Episode 52: The Best Language Learning Tools for Autumn/Winter 2016

This episode of the Creative Language Learning Podcast is as fun as ever, covering the ultimate Good, Bad and Struggling and our Top 5 Language Learning Tools of 2016/17.

Our Favourite Language Learning Tools for Autumn/Winter 2016

Listen to the show to get the detailed recommendations, and here is a quick index.

1) Lyricstraining.com

This website is awesome!! It pulls in music videos from YouTube and VEVO, adds the lyrics and converts the whole thing into a game. Teachers might call it a "cloze exercise", I call it "fill in the gap", and anyone would call this one a whole lot of fun.

2) Gus on The Go

A language learning collection created by parents for children. It's fun, it's beautiful, it's available as an app for your smartphone and tablet. In a sea of language learning apps, Gus on the Go stands out for its design and layout. There are apps available in 28 languages. Highly recommended for getting any young person started in a new language!

3) TuneIn Radio

A language learner's classic for natural input. This app and website lets you listen to radio stations from all around the world. It's perfect if you're at that stage where you're looking for a way to "level up" in your language. There are also podcasts, or you could search by favourite music style. The diverse voices of radio DJs and exciting foreign language music will give you a great new challenge.

4) Tiny Cards

This is a new app from the team behind Duolingo. It's all about adorable flashcards helping you review and check your knowledge on anything, from language vocab to colour theory. This promises to take the Duolingo design excellence to a new level. Great if you're looking for a new flashcard app.

5) Eggbun

Yes, it's another super cute app! This innovative little app works like a text chat, where you're chatting with your new friend "Eggbun", who is teaching you the Korean alphabet and language. If you're addicted to texting on your phone, here's an AI teacher who will reply anytime.

  • The app is out for Korean (iOS/Android), Japanese (iOS coming soon, but already out on Android), and soon coming out soon in Chinese. Get your preferred version from the lovely Eggbun website.

Honorary Mention

The All 4 App now has a wonderful "Walter Presents" range, bringing in comedies, dramas and crime shows in a really wide range of languages. If you're in the UK, you go and have a look.

Learn more about how to use TV to learn a language in podcast episode 31.

So The Podcast is Taking a Break..

But that does not mean you're going to miss us too much. Lindsay and I have gone through the archives together, selecting our own favourite episodes for you to try.

Here are our essential Creative Language Learning Podcast episodes you should not miss:

  • Futurelearn - free online courses provided by UK universities and organisations. They offer some language courses, including Dutch, Danish, Spanish, and Catalan Sign Language (!)
  • News in Slow French

Episode 51: Top 5 Fictional Languages

Do you speak Sindarin?

In this episode, Lindsay and I went full-on nerd and we were loving it! The world of fictional languages is richer than a London billionaire, and we have researched and collected the most awesome fictional languages for you to learn about.

In this episode, you'll hear the new Good, Bad and Struggling followed by the Ultimate Fictional Languages Chart. Here in the shownotes, you'll see our Top 5 and the best of all links available so you can follow along and listen to the show.

Episode 50: Take Our Quiz for European Day of Languages (Live Episode)

cllp ep 50

We did it! 50 episodes, and one massive live celebration are behind us and a record number of you guys tuned in to listen live and chat to us

In This Episode You'll Hear

  • Kerstin's story of creating her European Day of Languages video on YouTube with all of the strangers (did you know I knew nothing about Welsh?)
  • LIVE Good, Bad and Struggling with the Chatroom!
  • Of course, our Huge 36 Question European Day of Languages QUIZ
  • A bittersweet announcement about the show's hiatus after episode 52

Missed the Quiz?

Don't miss out! If you want to quiz along, listen to the show recording. We saved all the answers until the end of every round so you can guess along with the live audience.

And if you want a PDF of the Questions and Answers, simply hop over here and join the Fluent Language Cool Kids Club.

Episode 49: Peace, Words 'n Harmony

Hey everyone, welcome to episode 49 of the Creative Language Learning Podcast.

The Good, The Bad and The Struggling

Routines lapsing for the summer, looking forward to September, and permission to half-ass online courses in this week's catch-up with Lindsay and Kerstin.

