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#AskSteve

Over the years I have created a vast amount of videos and articles where I talk about language learning. Find them here.

For example, type "english" to search items about english.
  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3odGKRX CC subtitles available in: English, Vietnamese, Spanish and Italian. I'd like to thank the volunteers ...
  • What are the main problems that I see amongst language learners? First of all, most people don’t realize how long it takes to learn a language. So people get frustrated. They get particularly frustrated when they get to that first level where all of a sudden they know a bunch of words and they realize just how little they know of the whole language.

  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/302kZv9 Full video of my VR Chat experience: https://youtu.be/IqMd6iZpU2M.
  • Cyber Monday SALE. Save 40% off LingQ: (Copy and paste the URL manually into your browser to get the deal) https://bit.ly/3D0uSH4 I favour using content of ...
  • Black Friday SALE. Save 40% off LingQ: (You may have to copy and paste the URL manually into your browser to get the deal) ...
  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3DVvv5Z CC subtitles available in: Portuguese and English I struggle with Portuguese because I haven't spent ...
  • A aprendizagem de línguas depende principalmente de três fatores: a atitude do aluno, o tempo disponível e a atenção do aluno à nova língua. Se assumirmos uma atitude positiva,  uma atenção razoável e crescente  por  parte do aluno, quanto tempo levará para aprender uma língua?

  • Interviews with @ヤンチャンCH/楊小溪 , @秋山燿平 , @SpongeMind TV.
  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3FG2b48 CC subtitles available in: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese and Malay. I'd like to thank the ...
  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/302kZv9 Language Learning Resources: Soundcloud: https://bit.ly/3iZsbic Apple: https://apple.co/3z1F1lD ...
  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3wYpEu0 CC subtitles available in: English and Spanish. ¿Qué habilidades son más importantes en el ...
  • Interview with @あかね的日本語教室.
  • The Importance of Reading November 17 2021

    Of course, we want to speak, we eventually want to speak a lot. Our goal is to speak. We want to speak well, but the emphasis should be on listening and reading because it’s something we can do whenever we want, on our own and it really does help our brain become familiar with the language.

  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/302kZv9 Language Learning Resources: Soundcloud: https://bit.ly/3iZsbic Apple: https://apple.co/3z1F1lD ...
  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3wQXX6v CC subtitles available in: English. Gabriel is a wonderful polyglot. He learned the languages he ...
  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/302kZv9 Language Learning Resources: Soundcloud: https://bit.ly/3iZsbic Apple: https://apple.co/3z1F1lD ...
  • リスニング勉強法 November 12 2021
    Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3HbWoop CC subtitles available in: English and Japanese. リスニングは言語学習戦略の重要な部分です。
  • Me Speaking Chinese #shorts November 10 2021
    Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/302kZv9 Language Learning Resources: Soundcloud: https://bit.ly/3iZsbic Apple: https://apple.co/3z1F1lD ...
  • The myth is that there exists a battle in language learning: introverts vs. extroverts, and that extroverts are the better language learners. I do not believe at all that you need to be an extrovert to learn a language. Language learning comes down to the three keys: number one, attitude. You have to be interested in the language. You have to like the language. You have to believe you’re going to achieve your goal.

  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/302kZv9 Language Learning Resources: Soundcloud: https://bit.ly/3iZsbic Apple: https://apple.co/3z1F1lD ...
  • The Importance of Reading November 9 2021
    Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3qhxeyz We need meaningful input to learn languages. Listening is great for preparing to speak, and is the ...
  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/302kZv9 Language Learning Resources: Soundcloud: https://bit.ly/3iZsbic Apple: https://apple.co/3z1F1lD ...
  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3mKNupF CC subtitles available in: Spanish and English. ¿Cuáles son los problemas más comunes que veo ...
  • Here's a video of me speaking 9 languages. Go to @Rupa sensei's channel and watch the full interview. Learn languages like I do with LingQ: ...
  • ***   This post is a transcript of a video on my YouTube channel. Bonjour, ici c’est Steve Kauffman. Aujourd’hui je veux parler de “l’écoute” dans l’apprentissage des langues, parce que pour moi, c’est, disons, “la tache” dans l’apprentissage des langues. Et pour ceux qui ne me connaissent pas j’en suis à ma 19ème et 20ème  […]

