The Secrets to Developing Advanced Fluency in a Foreign Language


Many people are after “the” perfect method to learn a language, but I don’t think there’s any one perfect method. However, there are some universal principles one should follow in order to learn a language in a “brain-friendly way”.

Principle 1: Time

Time is a crucial factor in language learning. There is no doubt that the amount of time we spend on a given learning activity has a huge impact on our learning curve. A lot of people might think that the more time we spend with a language, the better. That is true for a number of learners, but not all of them. It depends on  each individual’s tastes in learning, their mental stamina, their daily routine, and the stage they find themselves in.

At the beginning (Phase 1), language learning activity is often restricted to the use of books that impose their content, and is also restricted to the time we spend on these books. This often turns out to be a challenging and not particularly engaging or interesting experience. That is one of the reasons why I believe that stage 1 is a bit like being at the foot of a high mountain, and getting to the top seems to be a long and difficult journey. I think that in this phase, it is better to walk, step by step, rather than run.

The number one rule to follow during this stage is to work a little bit every single day. You get to the top of the mountain step by step. You are probably wondering what “a little bit” means. I normally set up a time, say, 25-30 minutes, twice a day. Once in the morning, and once in the evening. Working with small time units and short material helps the brain to retain the information better. Do more challenging things in the morning and more “relaxing” things later (reading and listening) and find a physical position that suits you according to how you are learning. Quality time takes priority at the beginning.

Principle 2: Variety

Varying your learning activity is extremely important to avoid getting bored quickly. While repetition is the mother of all learning processes, it can easily lead to boredom if it becomes too mechanical.

There are three kinds of variety:

  • 1
    Variety of materials: Varying your material is healthy and keeps you motivated. You can stick to one language resource at the beginning, and then quickly move on to others. You may find some aspects of a language learning resource interesting and engaging, while others are not. If so, you can choose another book that offers other interesting aspects and that makes up for what the other book lacks. The goal final goal is to access real content as soon as possible: it reflects the “live nature” of the language and one can start choosing one’s one content. Learning through content that you find interesting is an enormous step towards learning more efficiently.
  • 2
    Variety of activities performed on a single unit of contentReading and listening are two extremely beneficial activities for language learning, but they are not the only ones. The more varied our approach to the learning material, the better. It is important to engage in activies that aim to activate the language in your brain, and also to keep yourself motivated. I will show  you how I’ve optimized my language learning, and how you can do it as well.
  • 3
     Variety of physical positions. It might surprise you quite a bit, but our body position and how we move it plays an important role in learning. In other words, the position of your body  has an impact on your concentration, and thus on your capacity to retain new information. There are a number of actions we can carry out with our bodies, depending on the learning activity. I will talk about this extensively in my book.

Principle 3: Consistency

In a process such as that of language learning, it is important  to do the right things at the right time, and to do the things that are right for you. The rate and ease at which we acquire a language varies with time, and the path we follow should be consistent with this ever-changing rate of learning. I explained the progression through the various stages in the video I published two years ago about the path that I follow in order to reach advanced fluency in a given foreign language.

Some things are exciting at first, but turn out to be boring later. Some are too difficult at the beginning, and thus not very effective, while they get easier with time. For example, listening to the radio at stage 1 is not of much use, but it becomes extremely beneficial at stages 2 and 3. Being consistent with your level and learning tastes is key to optimizing your language learning acquisition.

In my book, I will tell you what learning methods work best for each phase.

Principle 4: Quality

I believe in the value of quality work. When one starts learning a language, one is confronted with a series of difficulties, and many aspects of the language might be discouraging. So, especially at the beginning, it is important to aim for quality in order to build a base – I call it the “language core” - on which we can then expand our knowledge in a language. It’s important to focus on small amounts of material and learn them thoroughly from the start.

Here are some rules of thumb that one can follow:

  • Work on short pieces or units of language: long texts or dialogues may cause you to lose focus
  • Work 1-3 times a day, at regular intervals
  • Vary your work: work on the same unit from different perspectives
  • Vary your work according to a precise and effective time schedule
  • Concentrate your work: 30 minutes of highly concentrated study is 10 times more effective than two hours spent “multitasking” (or performing actions that we find boring and difficult)

Principle 5: Quantity

Once the independent learner has cleared the first hurdles, adding quantity is the right thing to do because learning becomes easier, and thus our enjoyment of the language and our mental stamina increase. We can spend much more time on real content, and that time is not restricted to language learning material anymore. We can talk with friends, watch TV and  movies, read books. We are not deliberately spending time with the language anymore-- we are using and enjoining it. We can spend countless, precious hours with the language.

