Getting The Most From Your Language Exchange

exchangeAre you using online language exchanges to practice speaking in your target language? If so, are you taking full advantage of this amazing learning tool? In this post, I’ve got some advice for getting the most out of your online language exchange. I’ll also compare and contrast a language exchange with an online tutoring session to help you decide which is right for you.
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Listen To Me Talk About Language Learning

Hey there language learners! I was lucky enough this week to be interviewed by Chris Broholm for the Actual Fluency Podcast. For those of you unfamiliar with the podcast:

“The Actual Fluency Podcast is a Podcast for language learners who want to be inspired, informed and entertained on a weekly show. The show will go live every week and feature some of the top minds in language learning along with other interesting guests that have high value to inspire and motivate you to take your passion for languages to a whole new level.”

Some past guests on the podcast include such big names as Steve Kaufman, Olly Richards, Judith Meyer, and more! It’s a very relaxed, casual, conversational style interview that was a tone of fun to record.

So, check it out and let me know in the comments what you think!

Click here to check out HowToLanguages founder Bill Price talk Language Learning on the Actual Fluency Podcast.

Another Vocabulary Post – Some New Thoughts

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 My previous post about vocabulary was very focused on methods and what has worked for me (and what hasn’t). With this post, I’d like to dig a little deeper and discuss some of the finer points of vocabulary acquisition.

I’d like to start off by discussing a topic that actually comes up quite a bit among both beginning language learners and polyglots alike. I’m talking about the age old question: “How many words do I need to know to be fluent in a language?” Obviously this is one of the most subjective questions you could possibly ask, but it does make you think, doesn’t it? Throw out the obvious distraction (“fluent”), modify the verbiage a bit, and you are left with a reasonable question. “How many words does one need to know to function in a language. “ Let’s see if we can find out. Read More

I Have All the Language Toys! – Now What?

     If you’re like me, you are probably super excited about learning a language. You probably also enjoy what I call “The resource round-up”. What is the “resource round-up”? It’s that exciting stage right BEFORE you dive into learning a new language when you scrounge for resources to help propel your learning to new heights. I’ll talk about how to do a proper round-up in a future post.

     For now, let’s assume you are all “resourced up” and ready to explode! I’ll paint the picture. You’ve got a dozen free language websites in your favorites with all the vocabulary lists, grammar points, common phrases, native audio, and encouragement you could ever possibly want. You’ve gone on an Amazon.com shopping spree and now you have 6 or 8 or 20 new books including multiple courses, vocabulary books, dictionaries, verb guides, and who knows what else because you really haven’t looked them over that well yet. Maybe you’ve downloaded some podcasts, audio courses, or even some simple audiobooks. Maybe your bookshelf looks something like one of mine:

my shelf     Maybe it looks like a less (or even more) extreme version of mine.  Basically, we are assuming that you are 100% totally geared and psyched up to drive your shelf into Language World and kick some major butt.  You’ve got the firepower.  You’ve got the attitude and the confidence.  You’ve got the desire.  What’s stopping you?

     Oh yeah…  What do I do now?  I always run into this too.  Honestly, it doesn’t get much easier the more languages you know.  I’ve never started two languages the exact same way.  No two languages are the same, why should the methods be?

You may be saying “Great advice Sherlock, what am I supposed to do now?”  Well, bear with me for a little while longer and I will have you ready to move on from “Resource Round-up” to “Language Launch” in a matter of minutes. Read More

Juggling Multiple Languages – Some practical advice

Juggle    I get a lot of questions about learning multiple languages.  Should I do it?  How do I manage the time?  What about interference?  And so on.  So, I figure that today would be as good a day as any to answer as many of those questions as I can.

Disclaimer:  All of the opinions expressed in this post are the OPINIONS of Bill Price and not of anyone else, real or imagined.  Any similarity to anyone else’s opinions is purely coincidental (and kind of cool).

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Grammar! – No wait, don’t go. It’ll be fun…

We all knew it was coming, the dreaded “grammar” post.  I promise this won’t be anything like actually studying grammar (unless you’re into that sort of thing…)  Ok, hopefully I haven’t scared everyone away because I think there is going to be some great stuff in this post.

So far, we’ve touched on vocabulary and phonemes.  We have words, which have assigned meanings.  We have a standardized way to convert those words into sounds.  What are we missing?  Yes, rules.  That’s all grammar is.  Rules for assembling words into a consistent comprehensible message that can be used to communicate.  Or, as the dictionary defines it:

gram·mar

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