At-Home Immersion for Independent Learners

 

Welcome to Language Mastery! My blog, podcast, newsletter, and language guides show you how to learn any language, anywhere, through fun, effective, personalized immersion techniques. Learn what you want, when you want, where you want, and how you want.

Jumpstart Your Language Learning Journey!

Enter your email to get instant access to my my Quick Start Guide, a 10-step approach to learning any language, anywhere. You'll also get access to 1-pagers for Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, and Russian, plus weekly language learning tips, tools, and resources to help you along your language learning journey.

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Meet the Author

初めまして!幸會幸會!¡Mucho gusto!

I'm John Fotheringham, a linguist, author, teacher, and entrepreneur. I grew up near Seattle, but have spent much of my adult life living, learning, and working abroad, especially in Japan, Bangladesh, China, and Taiwan. I've been learning and teaching languages for over two decades, and created Language Mastery to highlight the most fun and effective methods, materials, and mindsets. Everyone learns differently, so I've packaged my language learning tips, tools, and resources into four different formats:

See the About page for more about the site, my philosophies, and my language learning journey.

My Language Learning Philosophy

Anyone can learn a foreign language with the right attitude, methods, and materials.

 

The DON'Ts

  • You DON'T need to be "gifted" at languages. Most adult learners fail because they spend all their time learning about the language instead of actually spending enough time practicing in the language.
  • You DON'T need to spend thousands of dollars on foreign language classes or hundreds of dollars on overpriced products like Rosetta Stone. But a little investment in the right tools and materials can go a long way.
  • You DON'T need to force yourself through boring textbooks, grammars, and declension tables. Fun, modern, relevant materials are readily available online.
  • You DON'T need to move abroad. Creative use of technology allows you to create a fun, effective immersion environment no matter where you live.

The DOs

  • You DO need to figure out what methods fit your learning style, schedule, and personality. There is no one-size-fits-all way to learn a language. You have to experiment until you find what works for you.
  • You DO need to pick materials, topics, and activities that are inherently enjoyable and fit your unique personal interests. When you do, motivation and retention increase dramatically. As the blogger Khatzumoto puts it succinctly, "Fun gets done."
  • You DO need to maximize your exposure to the target language everyday through input (listening and reading) and active output (speaking and writing). If you put in the time on a consistent basis, your brain will do the rest.

Begin Your Language Learning Journey

Read the blog, listen to the podcast, subscribe to the newsletter, or check out my step-by-step guides

 

The Language Mastery Blog

100+ free language learning articles that include tips, tools, tech, product reviews, and more to help you learn languages in a fun, effective, adult-friendly way.

My Step-by-Step Language Guides

Detailed how-to manuals and resource guides that show you how to create fun, engaging, immersive environments no matter where in the world you happens to live.

The Language Mastery Insider

8 free PDF guides including my Quick Start Guide and 1-pagers for Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, and Russian.

The Language Mastery Show

20+ free podcast episodes including interviews with linguists, polyglots, innovative educators, and the world’s top language bloggers.

Featured Articles

A selection of my favorite articles from the Language Mastery Blog

 

33 Life Lessons Learned Living & Working Abroad for 10 Years

33 years. 13 countries. 19 addresses. Here are 33 life lessons I’ve gleaned over the past 33 years living on the planet earth, especially the last decade living as a “stranger in a strange land” in Japan, Bangladesh, and Taiwan. I hope they offer you some vicarious expat wisdom, and more importantly, impetus to move abroad yourself.

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The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Language Learners

Most of you are probably familiar with Stephen R. Covey’s best-selling book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change”. I’ve listened to the audiobook a number of times and return to it whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, adrift, or caught up in “the thick of thin things”. Many of the 7 habits actually apply quite well to language learning (especially when it comes to prioritizing and making time for study), but I’d like to tweak them a bit to make them more specific to what it takes to become a highly successful language learner.

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