Principle 6: Attitude

Learning a language to fluency is not only a matter of how well we can handle language learning materials, but also the result of other factors that are often underestimated or simply ignored. This includes psychological factors such as how relaxed we are in conversations, how open we are to receiving feedback whenever we make a mistake, and how open we are to new cultures. Given the same language material, the same ability to learn and the same method, the people who learn faster and better are those who start “exploring” sooner, and who are happy to make mistakes and learn from them. One can learn how to develop a great attitude towards language learning, and this can change things dramatically.

Principle 7: Curiosity

It is no surprise that most multilingual people are interested in other cultures and ways of living. Languages are vehicles of culture, and every language conveys a different vision of the world. Curiosity is what constantly pushes us to learn more about new cultures, new people and new things. Curiosity is intimately linked with motivation. Don’t be curious just about the language, but about everything that has to do with it: people, places, literature, cinema, and art. Curiosity about the world around me has fueled my will to reach fluency in other languages.

Principle 8: Flexibility

Flexibility is very important in learning. We must be flexible with our method, our tastes, our mistakes and our limits.

Be flexible with yourself and your limits. If we accept that human beings can’t be perfect, a huge load is lifted off our shoulders and the process of learning gets much easier. Many people don’t progress because they are mentally blocked, afraid to make mistakes. They wait for the moment where they will finally feel confident, and that moment will never come. Getting confident, throwing yourself out there, making mistakes, accepting and above all absorbing the feedback you get in return makes you learn faster and better. It might sound a paradox, but the people who end up speaking a language extremely well are those who made tons of mistakes, were corrected many times and appreciated and absorbed the feedback.

Be flexibile with your method. If you have developed a learning method, it should have a solid core, but it must also be flexible in two ways:

I) The method must adapt and change according to the language learning stage your are in.

II) Not all languages are the same, and your native tongue plays a huge role in the learning process, so you must adapt your method to each language.

Principle 9: Motivation

I like saying that having a Ferrari with no fuel is not having a Ferrari at all, because you can only look at it and can’t drive it. It is a dangerous delusion. I think practically everybody agrees that motivation is key to language learning, but that is not the point. The point is to identify the reasons why many language learners lack motivation, and to give valuable advice on how to keep the motivation up. Many start out with enthusiasm, but this enthusiasm quickly tapers off. This happens for a number of reasons. In my book, I will show you how to keep up your enthusiasm throughout all the stages of your language learning process with a few simple steps.

Stay tuned!

Written by Luca Lampariello

  • Alessandro says:

    Ciao Luca, per prima cosa ti faccio i miei complimenti per tutte le informazioni e i consigli che dai a chi vuole imparare una lingua. Poi ti volevo chiedere consiglio riguardo al mio caso:
    a) sono ad un livello intermedio-avanzato di inglese; la mia grammatica è quella dell’ inglese britannico, che ho avuto spesso difficoltà a capire quando mi sono trovato in Inghilterra. Non così con l’inglese americano, che capisco abbastanza bene sia parlando con degli Americani, sia seguendo dei programmi televisivi (nei film incontro più difficoltà). Riesco a leggere romanzi, anche se posso non conoscere da 2-3 a 10 e più parole per pagina, a seconda del linguaggio usato. Lo parlo bene anche se faccio sicuramente errori di sintassi e di pronuncia. Come mi consiglieresti per poter colmare le lacune grammaticali e arrivare ad una piena comprensione sia dell’inglese britannico che di quello americano?

    b)ho completato il metodo Assimil di polacco, anche se non sono stato molto costante nello studio, e lo parlo con la mia ragazza su Skype, che è polacca, che lo parla lentamente per farsi capire da me. Non lo capisco quando viene parlato in televisione, o dai suoi familiari e non riesco a leggere articoli di giornale. Cosa devo fare per impararlo bene, pensando anche alla eventualità di trasferirmi per scopo lavorativo in Polonia?

    So che sei molto impegnato, ma qualora ti riesca di darmi qualche consiglio ti sarò grato. In ogni caso sappi che hai già in me un convinto futuro acquirente del tuo libro 🙂
    In bocca a lupo per tutto e di nuovo cześć!

    • admin says:

      Caro Alessandro,

      per quanto riguarda l’inglese ti consiglio di:

      1) ascoltare quotidianamente la radio on-line (BBC, facile da trovare). Ascolta 30 minuti al giorno e poi aumenta progressivamente la quantità dopo 1 mese.