What's your Good, Bad and Struggling?

We'd love to hear from you guys on this one. If you want to share what's good, bad and difficult in your languages right now, send your feedback to us. We read every one and your language news could make it to a show intro in the future.

Simply do one of the following:

1) go on Skype and leave a voice message for fluentlanguage
2) or email us at podcast@fluentlanguage.co.uk - include a voice memo from your phone if you can, so we can feature your voice on the show

Topic: Language Learning Can Bring World Peace

Language is a beautiful caress that can make strangers melt into friends, but la gusgen is also a verbal door that can be closed in the face of outsiders. (Eddie Butler)

We went for deep stuff, and discussed the many ways that language learning can improve the world. From individual peace of mind, via tolerance in your everyday life, to changing the outlook of your country.

We found it felt wrong not to talk about moving abroad. Considering what's happening in Britain this year, the discussion turned to migration. Do people miss out when something foreign is added to the community? Our discussion might surprise you, because as always all isn't quite what it seems. And yes, we did say the B-word: Brexit.

And what about language education in schools? If we believe that language learning creates world peace, should we make everyone learn as many languages as possible?

The Power of Language

Finally, we only need to give you one word that shows something very interesting: migrant. Even when you're not learning a foreign language, the way that people and media around us use language to shape opinions affects everyone's life.

We touch on the idea that language can send signals about all of us, and make or break peace.

In our discussion, Lindsay and I got as close as you can get to saying horrible words. But not all the way there.

We hope you have a listen to find out more, and get in touch to tell us where you stand on language and world peace.

Live Party Invitation!

Just like last year, Lindsay and I are excited to create a live episode for the European Day of Languages. And that's not all this time. We also get to celebrate a milestone episode of the show: It's episode 50!

You can catch the recording of our 50th episode of the Creative Language Learning Podcast on October 3, 2016 at 2pm BST.

  • Join the live chat at www.fluentlanguage.co.uk/livepodcast on the day
  • Get in touch on Twitter by posting your questions and thoughts to @kerstinhammes and @ldlanguages or use the Twitter hashtag #cllp

Episode 48: Don't Avoid Language Speakers

Hello and welcome to Episode 48 of the Creative Language Learning Podcast!

We started off our episode with some insights into what's going on with our language learning - in a new format! It's called the good, the bad and the struggling. Listen in and tell us what you think!

What's your Good, Bad and Struggling?

We'd love to hear from you guys on this one. If you want to share what's good, bad and difficult in your languages right now, send your feedback to us. We read every one and your language news could make it to a show intro in the future.

Simply do one of the following:

1) go on Skype and leave a voice message for fluentlanguage
2) email us at podcast@fluentlanguage.co.uk - include a voice memo from your phone if you can, so we can feature your voice on the show

Topic: You Do Not Need a Native Speaker For Practice

This one had a controversial statement at the heart of it, and Lindsay and I debated the merits of hunting, finding, selecting, working with and learning with native speakers.

So, do you need a native speaker to learn a language?

Or can you learn a language just as well if you don't have a native speaker to practice with?

One of us argued that native speakers are almost "fetishized" in the world of language learning -- listen in to find out which one and see where our debate ended up.

Episode 47: A Good Handle on The Hangul

In this episode, we let you guys take us where you wanted us to go with your awesome listener messages.

Some of What We Talked About


  • Where to go when you travel to Lithuania (home of our first listener)

  • Great tips for studying Korean, like how to study the grammar and where to go next after learning Hangul script

  • Is there ever a perfect language course that is not too slow and not too fast?

  • How to set yourself little language goals

  • Great apps on your smartphone that help you learn languages

  • How to beat procrastination when you’re supposed to be studying your languages

((Find our homescreen gallery on the blog or at www.fluentlanguage.co.uk/podcast))

We want to thank you guys so much for sending us so much feedback (especially Paulina, Stephen and Andy) in this episode. Keep it coming, we always read your reviews and feedback and definitely want more voice messages.