  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3jY6eAb What are the most common problems I see in language learners? A big one is that people don't ...
  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3blwrnJ CC subtitles available in English. Language acquisition is a slow and gradual process of improvement ...
  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3FBCDWw Language Learning Resources: Soundcloud: https://bit.ly/3iZsbic Apple: https://apple.co/3z1F1lD ...
  •   何度も言ってきたことですが、言語の学習で重要なのはやる気です。何度も繰り返し言い続けているのは、言語の習得は才能でもなく、クラスや教師や勉強の仕方でもなく、主にやる気が関係しているからです。タスクに費やす時間、そして気づくこと。その言語がどうなっているのかに気づくことです。優秀な言語学習者は気づくのが上手になっていくと思うんです。言語に何が起きているのかをより意識し、それにより敏感な学習者が上達も速いですね。     私個人の意見ですが、 スペイン語は学習するのに最も魅力的な言語のひとつではないでしょうか。友人がいたり特定の興味があるという理由で、例えばモンゴル語やフィンランド語など特定の言語を学びたいと意欲を掻き立てられることはあるでしょう。韓国語のドラマが見られるように韓国語を学びたいと思ったり、日本のアニメやビジネスに興味があるから日本語を学ぼうとする人もいるかもしれません。理由は様々です。スペイン語は違います。スペイン語を学ぶことには大きな利点がいくつもあるんです。     まず、多くの人がスペイン語を話します。ブラジルとハイチを除く全てのラテンアメリカ、そしてもちろんスペインがありますね。これらの国々はかなり異なります。ラテンアメリカよりもはるかに馴染みのあるスペインを思い起こすと、私は色と音楽を思い浮かべます。人々が楽しい時間を過ごす世界です。     スペイン南部のマルベーリャに座っていたのを今でも覚えています。通りが閉鎖され、レストランは外にテーブルを用意していました。夜の11時。私たちは星空の下に座っていました。周りはジャスミンの香り。夜の11時に夕食を食べていたんです。家ではこんなことしません。時間が止まっているようでした。すごく美味しい料理を食べていて、他のことなど何も気にならなかった。スペイン人はその瞬間瞬間を生きて楽しむ能力があるのだと私は思います。 1960年代、そこで闘牛に行ったことも思い出すことができます。今は、当然のことながら、闘牛はよくないと考える動物愛好家もいます。しかし、音楽と色、そしてギラギラとした太陽が、永遠のような印象を残したのです。また、バレンシアまでヒッチハイクしてオレンジ畑を見たことも覚えています。コルドバとセビリアに車で行き、レモンの花の匂いに満たされました。そしてもちろん音楽。フラメンコだけでなくいろいろな音楽に心が踊ります。スペインはそのようにパワフルな所です。     先日、私は妻とメキシコへ行きました。サンミゲル・デ・アジェンデ、グアナファト、メキシコシティを訪れました。ここもまた、力強い色彩、親しみやすい人々、そして音楽に満ち溢れていました。ペルー、アルゼンチン、中米はまた違うと思います。マヤ文化やアステカ文化のような他の文化でさえ、今ではスペイン語を通して私たちの元へやってきます。そこにはあらゆる世界が存在するのです。なのでそれがスペイン語を魅力的なものにしていて、人々が学びたいと思わせる動機になっていると思います。そしてこれらの地域は大変人気のある観光地でもあります。     スペイン語は、私が思うに習得しやすい言語です。また、ロマンス諸語の世界への入り口のようなものでもあります。スペイン語を学べばポルトガル語も習得できます。います。イタリア語も習得できます。イタリア語は驚くべき言語で、その背後には多くの歴史があります。そしてフランス語ですね。スペイン語はあなたをその世界に導くような言語です。     なので、多くの人がスペイン語を学ぶことにはとてつもなく大きな動機があると思います。あるはずなんです!ヒスパニック系の人々が多い環境の中で仕事を見つけるためにスペイン語が必要になるからというだけではありません。これらは小さな問題だと思います。 言語学習は長い道のりです 。仕事に言語が必要だからというだけでは不十分。より深いレベルのやる気が必要なんです。   実際に本物の流暢さを得るには非常に長い時間がかかることに気づいたら、そこには本質的な動機が必要です。その言語が好きで、その人々(少なくとも一部の人々)を好きでなければ続きません。言語に対する個人的な欲と献身が必要とされた上で、スペイン語は献身しやすい言語だと思います。献身に関してはこれくらいにして、スペイン語のヒントとコツの話題に進みましょう。     スペイン語を学習するときのヒントとコツ スペイン語が習得しやすいのにはいくつもの理由があります。もちろん スラングの語彙やその他の 用心しなければいけない側面もありますが、スペイン語は他の多くの言語よりはるかに勉強しやすい言語です。まず第一に、全てのロマンス諸語と同様、英語を話す人にとっては共通する語彙がたくさんあります。スペイン語には、例えばフランス語とは異なり、スペルが非常に一貫しているという利点があります。母音は単一で二重母音はありません。     アクセント:アクセントはいつも少し面倒だなと思います。というのは、アクセントを調整するためにキーパッドを変える必要があるからです。しかしスペイン語でアクセントを使用する場合としない場合においてのシステムはかなり一貫しています。ルールを確認しましょう。最初の数回は忘れてしまうこともあるでしょうが、そのうちしっかりと身に付きます。     単語の性別:「o」で終わる単語はほぼ全て男性名詞。「a」で終わるほとんどすべての単語は女性名詞。いくつか例外もあるので注意してください。 その程度までは、動詞や名詞の性別をフランス語や他の言語よりも簡単に伝えることができます。   動詞:全てのロマンス諸語と同じく、動詞の問題には対処する必要があります。 Verbix という凄く良いウェブサイトをご紹介しておきますね。ここでは何か国語もの活用表を見つけられます。もちろんスペイン語もあります。時々参照するようにしてください。これらの表を暗記することに集中するのは、私もやりましたが、簡単ではありません。活用表は時々チェックするだけでいいです。そのうちリスニングやリーディングを行っている最中に「なるほど!」と気づき始めます。詳しくは スペイン語の動詞に関する私の動画 またはこのブログの投稿で 最も一般的なスペイン語の動詞 をチェックしてみてくださいね。   スペイン語を学習するときのコツ は他に何があるでしょうか?「ser」と「estar」にポイントを当ててみましょう。スペイン語には「is (~です)」に2つの単語があります。永続的なものは「ser」、後で変わるかもしれないこと、例えば「happy(嬉しい)」のようなものは「estar」です。 最初は難しい概念ですよね。間違いを繰り返すかもしれませんが、そのせいで理解が妨げられることはありません。人にあなたを理解してもらう妨げになることもありません。言ってみればせっせと取り組み続けるものです。   またスペイン語には「for」を表す単語にも「por」と「para」の2つがあります。これもまた同じで、最初は説明を読んでもぼやっとしか理解できないかもしれませんが、その単語に積極的に触れてじっくり練習していくことで徐々に身に付いていきます。間違った使い方をしたとしても、それによってコミュニケーションや理解が妨げられることはありません。   […]