      2) Per raffinare e perfezionare la tua capacità orale e scritta di produrre una lingua ti serve un contatto diretto e regolare con madrelingua che ti possano correggere, cioè dare feedback. Quindi: scrivi almeno un testo su un argomento qualsiasi una volta a settimana e poi vai sul sito Lang8 per fartelo correggere gratis.

      Iscriviti al sito http://www.sharedtalk.com e troverai nel giro di molto poco un madrelingua con cui fare scambio linguistico. Iniziate uno scambio regolare su SKYPE e secondo certe regole (leggi questo interessante articolo su come ottimizzare uno scambio linguistico: http://www.thepolyglotdream.com/how-language-exchange-is-like-tug-of-war-guest-post/).

      Ricorda che il segreto è la regolarità e l’entusiasmo con cui svolgerai queste attività

      Per quanto riguarda il polacco, ti consiglio di cercare un sito su cui tu possa leggere ed ascoltare la lingua allo stesso tempo, almeno per un po’ di tempo. Non sei infatti ancora “linguisticamente autonomo”, cioè il tuo cervello non è in grado di percepire i suoni come una catena/sequenza di elementi semantici. Leggere ed ascoltare, cioè ascoltare suoni ed associarvi delle parole scritte è la cosa migliore in questo stadio Ti consiglio vivamente 2 siti per reperire una discreta quantità di materiale:

      http://www.lingq.com

      http://www.linguatrek.com/

      Buona fortuna 🙂

      Luca

      • ALESSANDRO says:

        Ciao Luca, ho scritto io tutti e due i messaggi: pensavo il primo fosse andato perso, invece no 🙂 Grazie mille per i consigli, cercherò di metterli in pratica e apprezzo molto che tu cerchi di dare una mano a chi ti scrive.

        Visto che stai studiando il polacco, nel caso tu non l’abbia trovato già da te, c’è un dizionario online, creato da un professore americano, che ha anche tabelle con tutti i verbi coniugati e i casi di tutti i sostantivi: http://polish.slavic.pitt.edu/polish/
        Credo che sia la risorsa migliore online per il polacco.

        Ciao e grazie di nuovo 🙂

  • Alessandro says:

    Ciao Luca, avresti qualche consiglio per passare da un livello intermedio-avanzato di inglese ad uno avanzato?
    Inoltre, finito il corso Assimil di polacco, come mi consiglieresti di procedere?
    Spero di non abusare del tuo tempo, ho visto che ad altri hai dato consigli utili e ci provo anch’io a chiedere il tuo aiuto.
    In bocca al lupo per tutto.

    • admin says:

      Caro Alessandro, ti ringrazio per la domanda interessante. E’ una questione che richiede spiegazioni e linee guida dettagliate che al momento putroppo non ho tempo di fornire “al volo”, ed è per questo che ho deciso di scrivere il libro. E’ la maniera migliore per rispondere a tutte le questioni “sensibili” in maniera organica, strutturata e possibilmente interessante 🙂 Luca

  • Tatyana Larina says:

    I can’t wait to read your book Luca. I love learn languages because of you. You’ve changed my life for the better, my mother tongue is Spanish, but I fell in love with English when I started to read your blog a couple of weeks ago , now I love read the russian literature in english ( i.e. Pushkin, Tolstoy, etc.) it’s strange because I never liked to read literature in spanish, Now I’m trying to make the language core as you say , but I expect within a couple of months start to learn my beloved Russian.
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom
    Te deseo lo mejor

    • admin says:

      Muchas gracias por el comentario Tatiana, me alegro muchismo de que hayas empezado a estudiar el inglés gracias a mi blog. Un abrazo y suerte! L

  • Alex says:

    Luca, thank you so much for your hard work and counsel. You have no idea how much you have helped me in my language endeavors learning a foreign language. At this moment, I am currently studying Italian. I have been studying Italian for about 9 months now and I feel pretty comfortable as far as communicating and understanding the language. However, I have a huge dilemma because I want to learn French. Its hard for me to stop learning Italian and start learning French. I am worried that if I start learning both of them at the same time, I am going to get them mixed up. What do you think?