You Can Be On The Show

You can submit your message to us anytime. Simply do one of the following:


  • go on Skype and leave a voice message for fluentlanguage
    OR

  • email us at kerstin@fluentlanguage.co.uk - include a voice memo from your phone if you can, so we can feature your voice on the show

  • leave a comment on this blog post

Make sure you mention your name and which languages you’re learning.

Links and Resources From This Episode

Korean

Welsh

Apps

There are so many more that we mention on the show, so don’t forget to check out our home screen gallery for inspiration.

Beating Procrastination

Episode 46: Mastery and Advanced Level Language Learning

Don't forget to catch the mention of our good friends at Flashsticks, the language learning post-it guys. You can purchase vocabulary post-it notes in 8 languages and get 10% off with the code KERSTIN10 - or just download the free Flash Academy app.

When you reach the higher language levels, it's not enough to just study. How does it feel to reach a level where you are looking for ways to go beyond fluency? How can you move towards mastery?

There's no Lindsay in this episode (don't worry, she'll be back very soon!), so I found myself two experts who know what they are talking about:

  • Tristan Foy, an American polyglot who's currently my advanced German student

and

The episode is full of tips and strategies for reaching the very advanced levels and getting better even after years of study.

Check out the full blog post and show notes for this article at www.fluentlanguage.co.uk/blog/podcast-advanced-language

Key Points:

  • It's Not About Fast Progress
  • Advanced Level Means Finding "More" In The Language

"Learning a language is a bit like hugging a cactus - you can never get entirely comfortable"

  • It Takes Work To Progress

Enjoy the journey, stop for a breather whenever you feel like it and keep going.

  • Fluency - No One Cares!

Tristan sums this up with a wonderful sentence: Don't worry about getting fluent. Worry about getting better.

  • You Need Humility

Episode 45: How To Learn a Language Using Snapchat

In our introduction, we take you on a tour de force German kids' TV, Icelandic football cheering, and the pronunciation of Montréal.

Don't forget to catch the mention of our good friends at Flashsticks, the language learning post-it guys. You can purchase vocabulary post-it notes in 8 languages and get 10% off with the code KERSTIN10 - or just download the free Flash Academy app.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a social media app for any smartphone. It lets you share photos or videos, and your snap only lasts 24 hours unless you make it a "memory".

Of course you can change the menu language, but with such strong visual focus that alone won't teach you a language.

It's designed for camera phones and not available on your desktop computer.

Why is it awesome?

  • It's easy, fast and low-pressure. In other photo social networks, you would be tempted to make every picture stunning and impressive and beautiful. But in Snapchat, you'll just play and learn in the process. What does that mean? No more shyness, no more reasons to avoid speaking!

  • It allows you to stitch things together into a story, so you can share a 5-second snap, or go ahead and combine several videos to show how you speak a foreign language.

  • For language learning, the new Memories feature is a way to track your progress. Record yourself speaking today, save the memory, and try the same thing in a month. You'll be surprised at your own progress!

Great Accounts to Follow (Click for the Snapcodes)

Are You a Snapchat User?

If you use Snapchat for language learning (or not), leave us a comment and share your usernames and snapcodes.

Thank you guys so much for being podcast listeners, chatting to us on twitter (I'm @kerstinhammes and Lindsay is @ldlanguages) and making your voices heard!

Episode 44: Be Like a Waffle (Language Learning in Country)

Episode 44 is kindly sponsored by our friends at Flashsticks. Check out their new app Flash Academy is out now. It's a language playground offering you light lessons, games and quizzes. Go check it out for free at Flash Sticks and get 10% off everything at the site with code KERSTIN10.

Learning a Language In-Country

Learning a language where it is spoken is one of the Top 5 wishes on every learner's bucket list. In this episode, we explore stories and tips about language learning - including Lindsay's travels to Costa Rica, and what Kerstin's English was like on day 1 in England.

  • What's different between home learning and in-country learning?
  • The risk and benefit of having a "home library" for language learning
  • How can you build your in-country vocabulary?
  • Why having no choice is the single best thing you can do for your language skills
  • The three types of in-country learning: Short Stay, Mid-Stay and Complete Life Change
  • How to rank and assess your language level on the "Kerstin Cable Breakfast Food Scale"
  • German learners! Kerstin is inviting you to come to Germany and speak for a week at the Fluent German Retreat
  • Exactly what to do when people correct you as you speak another language
  • What does it mean when you start to dream and think in another language?

