Why every word counts

Language learners often complain about learning “useless” words: Why should I learn how to say “scarecrow”? I’ll never use that word! Why not learn more important words like “watermelon,” “study” and “bathroom”? People often think that some of the basic, tangible words that a 4-year old knows aren’t very important to learn. I’m going to…

How many words do I need?

“How many words do I need to know in order to learn this language?” As a language coach, I’ve been (pleasantly) surprised that I haven’t heard his question more often. But people do sometimes wonder what level of vocabulary they’ll need in order to function. The first question you need to ask in order to…

What nobody can teach you

You can talk all day long about language-learning methodology and what the best ways are to become a more proficient participator in a language and culture. And while these are important things to think about—how you go about learning a language has significant implications for how well you succeed—yet the single most important factor for…