  • Roger says:

    Ciao Luca, vorrei ringraziarti per tutta la sua informazine sul sito. Due anni fa abbiamo cambiato delle mail sul tuo metodo di imparare. Oggi provo scrivere in italiano. In gennaio quest’anno ho ricominciato imparare italiano e ho imparato molte cose quest’anno, ma soprattutto ho imparato che si deve prendere abbastanza tempo e non farlo in fretta.

    Mi trovo profondamente d’accordo con ciò che dici. Ho preso circa 9 mesi per fare l’assimil usando il tuo metodo. Adesso faccio ‘Perfezionamento dell’Italiano’ di Assimil e faccio una lezione o forse due alla settimana e come ti ha spiegato qui, leggo anche una rivista mensile e libri italiani, sento la radio oggni giorno ecetera. Purtroppo non ho letto o sapevo queste cose 15 anni fa.

    Questo post “The Secrets to Developing Advanced Fluency in a Foreign Language” è molto importante perché è una sommario dei passi che si prende quando si impara una lingua fino ad un livello avanzato. Con pazienza si può fare molto e percorrere una distanza lunghissima. Spero che tanta gente che ha interesse d’imparare una lingua straniera, scopra il tuo sito, legga l’informazine e anche la usi.

    Non vedo l’ora di leggere il tuo libero, mi fa piacere sempre leggere i post nuovi su tuo sito e sono molto felice di avere la possibilità a visitare la tua città, Roma, dal sabato prossimo al sabato dopo. Grazie ancora. Roger

  • Miglena says:

    Grazie per i consigli Luca. Veramente utilissimi. Ho finalmente capito qual’è il mio più grande limite nell’apprendimento delle lingue: L’atteggiamento. Uno studio orientato alla performance, con il timore di confrontarsi con gli altri e l’incapacità di passare del tempo “rilassato” in compagnia di persone che non conosco da una vita. Grazie ancora, cercherò di lavorarci quotidianamente, esponendomi sempre più e provando a godermi le nuove esperienze senza la paura non essere adeguata. Ciao.

  • Terra says:

    Salut Luca!

    I discovered your blog fairly recently and I want to thank you for everything you are doing – I only wish I had found you sooner! As someone who has always had a passion for languages, you have not only become a major source of inspiration, but your methods and insight have really helped me to focus my energies, adopt a healthier attitude towards language learning and organize my time in a more productive and effective way. You have also helped me to overcome the challenges of losing motivation and getting overwhelmed with wanting to do too much at once.

    For example, I have been learning French for about 10 years and I’m probably somewhere around a B1 level. I used to be closer to a B2, but have lost some of my abilities. I wanted to keep up with the ability I had, as well as continue to improve; however, I felt stuck and did not quite know how to go about it after spending so much time in a traditional classroom learning environment, and being at an intermediate level. I would try to expose myself to the language by listening to radio, etc. but would always get frustrated and temporarily “give up”, as I felt like I wasn’t making real, tangible progress. (Looking back now I realize how stupid that was and that I should have kept going!) I had also began studying Russian a couple of times in the past several years and really wanted to actually learn it (beyond the basics) but found it difficult to focus on the two languages simultaneously. Your advice for working on more than one language has helped tremendously, and has given me the confidence to make a concerted and organized effort with these two languages. There are other languages I would love to learn in the future, but I don’t feel overwhelmed by my ambitions anymore, and will take things one step at a time to eventually get there. 🙂

    One question I still have for you though: I know you are a language coach and you talk to people all the time, but how do you keep up your abilities with all of these languages? Is coaching enough or do you have to make a special effort to also read, watch movies, listen to radio, etc. in order to keep up with them all? And on top of that, incorporating time to learn additional languages! How do you find the time to manage all of this? Anyway, thank you again and I am very much looking forward to reading your book!

    -Terra

    • admin says:

      Salut Terra

      Thank you for the lovely words.

      I know you are a language coach and you talk to people all the time, but how do you keep up your abilities with all of these languages? Is coaching enough or do you have to make a special effort to also read, watch movies, listen to radio, etc. in order to keep up with them all?

      In the last 2-3 years I literally breathe languages every day. I want to stress the fact that once you hit the “E point”, speaking a language becomes an automatic process, requires less mental stamina, becomes more enjoyable and above all you speak it without even realizing it. You are simply using it as you use your mothertongue.

      Having said that, keeping 10 languages at a high level is a huge task, because it doesn’t merely involve speaking with natives, but also reading books, magazines, watching documentaries, the news and many other things.