Plus: Bonus Secret

We started off the show comparing a few Duolingo notes, and finally find out what happens when you finish a Duolingo skill tree.

You Can Be On The Show!

Do you want to become a part of the Creative Language Learning Podcast? Then send us your feedback!

We would love you to record a voicemail on your phone and email it to kerstin@fluentlanguage.co.uk -- send us a question or a comment so you can be on the show.

Got Duolingo or Flashsticks Academy on your phone?

Then take a picture and send it to kerstin@fluentlanguage.co.uk or tweet @kerstinhammes and @ldlanguages #cllp to see your "learner phone" featured in a future show.

What We Think About Brexit

Dear listeners,

As this is our first show since the UK's historic EU referendum, we wanted to take a minute to talk to you guys about Brexit, Britain's exit from the European Union.

Lindsay and I both stand firmly on the side of "Remain", the campaign that did not want British people to vote for leaving the EU. For me as a German citizen, it is particularly heartbreaking to see my adopted home country vote for a process that is going to strengthen the lines between our countries. For Lindsay as a Brit, it has created an atmosphere in which it's difficult to feel at home. On a personal level, the result devastated both of us, although we respect the many different opinions that will have gone through voters' minds on the day.

The reports of xenophobic and intolerant comments and incidents since the result were another shock. Racial abuse is not acceptable behaviour, and this is not a time to turn to politicians promising to improve things by hurting foreigners.

Of course, there are also concerns about what leaving the European Union might mean for the UK's other nations and their own languages, especially Wales and Scotland. This is a time of real uncertainty, and Lindsay and I are finding ourselves in the middle of it.

We believe that being British does not exclude being European. We want to live in a prosperous, positive and inclusive Europe, and believe in a philosophy that emphasizes unity, working together and holding our country to the highest possible standard. In the following show, you'll hear our stories of being in other countries, and how amazing the experience can be for growth as language learners and as humans. We hope that Britain will find a path that keeps this freedom and commitment to an international fuutre available to all of its citizens, and all that want to experience languages in the UK.

Thank you guys so much for listening to our show, and for opening your life to all the benefits of language learning. We wish you all the best today.

Kerstin and Lindsay

Episode 43: Language is Everything: Talking Language Activism with Wikitongues

Oour good friends at Flashsticks are back as podcast sponsors - go check out their awesome new app and post-it notes in 8 languages at Flashsticks.com and claim 10% discount using code KERSTIN10.

"This is one of the most important things that we can do as humans - to constantly strive to learn about things that we don't understand."

An organization dedicated to raising awareness of language diversity.

We all know that language is important, but after listening to this episode you'll be amazed at the enormous variety of perspectives on this topic. Non-profit organization Wikitongues looks at languages from all points of view - as a metaphor for life.

What do we lose when a language dies?

There are communities that lose their ability to lose their own language - when a language is lost, the individuals in that community lose a part of who they are. Language death is both a loss of history and a loss of identity.

If you oppose racism, mysogyny, genocide and oppresion, you must support language diversity!

And if you thought language discrimination was a thing of the past, think again: Languages like Occitan and Cornish are experiencing it right now.

Some cool languages documented on Wikitongues:

Note for pedants: In the interview, the Universal Declaration for Human Rights was mentioned, but the speaker may have meant the Universal Declaration for Linguistic Rights. I researched this but could not find the exact quote in either one. If you know more details, go ahead and leave a comment or itunes review to help us out.

language diversity

Episode 42: Could Language Make You Money?

Today's episode returns to the topic of making money with languages. We ask if that's something you should be doing and how it can work.

In this episode, you get a look behind the scenes of our own careers, the jobs we've had and those that may be yet to come. All I'm saying is "flower lab!" 🌷

Three Reasons You Should Work With Languages

1) If you love it and you're passionate, it's a great way to bring excitement to your work
2) Working with languages will make you better at languages
3) You get to make great new connections with other speakers of your language

Our sponsor for this episode is Lindsay's new course, the Online Teaching Starter Kit. It's a complete guide to becoming an online teacher in five different parts. Check it out at www.fluentlanguage.co.uk/otsk.

