Language Helper

What is a Language Helper?

I have talked often about using a “language helper” to learn the language and I want to take a bit of time to explain it today.  But first I will talk about what a language helper (LH) is not.

A LH is not a teacher.  They are not a tutor.  They will not be experts in grammar – at least not any more than the average American is an expert in English grammar – who can tell me what a participle phrase is?

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reliance

Are you a King or a Prisoner? The Danger of Reliance

A few months ago, I started writing an article with the stated purpose of inspiring more native English speakers to open their eyes to the potential in language study. The cause is an everlasting one, often considered peripheral by Brits and Americans, and continually overlooked. I drew the picture of monolingualism as a prison, and almost hesitated to publish the words because this is such a strong image. Prisoners are trapped because of choices they have made, or situations they have found themselves in. They are stigmatised, struggling for hope and expected to mend their ways.

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misconceptions about language learning

Misconceptions about Language Learning #8: Without Moving Abroad, you will Forever Miss Out

A lot of prominent language learners on the internet are expats of some kind. Some have been on the road for years like Mau Buchler, others like David Mansaray are posting about their experiences of living in a different country. It’s completely reasonable to assume that language and this sort of mega-immersion of living abroad are inextricably linked, but as a learner could this mindset be putting a bit of pressure on you? Instead of busting a myth as I usually do, my aim today is to make you consider a different angle of language motivation.

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misconceptions about language learning

Misconceptions about Language Learning #6: They definitely got it right in school

Hassled teachers, giggling back rows, noisy common rooms… many would-be learners will have memories of school that are not encouraging future learning. If you are above the age of 13 and you attended school, you are very likely to have come into contact with language learning. The common scenario is that your tuition was in a larger group of your peers, involved homework and regular tests, and was structured around a curriculum set by people who don’t know you. And for some learners, it wasn’t right. The amount of people who mention this scenario to me when they talk about language learning is staggering!

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