The Language Mastery Show

Interviews with the World’s Best Language Learners

The Language Mastery Show brings you interviews with the world’s best language learners. The show is hosted by John Fotheringham, a linguist and author obsessed with making language learning as fun, accessible, and effective as possible for listeners. Each episode includes a long-form interview with a linguist, language expert, polyglot, innovative educator, or top language blogger, with just enough silliness and puns to keep things interesting.

Topics include:

  • The daily habits of successful language learners.
  • The importance of psychology and attitude in language learning.
  • Common language learning myths and misconceptions.
  • The DOs and DON’Ts of effective language acquisition.
  • The best language learning apps, sites, and resources available.
  • How to have more fun in language learning.

Great Language Learning Advice

John’s philosophy and approach are spot-on: You don’t need to be gifted, spend tons of money, or move to another country to learn a language. You just need to be dedicated and consistent.


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The Language Mastery Show is now available on Stitcher!  The free site and app (available for both iOS and Android) is a great way to stream shows, make custom stations, and stay up to date on new episodes.


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On Language Mastery

If you wish to stream or download MP3s for individual episodes of the The Language Mastery Show on the site, browse to the episode you want and follow the instructions on the page.

Wonderful Tool

I really love this podcast. I wish there were more resources like this. It is truly refreshing to hear people who know what they’re talking about and are not just trying to sell something. I was teaching a Russian class when I stumbled on to this and I had my students listen to selected episodes as homework. The host and all of his guests are realistic. They are not salesmen. They are not dogmatic. They enjoy languages and they are eager to be helpful to new language learners. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Previous Guests

Interview with Ellen Jovin of “Words & Worlds of New York”

Ellen Jovin is variously described as a “linguaphile,” a “language-crazed writer,” a “grammar freak,” a “former freelance writer,” and a professional trainer specializing in communication skills. On the first of July in 2009, Ellen began a impressive language and culture project called “Words & Worlds of New York” with the goal exploring the myriad languages spoken in The Big Apple.

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Interview with Olly Richards of “I Will Teach You a Language”

With seven languages under his linguistic belt and an academic background in Applied Linguistics, Olly Richards of has proven that he can both talk the talk and walk the walk. His infectious passion for all things language is a breath of fresh air in the increasingly cynical language learning blogosphere. In the interview, we discuss the under-appreciated importance of psychology in language learning, how he has had to alter his approach to language learning now that he is learning a language in country where it isn’t widely spoken (Cantonese in Qatar of all places!), his experience participating in Brian Kwong’s +1 Challenge (an approach he lovingly refers to as “crowdsourced motivation”), the role of teachers in language education, and the power of “negotiated syllabi”.

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Interview with Keith Brooks of “Pardon My Norwegian”

Keith Brooks is the man behind Pardon My Norwegian, a site dedicated to “everything cool from Norway from the eyes of a Kentuckian”. Prior to “marrying” the Norwegian language, Keith sampled a number of a potential languages in a project called 37 Languages. His “speed dating” or “taste testing” approach to choosing just the right “significant linguistic other” got picked up by PRI’s The World in 2009 (“Blogging the Love of Language“), and Keith was asked back again in 2010 to report on which language he finally chose to settle down with (“A Language Speed-Dater Gets Serious“). In our interview, Keith: 1) Shares his favorite tips and tools for learning Norwegian online, 2) Confirms that contrary to what many may expect, it is indeed possible to learn Norwegian even in Louisville, Kentucky, and 3) Compares Norwegian with other Scandinavian tongues: ”Danish sounds like Swedish, but is written like Norwegian. Swedish sounds like Norwegian, but is closer to Danish. And then Norwegian, in my opinion, is the best one of them all!”

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More please!

I just binge-listened to the whole backlist of episodes. Gosh, this is an absorbing show.

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