Language Hacking

Fluent in 3 Months

Benny Lewis and Shannon Kennedy meet real-life language learners and discover smarter, faster ways to learn a language. Learn more at: https://www.fluentin3months.com/podcast/

All Episodes

19-year-old student, Ben Phillips, talks to Benny Lewis and Elizabeth Bruckner about his experience of doing a highschool German exchange programme, and how he stayed focussed and motivated enough to reach C1 level after just a year.Ben explains how, after unsuccessfully dabbling in Japanese, Greek and Mandarin, he was able to excel at German in such a short period of time, how and why reading is so integral to his learning, and the ways he has been able to travel and live abroad more or less for free.Featured Resources Anki italki LingQ Mentioned in this Episode Ben’s article on the Fluent in 3 Months blog Anki italki LingQ Memrise Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) Workaway Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: High school language exchanges and language camp with the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Attending a German school and the joy of finally being able to participate in a class discussion Taking and passing the C1 test in German after only a year of learning How to make the most of opportunities to learn a language while living abroad The importance of keeping your goal in mind How speaking with people and learning about a culture in your target language is its own reward Overcoming the temptation to slip back into English while living abroad How to set monthly goals and why they’re useful How to find time to study and still do the things you enjoy in your free time Tracking your accomplishments, like finishing a book in your target language Reading as a key part of your language practice - novels, Twitter, and using LingQ Finding motivation to study when you don’t have the pressure of being in the country Scholarships and work exchanges as ways to travel and have enriching experiences abroad for free Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Nov 29

50 min 13 sec

Polyglot and avid traveller, Doree Huneven, joins Benny Lewis and Elizabeth Bruckner to talk about her experience learning multiple languages, travelling the world, and how the violin has made her a better learner.Doree shares why she thinks discipline is the key to being a successful language learner and having fun, and why the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge is so appealing, even to an experienced language learner. We actually guarantee that anyone who completes the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge will have a 15-minute conversation in their new language after 90 days of learning. You can find out more here.Featured ResourcesFluent in 3 Months ChallengeMentioned in this Episode Fluent in 3 Months Challenge Linguaphone Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: How a family camping trip to Mexico sparked her love of languages Teaching English in Egypt and learning Arabic How studying and teaching the violin help with language learning Why discipline is an invaluable asset The value of being active in the Fi3M Challenge community Why, as an experienced language learner, she still joined the Fi3M Challenge Developing communities as you travel The desire to connect with people as a driving force for learning How language resources have changed over the last 50 years Mimicking phrases, copying body language, and blending in with locals when you travel Saving money, cutting costs, and making travel more financially accessible The “Doree Huneven Reward System” What Doree does with her “sleeping” languages Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Nov 15

36 min 4 sec

Benny shares his advice about how to prepare for a 1-1 language lesson, and his method for note taking before, during, and after lessons. To ask Benny a question, please email ask@languagehacking.com

Nov 8

5 min 33 sec

Linguist and professional researcher joins Benny Lewis and Shannon Kennedy to discuss comprehensible input, compelling input, and language acquisition.Stephen Krashen is a professor emeritus who is well-known for his work and research into comprehensible input. He has hundreds of publications to his name and has greatly contributed to the field of language acquisition.Featured ResourcesStephen KrashenMentioned in this Episode Stephen Krashen’s Website Stephen Krashen on Twitter Steve Kaufmann Noam Chomsky Tracy Terrell Biological Foundations of Language TPRS Beniko Mason Bill VanPatten Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: How a trip to Ethiopia led to Stephen Krashen’s career in linguistics How adults go through a predictable language acquisition pattern Why we know grammar but struggle to use it correctly, and how to bridge this gap What comprehensible input is and why it works How comprehensible input differs from compelling input Why graded readers are effective resources for language learners The power of reading fiction How the speaking approach is still a mostly input approach Making the shift from input to output Accents, and how we’re better at them than we think Managing your time with multiple languages Romanization and its role in language acquisition Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Nov 1

1 hr 1 min

Benny Lewis and Shannon Kennedy chat with Juliana Russell of Language Mindset about supporting kids learning languages, resilience in language learning, and if kids really are better language learners than adultsFeatured ResourcesitalkiMentioned in this Episode italki Gus on the Go Duolingo The Language Mindset Juliana’s Instagram Juliana’s Facebook Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Developing a passion for languages through failure Building a language business Strategies for teaching children languages Are kids really better language learners than adults? Advantages and disadvantages for kids learning languages How parents can support their children learning another language even if they’re not a native speaker How to be a more resilient language learner How to support a child who is resisting learning a new language Ways to practice language with your kids outside of the classroom How to maintain your languages when you can’t travel Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Oct 25

35 min 31 sec

This week Benny talks about how to approach speaking sessions with a teacher differently, depending on your level. The "Speak from Day One" approach is an excellent starting point for beginners, but it's important to make sure you're improving and being challenged as you move into intermediate and beyond. Benny describes how and when he likes a teacher to correct mistakes, and how you can use homework assignments to really drive improvement.To ask Benny a question, please email ask@languagehacking.com

