The Listening Monster: Language teacher tips for taking the sting out

Listening can be one of the most challenging skills in a foreign language. Image from freeimages.com.

Same objectives, different worlds – the polyglot and school classroom teaching communities strive for identical goals, but it often feels like they are leagues apart. It’s a perfect match waiting to be realised, as both have so much to learn… Continue reading

Be fallible! Building resilience as a language learner

Accept yourself as a wonderful, fallible human being. Image from freeimages.com.

Human beings are fallible. We all make mistakes. But our natural instinct is often to feel shame, and try to hide those mistakes. And so, this week, I give you the pep talk I would have loved as a newcomer… Continue reading

Impostor syndrome? Prescribe yourself some polyglot community!

Impostor syndrome can leave you feeling exposed and anxious. (Picture from freeimages.com)

This week, I’m blogging from the grand hall of the Union Hotel in Ljubljana, Slovenia, as an excitable, kid-in-a-candy-store, first-time attendee of the annual Polyglot Conference. As expected, it’s been a bit of a language wonderland. I’ve been stuffed full… Continue reading

How starting over can boost your language confidence

Plasma ball

It’s important to recognise the brain’s need for pause now and again. But it might help our guilt-ridden, study-obsessed selves to note how effectively a rest can restart our engines. I’ve experienced this effect recently, after picking up Modern Hebrew… Continue reading

Conversation turbo-boosting with speaking bingo sheets

Notebook for note-taking

I’ve been having something of an iTalki renaissance lately. iTalki, if you haven’t come across it already, is a website that connects language learners with teachers all over the world for online lessons. There are few easier ways to get… Continue reading

Am I Good Enough? Maintaining confidence in an Internet age 👊🏻

Poppy Field - it's hard to find the confidence to stand out in a field full of blossoming blooms!

Confidence is key to speaking and using languages. But in an age of Internet superheroes to measure up to, it can be hard to keep it. The Internet has been a godsend for language learners. Not only are millions of… Continue reading

Context has your back: Why it’s OK not to understand everything

Context can help language learners in familiar situations abroad, like the coffee shop

I have a confession to make. I failed miserably in my foreign language last weekend. But it was still fine. Context had my back! Before you feel sorry for me, it’s not as bad as it sounds. We fail in our native… Continue reading