Aaron Myers is the man behind The Everyday Language Learner, a wonderful blog that aims to help the average Joe (and John, and Rosemary, and…okay, you get the idea) learn a foreign language in fun, effective, efficient way. Above all else, Aaron strives to empower learners by showing people how to learn, not just what. To that end, Aaron has written heaps of excellent blog posts, a host of useful language learning guides, including The Guide to Getting Started, Activities and Strategies for Everyday Language Learners, The Guide to Self-Assessment, and Stage: Before You Move Overseas. He also offers private language coaching for those who want more personalized help.
In our interview, we discuss:
- Aaron’s daily language learning routine while learning Turkish.
- The importance of practicing numbers spoken at real speed.
- How to create learner-centric “Total Physical Response” (TPR).
- The power of “Language Acquisition Projects” (LAPs).
- Creating a corpus of comprehensible listening material.
- Handcrafted text and audio materials.
- How to maintain a language when you move back home.
- The importance of preserving motivation.
- The six pillars of learning a language: 1) Accountability, 2) Assessment, 3) Encouragement, 4) Knowledge, 5) Planning, and 6) Resources.
- Why the imperfect method you stick with is better than the perfect method you quit.
- How to be an independent language learner.
- The power of “password phrases” (a.k.a. “power tools”).
Listen to the Interview
- Two Hours with a Language Helper (Aaron’s post about working with tutors & native speakers)
- Total Physical Response (a language learning method that incorporates physical movement)
- Handcrafted Audio for Remembering What You Learn (Aaron’s guest post on Fluent in 3 Months)
- Maintaining the Language from Afar (Everyday Language Learner post)
- Kure.tv (Turkish TV shows online)
- Iki Dunya Arasinda (Turkish soap opera)
- Sustaining (Aaron’s free guide to help you stick to it)
- Peace Corps Volunteer On-going Language Learning Manual (free PDF)
- Whole World Guide to Language Learning (Terry Marshall’s guide to language learning)
- The Guide to Getting Started (Aaron’s guide on how to start learning a language)
- Anki (spaced repetition flashcards)
- Lang-8 (free, crowd-sourced writing correction)
- RhinoSpike (free, crowd-sourced audio recordings)
- The Place to Start (Aaron’s recommended articles for new readers)
- The NOT To Do List for Successful Language Learners (my article about common mistakes to avoid)