      “Keeping a high level in many languages” is the title of the last chapter of my book so…stay tuned 🙂

      Luca

  • Terra says:

    Merci bien Luca. J’ai presque dit «Peut-être ça sera dans votre livre…» Alors, j’ai hâte de le lire! 🙂

  • Jonah says:

    Hey Luca! I hear you’re writing a book about Assimil, and I was just kind of curious because I personally love the method! Well, if it’s true that you’re writing it, where can I buy it?
    -Jonah

    Hey Luca! J’ai entendu dire que vous écrivez un livre sur Assimil, et j’étais un peu curieux parce que j’ai personnellement l’amour de la méthode! Eh bien, si c’est vrai que vous l’écrire, où puis-je l’acheter?
    -Jonas

    Ciao Luca! Ho sentito che stai scrivendo un libro su Assimil, e io ero solo tipo di curioso, perché io personalmente amo il metodo! Beh, se è vero che si sta scrivendo, dove posso acquistarlo?
    -Giona

    Эй, Лука! Я слышал, вы пишете книгу о Assimil, и я была просто какая-то любопытно, потому что я лично люблю метод! Ну, если это правда, что вы пишете это, где я могу купить его?
    Иона-

    • admin says:

      I am writing a book, but it is not about ASSIMIL, it is about learning to use language materials more effectively as well as becoming a polyglot..and staying one. L

      • Milena says:

        Hi Luca,

        I´m very impressed with the way you learn so fast…
        I´m an English teacher and I´m always trying to find different ways of teaching and motivating my students…
        What are the languages you speak?

        P.S English is not my firt language and I learned it living overseas, but all my students live in Brazil and need desperately to be fluent in English in a short period of time…

  • Tom says:

    Hi Luca 🙂

    As I can understand Italian, you probably recommend http://linguatrek.com as a source of Polish language content :-). This is very good resource (all text are bilingual), the host has a very high level of Polish language and his Polish writing is almost error-free, but some small mistakes are on the site (in Polish version). If you goal is to communicate in Polish, even with small mistakes this is a good resource, but Polish is a second language for the host :-).

    If you’re looking for a native resource check for example the http://realpolish.pl (hmm, this site looks like http://eslpod.com copy :-)), some materials on this site are free.

    Or you can subscribe podcasts (from politics to lifestyle) from Polish public radio (Channel 3) at http://www.polskieradio.pl/9/201/Artykul/169675/

    Good luck with Polish, Luca and Alessandro
    Tom

    P.S. I can’t wait your book, you impressive me 🙂

  • Alex says:

    Hi Luca! When is your book due? 🙂

  • Mark says:

    Hi Lucas!

    First of all, thank your very much for all the information and amazing advice you deliver in your blog and videos. Your way of self-studying is really inspiring for me.

    I am a Spanish professional struggling in my country to learn German in a resonable period of time. I have a certain culture of learning languages by myself after studying English and French. I’ve been practicing these languages for several years in a combination of “traditional learning” methods, like classes in language schools and by others you describe in your blog, which I firmly believe are much more efficient.

    I started learning German in September and I am studying with Assimil material and other sources on the Internet. I spend a couple of hours a day, in sessions of 30-60 min. My goal is to achieve a B1 level in around 6 months and a B2 in a year. Do you find my target too challenging? Would you recommend me to increase the active studying time I spend daily?

    Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

    Mark

    • admin says:

      Dear Mark,

      6 months to reach a B1 level is a rather reasonable objective, but everything depends on how much time you dedicate to learning German and above all how you do it. I suggest you combine reading and listening with an active use of the language (which by the way, doesn’t necessarily only means that you have to speak with somebody). Use ASSIMIL and start using http://www.lingq.com. Download script and audio, and work on them. In 1-2 months,find yourself a language tandem on Skype or in real life and start speaking. Activitating your language soon is key if you want to avoid developing a dangerous gap between your passive and active abilities. It all comes down to finding a 1) balance between reading/listening and speaking/writing (this balance varies with time and is particularly efficient if you know how to adapt it to your current level of proficiency) 2) a time schedule that suits your needs and learning taste (the most important rule you have to abide by is to work every day).

      Good luck!

      L

  • luis says:

    hi luca, i really appreciate reading your blog and look forward to your new book. As i read this article i discovered that my language learning progress has slowed down because of a lack of feedback. i know that you recommend doing a lot of reading and listening. Im my case i can understand about 95% of what i read and listen to in my target language. How can i get feedback from my reading and listening in order improve my syntax and the structure of my sentence? Sto imparando l’italiano. parlo inglese e spagnolo e riscontro che spesso il mio modo di costruire le frase in italiano e come quello spagnolo, cioe sto pensano in spagnolo e facendo una traduzione all’italiano usano sintassi spagnolo. come posso separare lo spagnolo dell’itliano?