Modern Languages students often look at the list of "related jobs" for their degree and ask "Is that all?!"

What you will hear:

  • What does it really mean to have a passion for something?
  • You're not meant to be good enough (not perfect) at languages when you go for a job interview
  • The disappointing list of "jobs related to a Modern Languages degree" on a leading careers website
  • The weird and wonderful list of "jobs where your Modern Languages degree would be useful" on the same website
  • How to bring languages into your career without applying for a new job
  • Our stories from applying for and working in the following jobs: translator, tutor, interpreter, teaching assistant, video game tester, export sales assistant, international recruitment manager
  • Why we work online and for ourselves, but we're not digital nomads
  • How to get started as an online tutor in particular, and the fantastic concept of timeboxing

"Self employment is self improvement." (Lindsay does soundbites)

You can get in touch with us and tell us what you thought by
1) leaving us an iTunes review by visiting our itunes page and clicking "Ratings and Reviews"
2) using hashtag #cllp on Twitter (I am @kerstinhammes and Lindsay is @ldlanguages).
 

Episode 41: How to Rock Language Learning For Travel

This episode brings you the best mindset tips for learning a language for your next trip - even if you're completely busy and scared of talking to native speakers.

In this episode you'll hear

  • Awesome listener feedback, including my top tip for what to do when people keep asking you to perform and "say something in" your target language
  • Is it rude not to know the language of the country you are visiting?
  • How I didn't do prep for my Iceland trip in the ideal way - and why a phrasebook would've been better
  • What's different when you are learning languages for travel, and not "for life"
  • What we learnt from reading the word "pizza" in lots of languages
  • What to do immediately after you return home

Catch it all by following us on Snapchat - I am fluentlanguage and Lindsay is ldlanguages.

Reviews

Your feedback is extremely important to the show. It gives us inspiration, topics, ideas, and it makes us happy.

You can help our show by going on itunes and leaving us a review yourself - we do read them all.

Episode 39: Polyglot Gathering Preview (Mini Episode)

We're getting excited about the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin! Here is a preview of the talks we are not going to miss.

Look out for the very special "live from the floor" reports in episode 40.

Episode 38 is brought to you with friendly support from italki. Do visit their site and check out the awesome Buy 1 Get 1 Free offer to learn from native speakers today.

We Want To Meet You At The Gathering!

Are you a podcast listener on the way to the Polyglot Gathering?

Then don't hesitate and come to see Lindsay and me! We'll be reporting from the conference floor for episode 40 so your voice could even be on the show.

Send us a message on Twitter! We are @ldlanguages for Lindsay and @kerstinhammes for Kerstin, and on the hashtag #cllp

Episode 38: The Best Tools for Language Learning in Spring/Summer 2016

Topic: The Best Tools for Language Learning in Spring/Summer 2016

Episode 38 is brought to you with friendly support from italki. Do visit their site and check out the awesome Buy 1 Get 1 Free offer to learn from native speakers today.

Kerstin and Lindsay bring you the ultimate Spring/Summer collection of language learning tools. We each nominated three things we regularly use for learning languages and discussed how to make them teach you a language.

"I'm not as good as I think I am - but that's a good thing because it motivates me to work harder."

  • Lindsay

And if that's not enough, we then went ahead and created our own language learning chart for you. Listen to the show to find out our absolute top recommendation.

Do You Agree With Our Language Chart?

You can get in touch with us and tell us what you thought by

1) leaving us an iTunes review by visiting our itunes page and clicking "Ratings and Reviews"

2) using hashtag #cllp (or #kerstinyouold) on Twitter (I am @kerstinhammes and Lindsay is @ldlanguages).

And once again, thanks so much to our sponsors Italki - please support our show by visiting them today.

Episode 37: The Secret Languages of Great Britain (with expert voice Simon Ager)

Episode 37 is brought to you by italki, where you can find a language partner for any language. We tested it with rare languages like Icelandic, and it totally delivered. Get an awesome free lesson deal at italki.