Oct 20

7 min 23 sec

Benny Lewis and Shannon Kennedy chat with musician and translator Jeremy Bardo about his experience going viral with a Spanish language music video. We also discuss the myth of the language gene and finding joy in embarrassing moments.Featured Resources Speak from Day 1 Language Hacking Spanish Mentioned in this Episode Speak from Day 1 Language Hacking Spanish Memrise Stop Making Excuses Jeremy Bardo’s Youtube Las Flores Se Abrirán Jeremy’s Website Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: The myth of the “language gene” Overcoming perfectionism by finding joy in embarrassing moments Finding balance in your language studies The power of technology in language learning Cognates and how they can help you Using a Spanish phrase book as a conversation starter How learning languages helps you become a more compassionate language teacher Important qualities language teachers should have Identifying when an error is important and deserves feedback with your students Using your interests to learn languages Recording music and going viral in your non-native language Finding a foothold in a new language with just a few words Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Oct 18

53 min 18 sec

This episode features Brittany, who learned conversational Japanese in just 90 days with the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge.We actually guarantee that anyone who completes the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge will have a 15-minute conversation in their new language after 90 days of learning. You can find out more here.Featured Resources Fluent in 3 Months Challenge italki JapanesePod101 Mentioned in this Episode Fluent in 3 Months Challenge italki JapanesePod101 Memrise Pimsleur Wanikani Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: How the Challenge helped Brittany become an effective, independent language learner How and why the Speak from Day 1 approach works Ways to stay engaged in your language learning The power of scripting as a language learning tool The impact of community in language learning Building confidence through consistency How the Challenge helped Brittany become a better English tutor Strategies for overcoming perfectionism Japanese resources for independent study Why it’s important to understand the culture of your language Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Oct 11

44 min 16 sec

As a beginner, the idea of having a lesson where you only speak your target language can seem impossible. Benny shares some great ideas and resources that you can use to avoid your native language and start as you mean to go on. Speaking from day one is a daunting prospect, but with a bit of preparation and planning, it's absolutely achievable.To ask Benny a question, please email ask@languagehacking.com

Oct 6

8 min 26 sec

In this episode of the Language Hacking Podcast, Benny Lewis and Shannon Kennedy talk to Manuel of “Herr Professor” about growing up multilingual, teaching German, and how engineers approach language learning.Featured ResourcesHerr ProfessorMentioned in this Episode Tiny Habits Stephen Krashen’s Comprehensible Input Herr Professor Herr Professor Courses Herr Professor Podcast James Asher’s Total Physical Response Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: How Manuel used his technical background to learn new languages How to turn language input into output Why speaking is one of the biggest challenges for language learners What makes input useful and how to avoid passive listening What to do when you have trouble focusing on your language learning tools How to find compelling, comprehensible input at your language level Why building habits is so important in language learning The importance of being able to drop things that don’t work and focus on the things that do Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Oct 4

40 min 51 sec

Sara Maria Hasbun, founder of Meridian Linguistics, shares about psycholinguistics, working in the language industry, and “extreme” language learning.Featured Resources Meridian Languages Glossika Mentioned in this Episode Meridian Languages Glossika Tempo App on iOS Tempo App on Android Sara’s Website Sara on Instagram Sara on Twitter Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Choosing which language to learn Learning languages in diverse language families Studying psycholinguistics Dialect and accent in sign languages Living in different countries and learning the languages Differences between a polyglot and a linguist Learning a language with few resources Why fluency doesn’t need to be the end goal for learning a language Deciding when to learn a new language and when to focus on past languages Technology and language Balancing entrepreneurship in languages with language learning Using accountability systems for motivation Rote learning and its benefits Combatting the boring aspects of language learning with tricks and bribes Lessons from living abroad “Extreme” language learning Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Sep 27

50 min 7 sec

Reading in your new language can be a daunting task, but Benny has some great advice this week for taking it one step at a time. By starting small and building up gradually, you'll make steady progress. There are so many brilliant resources out there that you can use, and reading isn't just a solo activity, so make sure it's something you practise with your teacher or exchange partner.To ask Benny a question, please email ask@languagehacking.com

Sep 23

7 min 45 sec

“Warrior of the mind” Anthony Metivier chats with Shannon Kennedy and Benny Lewis about his Brain Exercise Bootcamp and memory strategies for language learners.Featured ResourcesBrain Exercise BootcampMentioned in this Episode Brain Exercise Bootcamp Language Death by David Crystal Anthony Metivier Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Memory methods for language learners Why personalization is necessary for language learning Learning German and Mandarin with memory techniques Why language learning is more than just memorizing How it’s easy to cheat your learning with SRS How to get better at building mnemonics Ways to speed up your memorizing How memory exercises can benefit your mental health Tips for learning “dead” languages Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Sep 20