    Grazie mille

  • Howl says:

    Hi multilingual master!

    Due to my homeland, I’ve become fluent at English and Spanish through my 16 years of life. I’ve decided to learn a third language (French) but I don’t know where to start. My language acquisition has never been a conscious process. Everyone talks about Rosetta Stone, but I can’t ask my parents to pay the high price. Besides, I question Rosetta Stone’s apparent “miracle” method. What do you think?

    Same as all those before me, I’d like to thank you. You are an inspiration and proof that with determination we can achieve our dreams.

    • admin says:

      As I always say, I have never used Rosetta Stone, but many people think it is a real scam. Whether it is a scam or not, though, one thing holds true: learning a language nowdays is extremely cheap as long as you know how to do it.

      I’d start by using ASSIMIL and then move on to LingQ

      Luca

  • I agree that attitude is fundamental to language learning progress. Working as an English teacher for years I have observed that students who come to a class with a mental block and defeatist attitude, not wanting to learn or feeling they will never learn will pick up the language much slower than those who take a more relaxed and confident approach. Chill and enjoy would be my tip! 😉

  • Binh Thanh says:

    when will you finish your book? I can’t wait,hoping that it’s an ebook and available.

  • Kerstin says:

    Grazie for this fab article, Luca! I think it is a really useful summary of the many things to consider when getting into language learning. And more importantly, it emphasizes that it is not how much money you spend but how much you put in which determines what you can get out of language learning.

    I can tell from other comments that you’re in the process of creating a book, and I’m certain that it’s going to be a great read! I really like your writing style. Might you be interested in putting an edited, shorter version of this article on my blog as a guest post?

  • anas says:

    Hey Luca,
    ich hab eine kleine Frage . Wenn du die beantworten würdest, wurde es mich sehr freuen. Ich verfolge dich schon seit ungefähr einem halben Jahr und ich finde deine Videos und Artikel sehr gut. Vor allem aber deine sprachstil im schreiben.ich finde deine Texte im englischen extrem gut und deswegen frage ich dich hier nach ein paar tipps.
    Mein Problem liegt darin dass ich wenn ich schreibe, englisch oder deutsch, extrem langsam bin. Ich sollte mich aber erst mal vorstellen… Mein Name ist änäs und ich wohne in berlin. Gehe in die 13 Klasse und bin jetzt kurz vor dem Abitur. Englisch und deutsch sind nicht meine muttersprachen. Englisch ist intermediate Level .Wie schon berichtet ist mein Problem, dass ich einfach keine guten schnellen Texte in der Schule aber auch allgemein schreiben kann.nur wenn ich aber lange Zeit habe und diese Zeit habe ich in der Schule nicht. Ich finde immer meine Sätze beim lesen komisch , egal in welchem Fach : Bio ,Erdkunde , deutsch , eigentlich alle Fächer .
    Ich habe angefangen viel zu lesen ,kannst du mir aber vielleicht ein paar Tipps geben wie du dich im Schreiben in der Fremdsprache verbessert hast. Wenn du das tuen wurdest wär ich dir sehr dankbar 😀
    Wie gesagt bei mir liegt es nicht im Sprechen,sondern viel mehr in schreiben.
    MfG

    änäs

  • Bruno says:

    Hi Luca,I’ve 26 years I’m from Brazil, so my mother tongue is portuguese, when I was at school I decided to learn english went to a course during one year, but then I continued by my self and I reach a high level considering that as a Doctor I’m able to read Scientific articles, to talk with foreigners, read poetry.

    Après ça, J’ai suis allé en France, et ben, j’ai tombé amoreux pour la langue,la culture,pour le pay, et surtout pour les personnes.J’ai appri la langue avec une prof particulière pendant un an aussi.J’ai déjà rentré en France trois fois, pendant mon séjour là-bas j’ai fait deux stages à deux hôpitaux à Bordeaux et à Paris,oú j’ai eu l’opportunité de rencontrer les personnes, de parler avec les patientes, écrire au dôssier,participer des discussion et tout ça qui m’a fait ameliore mon français beaucoup plus vite!

    Yo también tengo algun conocimiento del español, pero hago alguna confusion con el franciés y con el portugués. Por supuesto, me gustaria mucho de aprender mas, pero no creo que sea lo mejor momento.