  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3BcMs9Z CC subtitles available in English. Veronika on YouTube: ...
  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3nhfGQ7 I focus a lot on input, reading and listening, but my goal is always to speak the language. Output is ...
  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3FBCDWw Language Learning Resources: Soundcloud: https://bit.ly/3iZsbic Apple: https://apple.co/3z1F1lD ...
  • How to Become a Polyglot October 20 2021

    Part of becoming a polyglot is accepting that you’re going to be less than perfect. That means you’re going to speak with mistakes. Your pronunciation may not be perfect, but you have this sense of achievement and the intellectual stimulus of discovering a new world, yet another new world with all of the people, and as you learn another language, then the people of that language come alive, the history comes alive.

  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3vpMeuI CC subtitles available in: English and Russian. I chat with Anthony of the channel Anthony the ...
  • How to Become a Polyglot October 14 2021
    Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3FXTMdp CC subtitles available in: English, Italian, Russian, German, Vietnamese, Spanish and German.
  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3FBCDWw Language Learning Resources: Soundcloud: https://bit.ly/3iZsbic Apple: https://apple.co/3z1F1lD ...
  • Language learning depends mostly on three factors, the attitude of the learner, the time available, and learner’s attentiveness to the language. If we assume a positive attitude on the part of the learner, and a reasonable and growing attentivenes…

  • Learn languages like I do with LingQ: https://bit.ly/3FBCDWw Those of us who learn languages typically spend a lot of time engaged in various language ...
  • Language learning as we know is about motivation. That’s the driver. That’s the smart plug that triggers your interest, your curiosity. Content, which feeds that curiosity and those interests, is extremely important. Content that you like, content that has resonance for you.

  • Experience Is The Best Teacher September 29 2021

    At the age of 55, I decided to learn Cantonese. I had studied Mandarin and could read Chinese characters, but I needed to develop the ability to understand how Chinese characters were pronounced in Cantonese. I went through a period of six months of intensive listening. That was when I discovered the minidisk player. For […]

  • I think very often in the standard classroom there’s a tremendous emphasis placed on producing the language, speaking the language, which is fine because that’s what people want to do. But what I think is more important is what will I be able to do with the language in a year from now? And from that perspective, I’m not tremendously motivated to speak.

  • English Grammar 101 September 15 2021

    In order to speak English well you need to learn how words are used and how they come together to form phrases and sentences. Only a lot of listening and reading can help you learn this. You need to train yourself to notice how the words are used when you listen and read.

  • If you can get stuff done in the morning, first thing that kind of sets you up for the day so that even if it’s not a very active day, from a language learning point of view, at least you’ve taken that first step. So typically what I do in the morning is I might, first of all, review a couple of lessons on my iPad from the day before in whichever language I’m learning. Nowadays it’s either Arabic or Persian.