Today's Topic: Multilingual Britain

Britain is not monolingual at all, but in fact it is teeming with languages. In this episode, we present you the real landscape of languages spoken in the British Isles.

Can you guess how many languages are indigenous to this country?

We discovered some amazing things, not lastly you'll NEVER guess what Irish and Spanish bears have in common!

You'll be surprised to find that more than 2 million people in the UK speak British languages other than English. Here is a quick summary of the bigger groups of languages spoken in the UK - not just British languages, but also the immigrant languages most popular in the UK today, for example Polish, Gujarati and Urdu.

Listen to our podcast episode to get a wonderful tour of the British languages, including:

  • What does it take to keep a minority language alive?
  • Did you know there was a Scots dictionary - and how it's influenced the English language?
  • Our pondering of the true official languages of Great Britain
  • Turns out children really are the future when it comes to reviving languages that don't have native speakers anymore, for example Cornish

Lindsay does some amazing demonstrations of the Scottish language and accent. And Kerstin says her first "goodbye" in Welsh!

Which British Languages Did You Know?

You can get in touch with us and tell us what you thought by

1) leaving us an iTunes review by visiting our itunes page and clicking "Ratings and Reviews"

2) using hashtag #cllp on Twitter (I am @kerstinhammes and Lindsay is @ldlanguages.

And once again, thanks so much to our sponsors Italki - please support our show by visiting that link today.

Episode 36: But WHY!!!! Are You Learning A Language?

A feedback question from James led us to discussing why we chose the languages we are learning right now.

We don't need them for our working lives, or our everyday lives.

We don't have Welsh or Korean family.

We're not travelling there.

There isn't even a big Welsh or Korean community in our towns.

So..what gives?

A lot of you guys might be experiencing the same thing when you're learning a language. It's not the kind of activity that everyone gets up to every morning, so friends and family get curious. We get into the dangers of the "why" question.

We also strayed into discussing the identity of what is "British", and how Britain interacts with language learning. You'll also find out how polyglots are made.

Takeaway from This Episode

Should you be asked why you are learning a foreign language (or two...or three), you are not obliged to go looking for a reason that satisfies the other person.

Dear Listener, if you would like to send us a question to discuss on the show, you can simply do so by tweeting with the hashtag #cllp

Episode 35: Polyglot Club Certificates Available Now

Episode 35 of the Creative Language Learning Podcast is brought to you with support from HelloTalk. Go visit them now, because you're totally missing out.

Do you remember when you first heard the word "polyglot"?

And what does this word mean to you?

##Show Topic: What Is a "Polyglot" and Should You Be One?

In this episode, Lindsay and I went deeper into what's changed in the emerging community of internet polyglots. A few years ago, the YouTube landscape in particular was a nasty place. But things are looking up!

What does the word mean, and is being polyglot desirable?

Far from being entirely opposed to polyglots as a barrage of braggards and internet trolls, we are able to bring you many positive thoughts and perspectives.

##Polyglot Guest: Alex Rawlings

In this episode, we have a special guest who is a famous fancy polyglot and known for winning the prestigious Harper-Collins award of being [Britain's Most Multilingual Student]. It's Alex Rawlings, co-founder of the [Polyglot Conference] and "full-time language guru dude".

Polyglots have existed a lot longer than YouTube.

Alex did an amazing job of describing how the polyglot community has changed and also why it wasn't a great place to start out in. It's fascinating how much YouTube comes up in this discussion. He shares the story of bringing a bit of offline magic into the online world, and we agree that the internet is now a nicer place for language learners, and thank God for that.

##Takeaway of the Week

"It is what you make it."

There is still a personal challenge to readers, but also a real sense of permission to make the word mean what it means to you. Polyglots might be online, offline, nice, nasty, multilingual or just really curious.

For me, the biggest update to the polyglot label was the idea of it being all about the intention of learning languages, and the interest, and the passion. I love that!

##Links and Tips from This Episode

Are you going to claim the polyglot title this year? Or still not convinced?