over the years are the highly successful Linguascope range, as well as a wide range of other tools for students.

Through Linguascope, my own e-learning projects and other providers, I have nearly twenty years of experience developing interactive, dynamic content for learners and educators. Additionally, I have provided training to other educators in many aspects of e-content creation.

And through my site, Polyglossic.com, I indulge my love of writing about all aspects of language learning.

Educational background

I read German and Spanish at Somerville College, Oxford University. As part of my course, I was lucky enough to spend a year in Klagenfurt and Salzburg, where I developed a deep fascination with the diversity of dialects.

My love of languages continues to define me, and there is little I like better than getting lost in some obscure grammar or reader. I am especially enthused by the recent emergence of a polyglot / language-hacking community online. If only that had existed in my pre-Internet youth! I am always on the lookout out for a new linguistic challenge. My current projects include Greek, Icelandic, Irish, Norwegian, Polish and Scottish Gaelic, as well as maintaining my German and Spanish.

I am a passionate advocate of lifelong learning and personal development. In 2014, I was awarded my second undergraduate degree, a BSc in Social Sciences with Psychological Studies and Sociology with First-Class Honours from the Open University. Returning to formal studies as an adult has given me completely new perspectives on learning processes, which have, in turn, informed and improved my work in resource development and training.

Richard West-Soley at Language Show Live 2019

Working the Linguascope stand at Language Show Live 2019

Beyond the languages…

I was born with a cleft lip, but was lucky enough to be born in a country where repair of cleft lips and palates is routine. Having that chance isn’t a certainty for many children, however, which is why I support Smile Train. This charity funds surgical teams in some of the poorest areas of the world, offering the life-changing reparative surgery to children who would otherwise have to grow up with an unrepaired cleft. If you are looking for a new international cause to support, Smile Train is a very worthy option to consider.

I am also a keen musician, and cannot be kept away from any piano in the vicinity! As a lad, I played all the way to Grade 8 under the tutelage of the brilliant teacher Gwendolyne Johnson. Music remains a very important part of my life today.

Oh – and I love Eurovision! 🎵