  • Tips for Learning Russian September 1 2021

    I wanted give some important tips for learning Russian. First I’ll explain about the writing system, then some interesting things to remember about Russian verbs of motion, aspects of verbs and cases.

  • First of all, obviously when you start in a language, whatever you’re listening to is not comprehensible. So you can’t begin with comprehensible input. You’ll begin with input, which is not comprehensible, but which gradually becomes more and more comprehensible. However, if you have access to the text, so you can look up words, then you have a chance. And if you can use LingQ for example, and you can review the words, then you have a chance, or even if you’re using Teach Yourself or some other starter book you can gradually get to where material that is initially not comprehensible becomes comprehensible.

  • TOEIC, the Test of English for International Communication, is probably the most widely taken test of English language proficiency in the world. TOEIC is taken by around seven million people every year, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal.     It is my observation that most people who take TOEIC, especially in […]

  • Right now I’ve been at my Arabic for three years and my Persian for two, I can’t say that I speak either language particularly well. I really struggle. My Farsi is now better. I’ve had the opportunity to use it a bit here and there around Vancouver, North Vancouver, especially West Vancouver. I’m now exploring Egypt in Arabic with Mohammed, my tutor, and I do struggle in our conversations, there is no question. But am I failing in the language?

  • If you are going to learn Japanese, you need to decide why you are learning the language. I learned Japanese because my work took me there in 1971. I lived there for nine years, mostly during the 1970s. I learned in Japan, surrounded by the language, on my own, largely by listening and reading and using […]

  • Reading helps you acquire more words, but listening gets your brain used to the language. And of course listening comprehension is a tremendously important skill because if you’re speaking to someone, and we all want to speak in the language, if you can’t understand what the other person is saying, then it’s very uncomfortable and you can’t have a very meaningful conversation.

  • What is CI? What is meant by comprehensible input in language learning? Stephen Krashen uses this term, as well as the term compelling input, to refer to the kind of language exposure we need in order to learn a language. The term CI, in language learning, can apply to both. What do they mean?    […]

  • What the language school provides is instruction in the language. In other words, explanations of how the language works. The language school provides the materials, the textbooks, the content from which we learn, the language schools can provide encouragement and motivation also. The language school provides a social context where you meet not only your teacher, but other students. The language school can keep you going. So it is possible that for many people a language school is an ideal learning environment. Why is that not the case for me?

  • I think Spanish is one of the most attractive languages to learn. We can all be motivated to learn a specific language like Mongolian or Finnish because we have a friend or a particular interest. Spanish is different: there are a number of real big advantages to learning Spanish.

  • What I would call being a lazy language learner doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t being a successful language learner, it just means that you’re being lazy the way I’m being lazy. And so there are seven habits I think that we need to acquire if we’re going to be effective, successful, lazy language learners.

  • Many of us are watching the Olympics in Brazil. Despite all of the bad reports that we always get in the lead up to any Olympic Games – some British newspaper called the 2010 Vancouver Winter games the worst Olympics in the world ever, then there were all the problems with toilets in Sochi and now pollution in Rio – it looks like actually things are proceeding swimmingly, so to speak.

    People ask, if I go to Brazil, can I communicate? What language do they speak? First of all, some may not know that Brazilians speak Portuguese. There’s no Brazilian language, there is Portuguese.

  • Do NOT Study Grammar June 16 2021

    Grammar basically describes usage. So since languages evolve over time, sounds in languages evolve over time, usage patterns evolve over time. Therefore the grammar which describes the usage will evolve over time. So how useful is it to attempt to teach people what the rules of usage are before the learner has had enough experience with the language?

  • The last 15 years have brought revolutionary change to language learning. Amongst the most popular new opportunities is the possibility to connect with native speakers of the languages we are learning via the Internet, and specifically via Skype. We all take Skype for granted today, but the app was first launched in 2003, in Estonia.  […]

  • ***   This post is a transcript of a video on my YouTube channel.   Studying English? Here’s the transcript as a lesson to study on LingQ.   Back in 1968, I was sent to Hong Kong by the Canadian government to learn Mandarin Chinese. I spent a year learning Chinese and then the idea […]

  • The most important task in language learning, in my opinion, is the acquisition of vocabulary. If we have enough words, we can make sense of what we’re reading or listening to and we can somehow express ourselves. Vocabulary is much more important than grammar. The grammar you acquire gradually as you become familiar with the […]

  • ***   This post is a transcript of a video on my YouTube channel.   Studying English? Here’s the transcript as a lesson to study on LingQ.   We regularly see blog posts and videos where people provide advice on how to learn a language in a given period of time: one month, three months, […]

  • If you really want to learn English fast, here is what you do. This advice is valid for other languages as well. The only difference between English and other languages is that most people learning English have had a lot of classroom instruction, which is not usually the case for learners of other languages.   […]