Not Quite Fluent

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Can you learn too many languages?

I find myself in a position that’s the complete opposite of how I usually feel. Normally I’m trying to scrape together disjointed reasons to learn a language, or just learning a new tongue because it interests me. But as of this summer, I have three languages on my plate. And I kind of really need…

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How to get over your fear of speaking

My school has a pretty large population of international students—roughly 10% of our student body does not live in America. The vast majority of them are from China, so I’ve really been working a lot on Chinese this past semester.
But I always am so afraid to speak to them in Chinese!

My fav YouTube channels for language

To practice listening and learn about culture, all you need is wifi. YouTube is the best tool out there for getting to grips with some authentic material, and it is a fun way to do it! Here’s a compilation of some of my favorite channels if you’re looking to learn Spanish, Chinese, or advanced English….

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3 secrets to Chinese characters

It’s easy to speak Chinese. The tones just make it more fun, and the one-syllable words are hard to forget. But writing Chinese…. well, that’s a whole other beast! In struggling to learn to all the different characters, I’ve figured out the top three ways to really sink them into your memory. #1: Repetition and…

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Learning through song made easy

The reason I started learning Italian was because of how much I loved the band “Dear Jack”, but little did I know that it would shape how I learned my third language. Here’s the four phases I used to hone my listening and speaking skills through song. […] ​ Stage One: Binge Listen I gathered…

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My routine: the when and how of language learning

Personally, my favorite interviews, blogs, and articles are when language learners divulge exactly how they learn best. Print or online? Asimil or Rosetta Stone? Free or expensive? It fascinates me to know their routines. So when I was asked about mine, I knew I had to share. […] ​ ​I received an email asking about…

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Circumlocution: the essential word you’ve never heard

I’m fortunate to be good at memorizing vocab, but for a lot of people, it’s a struggle. Getting to native like fluency requires thousands and thousands of words that you may not ever need to use. Honing this one awesome trick will help you get there faster… read on! Circumlocution is the art of expressing…

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Language-hack your back to school list

I happen to be an office-supply fanatic. I love them. And right now, when all the back to school stuff is on sale, I have to practice some serious self-control not to snatch up every Mead notebook I can find. These things, however, are an exception to my rules—I can’t go without them. Read on…

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Free online resources blitz

I am now thoroughly convinced that it is possible to learn anything on the internet… for free. And lucklily for me, that includes languages. In the past I’ve bought paper resources for my language learning pursuits, but I’m starting to discover how awesome the Internet is at this sort of thing. Here are my nine…

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Why vacation counts as study time

Everyone is always talking about immersion, but let’s be honest—not many of us can just hop on the next flight to Uruguay to practice our Spanish. Luckily for me, I’ve gotten to take two trips this year to different international cities, and I realized that it doesn’t even matter where you go–vacation is a secret weapon…

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