    Io sto imparando l’italiano perchè io ho miei amici da università di bologna sono qui a Recife.

    A questão é que, a partir de agora que me formei, para fazer fellow, vou precisar fazer testes de proficiência (IELTS,DALF)gostaria de saber se achas que eu poderia estudar para essas provas e, ao mesmo tempo, começar outro idioma? No caso, o italiano?

    Gostei muito do seu blog, assim como dos videos no youtube.Mas esse texto, especificamente, é muito bom! Estou esperando pelo livro.

    Bruno

  • I’d have to agree with “consistency”. You can only master a foreign language if you regularly practice it through speaking, writing, and reading.

  • Carlos Eduardo says:

    Luca, graças a seus vídeos inspiradores, hoje falo Inglês e Espanhol muito bem. Pratico 5 horas por dia e me divirto muito.
    Vou começar com Italiano e Japonês esse ano. Tenho 15 anos de idade.Espero me tornar um poliglota tão bom quanto você quando tiver mais ou menos sua idade.
    Saldações do Brasil!
    Obrigado!

  • Stan says:

    C’est super comme post, Luca. Je crois que tu as tout dit et très bien d’ailleurs en ce qui concerne la motivation et la perspective globale dans l’apprentissage des langues. Maintenant, au boulot ! Et c’est là où beaucoup d’entre nous sommes à la recherche, non pas de potions magiques, mais d’outils efficaces qui résonnent avec chaque style d’apprentissage.

    Étant moi-même un peu polygotte à mes heures et grand passionné du français, je tiens un blog pratico-pratique sur le français. J’ai même mis au point un outil d’apprentissage que l’on peut voir sur http://www.fluentfrenchnow.com.
    Encore une fois, félicitations.

  • Mike says:

    Successful learning and mastering of a second/foreign language depends on a number of factors.
    It is a good idea to analyze the factors affecting successful language learning, especially such issues as diligence, dedication, motivation/needs, interest, frequency and duration of classes/practice, memory capability, methods and practice activities, content of materials, etc. Frequent review (revision) of material previously learned using self-check ensures solid knowledge and success in learning.

    I know what depends on a teacher and on a student/learner in successful language study/learning. So objectively speaking each case of failure in language learning should be assessed separately to establish who is really to blame. In most cases of failure in language learning learners do not have adequate regular long-term practice in listening comprehension, speaking, reading, pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. Writing practice usually plays a lesser role in language practice.

    Learning, practicing and mastering a new language is a long process. In addition to formal or independent self-study classes there should be adequate regular long-term practice in using a second/foreign language (including communication with native speakers) to accelerate success by learners. All language aspects and skills must be learned and practiced to eventually master a language: phonetics, grammar, vocabulary, listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. No single course can help you master a language thoroughly, for example vocabulary and comprehensive conversational content on a multitude of topics. It is a good idea for language learners to prepare questions and speech on a chosen real life topic in advance for easier and better communication with native speakers (with more inclusive meaningful content to get more productive results).

    I believe it’s a good idea to learn and to practice each daily life topic comprehensively before proceeding to the next topic. Being selective in content on each topic for practice based on one’s needs is necessary to first encompass helpful relevant content for one’s needs as there is an enormous amount of diverse content in language resources.
    A lot of language learners practice real life topics superficially and not comprehensively, especially vocabulary. And then they wonder why they haven’t achieved high level skills in listening comprehension, speaking, vocabulary, reading and writing a foreign or a second language. Thematic approach (not random content) matters a great deal in learning and practicing a language to master it sooner.

    Only a combination of the above mentioned components can ensure mastery of a language.

  • julio cesar says:

    hi luca.

    i want to ask you if should i learn the basic grammar first, and then learn vocabulary for after could watch movies, read books, etc?
    or shouldn´t i learn grammar at first?
    how do i gotta start with a foreign language?

  • Carmine says:

    Hi Luca,

    probably you already have wrote about this, anyway I am italian native speaker as you, but I was really bad about languages as when I was in middle school I was been taught French,and because I was studying hard I was quite good, I even could understand complex conversation, let’s say maybe I was between B1 and B2, probably less with the speaking. Then I changed region and when I went to high school I was just taught English and the first 1 year was a completely disaster, then a bit better till I went for kind of 2 months to England.The again I leaved it cause I studied engineering(bachelor) but to have a challenge I went to live in Dubli, where I got the FCE with grade C, but then I was working with native speaker in an hostel, and after 5 months and more I can say I believe my English is improved I think to the C1 level for what concern the listening and the reading. Well maybe for my English is enough that, aslo if I am trying to keep alive it, travelling, watch films and reading. Now I would like to take back my French and even become fluent with it, so I am planning to go to work there, before that I started to study it, with the plenty of resources. I started with English lesson taught by French, do you believe is a good idea as I feel confident listening English especially the one by no native speaker. Thanks in advance for your help and information!Great job!

