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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.
  • Visit LingQ: https://goo.gl/TPv3QM My Blog: http://blog.thelinguist.com My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lingosteve My Twitter: ...
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  • I can speak 17 or so languages to varying degrees of fluency. Some I speak really well, like French, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish. Even in languages that I speak less well, like Swedish, German, or Russian, my accent is not too bad, people tell me.

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  • Making mistakes in language learning is not only necessary, it is a good sign. If you are not making mistakes you are not trying hard enough to use the language.

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  • Grammar rules, their importance and how we should deal with them, are a constant debate in in language learning.   Some people say grammar is a waste of time, that we can just ignore it. Other people say that you have to first learn the basics, as if that is possible to do.   I […]

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  • I don’t think it takes any special talent to learn multiple languages. Some people may do better than others, but everyone can do it. Some may pronounce better, some may have a larger vocabulary, different people have different interests, but everyone is capable of doing it. It’s an extremely rewarding thing to do.

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  • Traditionally, language learners have been divided into three groups: those who learn informally on their own, those who attend school, and those who do both.   In a classroom environment, the teacher can assign tasks to the learner and provide some overview and even coercion to ensure that the learner carries out these tasks, regardless […]

  • Learn Vocabulary Fast May 14 2018
    Visit LingQ: https://goo.gl/MYwCFn My Blog: http://blog.thelinguist.com My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lingosteve My Twitter: ...
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  • Conversation implies a two-way exchange of language. Therefore, reaching a conversational level implies quite a high level of comprehension of the language so that we can understand what is being said to us. That means in order to converse properly we need to prepare ourselves.

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  • English Grammar 101 May 1 2018

    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.

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  • I have been asked to redo the recording for this podcast that I did over two years ago. Here it is again. This evening I have to give a short talk in Japanese to about 30 members of the Japan-Canada Chamber of Commerce. I am a Director of this Cha…

  • Visit LingQ: https://goo.gl/27My4i My Blog: http://blog.thelinguist.com My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lingosteve My Twitter: ...
  • Many people, at some time or another, say they want to learn another language. Few manage to get beyond a beginner level.   Most of these unsuccessful learners have language teachers explaining the language to them, drilling them and correcting them. Successful language learners don’t need anyone to explain the language to them, correct them, […]

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  • Independent learning is the most important issue in education today, and in many ways the most elusive or difficult issue to deal with.  More than class size, teacher accreditation, or the latest innovations in teaching methodology, developing independent learning habits, in other words, self-learning, in students, and teachers, should be the main preoccupation of educators, […]

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  •   I think that children learn faster than adults. There is ample evidence of this, for example amongst immigrants to Canada. Rare is the immigrant family where the children don’t speak English, or French, much better than their parents.   Can Adults Learn More Like Children? I also think, however, that adults can learn how […]

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  • Canadian government announces $2.5 Billion over 5 years for official languages and predicts that bilingualism outside Quebec will go from 6.6% to 6.7% by ...
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  • Have you been studying a language for a while? Are you still afraid to speak ? Follow the Language Learner’s Manifesto and become confident and FLUENT in your chosen language.

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  • Which is better for language learners, monolingual or bilingual dictionaries? This question often comes up.A monolingual dictionary explains the meaning of a word in the language that you are learning. A bilingual dictionary provides a translation…

  • The dominant position of English as an international language seems to create controversy in certain circles. Some French people for example, resent the increasing importance of English in the European community. Claude Hagège is a spokesman for this point of view. French used to be the language of diplomacy and the preferred language of international exchange. […]

  • What Is Literacy? March 6 2018

    We have literacy proliferation these days. I just Googled emotional literacy, physical literacy, health literacy, social literacy, and different kinds of literacy. I was amazed at what I found.   So what is literacy? To me literacy means the ability to read. The invention of writing is one of mankind’s most useful creations. With writing, we can record things. […]

  • Last week I wrote about the first four secrets to language learning success: spend the time, do what you like to do, learn to notice and words over grammar. Today’s post reveals the last three secrets.

  • People often ask me how I learned 15 languages. I will tell you what works for me; you’ll have to decide if this can work for you. Here are the first four secrets to language learning success…

  • The goal of fluency in a foreign language can often seem vague and elusive. It is not always clear what fluency means. Those who have not experienced the feeling of achieving fluency in another language doubt they can get there, and doubt they would know if they did. Learners often feel they are not making […]

  • Tips for Learning Russian February 7 2018

    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.

  • When I wrote my book The Linguist: A Personal Guide to Language Learning, I began with what I called ‘The Parable of the Crooked Tree’. The author of the parable was Zhuangzi, an early exponent of Taoism, a school of Chinese philosophy from over 2,000 years ago. I referred to Taoism on a number of occasions in my book. Zhuangzi’s basic principle in life was to follow what was natural, what was effortless and not try to force things.

  • I believe that listening comprehension is an important skill in language learning. That is what you should drive for first of all. If you develop good listening comprehension, the other skills will come, the speaking will come, even your grammar, your accuracy.

  • French was my first love when it comes to languages. In fact, there’s an expression in French: “On revient toujours a son premier amour.” It means you always go back to your first love. I love French; I love all the languages that I learn, but I have a special affection for French.
    I highly recommend learning French for beginners. There’s a whole world that you can access so much better if you speak French. The language is spoken in other countries like Canada.

  • I hear all the time that Google Translate doesn’t work. It’s not accurate. It’s this and that. I think Google Translate is a tremendous resource and not only for language learners. It’s not 100% and it’s better for some languages than others, but I find it extremely useful.

  • Can I become fluent in a foreign language? If your answer to this question is no, then you are best to stop trying. If you don’t believe that you can reach the destination in your journey, why start? On the other hand, if you believe you can become fluent in a foreign language, you are well on your way to achieving fluency.

  • How to Learn Vocabulary Fast December 26 2017

    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 language, […]

  • I love learning languages. When I start a new language I am motivated by the sense of anticipation that after a period of sustained effort, I will be able to connect with a new culture, and express myself in a new language. I am probably more motivated than most people. Nevertheless, there are many moments […]

  • Create Your Own Dictionary December 12 2017

    When it comes to learning a new language, some learners like dictionaries. They read them. They treasure them. They worry about getting the best possible dictionary. I don’t like using dictionaries. Using them is like one-way love.

  • El aprendizaje independiente es el tema más importante en la educación hoy en día, y en muchos sentidos, el más difícil de tratar.  Más que el tamaño de las clases, la acreditación de los profesores o las últimas innovaciones en metodología de enseñanza, el desarrollo de hábitos de aprendizaje independientes, es decir, el autoaprendizaje, en […]

  • I studied Czech a few years ago so my statistics at LingQ for that language are not current. However, the statistics from my recent Polish challenge illustrate the fact that we can learn or add to our “known words” total well over 100 words a day. In fact in the case of Polish (since I know other Slavic languages) it is over 300 words a day. You can learn 100 words a day, if you are willing to put in the time.

  • It is tempting to believe that we can just acquire a small number of very useful words and sort of get a jump start in a foreign language. I have never found that to be the case. Of course we need to learn key words like “I”, “you”, “he” and “she” and the like, or […]