  • Petra says:

    Very nice article and a good advice to people who want to learn languages and don´t know exactly how to start and do it effectively. All the points u menationed are important, but I think the most important are attitude and curiosity. Anyone can learn a language, you just have to work hard on it that´s all.

  • GET English says:

    Very good post Luca!

    For me, the most important points are consistency and motivation. Many language students don’t have strong enough reasons to learn a new language and they just do the bare minimum outside of class time.

    It’s a shame that some students don’t reach their true potential…

  • Abubakr Taymi says:

    Thanks a lot for this post Luca.

  • […] his blog posts, facebook page and hey, even mail him if you like. Luca also shares some secrets on ‘how to reach advanced fluency’ which we found rather useful… amongst […]

  • Giota says:

    Ciao Luca!!Prima di tutto vorrei farti i miei complimenti per tutti i tuoi consigli che sono veraramente interessanti!Voglio chiederti se conosci alcun sito per la lingua svedese.La pronuncia mi sembra un po’ difficile perchè lo svedese non è come le lingue che ho imparato fino ad ora.Grazie!!

    • admin says:

      Ciao Giota,

      wwww.lingq.com ha dei podcast interessanti a tutti i livelli, anche se non ce ne sono molti. Inoltre su internet puoi trovare (gratis) una grammatica molto semplice e molto chiara. Per quanto riguarda pronuncia e intonazione, la cosa migliore da fare è farti aiutare da un tutor, possibilmente un non-nativo che ha imparato bene ad “intonare” lo svedese. Io lavoro con un mio studente italiano ormai da un anno, e gli ho spiegato i “trucchi” su come funziona la prosodia svedese. Tuttavia, in questo periodo sono impegnatissimo fra stesura del libro, conferenze, workshop e chi ne ha più ne metta quindi ho ridotto gli studenti, e ne accetterò di nuovi all’inizio di settembre (nel caso tu voglia provare una lezione e vedere in cosa consiste).

      Un abbraccio!

      Luca

  • GIOTA says:

    Grazie grazie grazie!!!!Comincerò subito!!Aspettiamo tutti il tuo libro!!In bocca al lupo! Ciaooooo!!!

  • […] bunch of mistakes whilst I was trying to express myself. The value of mistakes has been stressed so many times by writers much more eloquent than me, so I will not explain why this is the […]

  • […] and your mental stamina increase. This means you can start adding quantity to the equation. As Luca Lampariello adds, “We can spend much more time on real content, and that time is not restricted to language […]

  • Alice says:

    Salut Luca et merci pour cet article. C’est tres interessant. Moi, j’aimerais bien atteindre un haut niveau en hebreu et en francais, et comme tu dis dans un de tes videos la verite est qu’on ne cesse jamais d’apprendre une langue etrangere. C’est pour ca que ca m’intrigue de savoir comment tu arrives a maintenir tant de langues a un niveau tellement eleve (et je sais que tu parles tres, tres bien l’anglais et le francais, et alors j’imagine que c’est la meme chose pour tes autres langues.)

    Je voudrais ajouter une pensee que j’avais: meme quand on apprend les langues etrangeres, il ne faut pas negliger la langue maternelle. Qu’est-ce ca veux dire? Je ne suis pas sure que j’ai le niveau de C2 dans ma langue natale (anglais) et alors meme si j’apprends d’autres langues, il n’en est pas moins important de continuer a lire et de developper mes competences surtout d’ecriture en anglais.

    (Excuse-moi mes fautes de francais, j’en ai pas trop l’habitude de l’ecrire).

  • Vivien says:

    Wah, amazing find of this blog! I do realize from past years of teaching that my students who are at Intermediate level of Mandarin, are struggling to achieve fluency, as they are not living in the native environment, they don’t feel the flow as speaking in a natural conversation. But at http://www.practicalmandarin.co.uk, we try to engage students in a life-like situation, sometimes we even call China to talk to hotel front desks!

  • […] The Secrets to Developing Advanced Fluency in a Foreign Language […]

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