49 min 59 sec

Polyglot Mari Salvestrini shares how she uses Instagram for accountability in her language learning, how to develop language routines based on energy, and why breaks are important in this episode with hosts Benny Lewis and Shannon Kennedy.Featured ResourcesMemriseMentioned in this Episode Memrise Mari’s website Mari on Twitter Mari on Youtube Mari on Instagram Mari on Facebook Mari’s Podcast Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Using Instagram for accountability Getting momentum in language learning when in low spirits The online community and finding support Developing a language learning routine based on energy levels Tricks for focusing better Mari on helping her mom relearn her native language Mari on gaining the confidence to share her story on Youtube Tips for becoming a more confident language learner Slow learning and why it might be the right language learning strategy for you Overcoming challenges in language learning Why breaks are important Fighting perfectionism in language learning How to learn multiple languages at the same time Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Sep 13

34 min 26 sec

Grammar getting you down? Benny's here to help! This week he takes the pressure off by explaining how he approaches (or ignores!) grammar, particularly verb conjugations, when he starts a new language. Making mistakes is an important part of the learning process, especially in the early days, and the most important thing is to be understood. Leaving the grammar to one side for a while and focussing on communication can really help you progress at the beginning of your language journey.To ask Benny a question, please email ask@languagehacking.com

Sep 8

9 min 5 sec

Benny Lewis and Shannon Kennedy talk to Anja Spilker about learning Nahuatl, combating negative feedback as a language learning, and running a language business.Featured ResourcesZALOA LanguagesMentioned in this Episode ZALOA Languages Anja on Instagram Anja on Facebook Anja on Twitter ZALOA Languages on Instagram ZALOA Languages on Facebook Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Living in Mexico in a second language Opening a language school Using social gatherings to gain conversation skills in a new language Combining fitness with language learning Building a business in another country Learning Nahuatl and discovering a passion for indigenous languages Helping create resources to support others with lesser learned languages Combating negative feedback as a language learner Strategies for keeping your conversations in the target language Learning languages for travel Transitioning from brick-and-mortar to an online business Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Sep 6

43 min 13 sec

Alice Cimino, a 19 year old third culture kid, chats with Benny Lewis about growing up bilingual, being homeschooled, learning languages as a teenager, and much more.Featured ResourcesHow I Learned Fluent Spanish and English the Hard Way (It’s Also the Best Way!Mentioned in this Episode Fluent in 3 Months Articles Alice Cimino’s Medium Articles Alice’s Instagram Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Growing up in Guadeloupe and integrating Italian into her life Moving as a teenager to the Dominican Republic with no Spanish Homeschooling and the associated strengths and pitfalls Learning English by reading Harry Potter Improving her British accent with Downton Abbey and Love Island Writing articles and learning to be creative in her non-native language Why learning language number five isn’t as easy as it sounds Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Aug 30

37 min 12 sec

Have you ever struggled to find a language teacher who feels like a good fit for your learning style? You're not alone! What works for one person might not work for you, and Benny has some great tips this week for finding someone you can work well with. Knowing what you want from a teacher is an important starting point, and trying out a few people and reflecting on the experiences is crucial to finding a successful working relationship.To ask Benny a question, please email ask@languagehacking.com

Aug 25

9 min 54 sec

Shahidah Foster, founder of Black Girls Learn Languages, chats with Shannon Kennedy and Benny Lewis about learning languages as a black woman and inspiring black voices in the language community.Featured ResourcesSisters Only Language SummitMentioned in this Episode Sisters Only Language Summit Black Girls Learn Languages Black Girls Learn Languages Merch Black Girls Learn Languages Facebook Black Girls Learn Languages Twitter Black Girls Learn Languages Instagram Black Girls Learn Languages YouTube Get Featured on Black Girls Learn Languages Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Starting your own language learning business and event Challenges learning languages as a woman of color Imposter syndrome in language learning Living and learning languages abroad Inspiring black voices in the language community Pushing yourself to your limits Using wordplay as an entrepreneur Finding your connection and why in language learning Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Aug 23

36 min 4 sec

Halima Salim, founder of Blackboard English and the Fearless English Podcast, discusses empowering women language learners, overcoming negative self-talk and changing ideologies in the ESL community with Shannon Kennedy and Benny Lewis.Featured ResourcesBlackboard EnglishMentioned in this Episode Blackboard English Fearless English Podcast Fearless English Course Blackboard English Facebook Blackboard English Youtube Blackboard English Instagram Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Living in Saudi Arabia as an illegal immigrant and its impact on education Moving to the UK and learning English Becoming a fearless language learner Shutting down negative self-talk Facing your greatest fears Learning to read and write at a later age Creating opportunities for women through English Changing ideologies in the ESL community Supporting your children learning another language Creating a supportive Instagram community Gaining confidence “being yourself” Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Aug 16

49 min 18 sec

Benny answers the question of how to start speaking a language before you know any words. He shares a couple of language hacks - like becoming familiar with cognates - that you can use ahead of your first conversation. His advice will help you feel prepared enough to dive in and speak from day one.To ask Benny a question, please email ask@languagehacking.com

Aug 11

6 min 36 sec

This episode features Marissa Blaszko who joins Benny and Elizabeth to discuss their language learning journey as a polyglot and keen heritage language learner! Marissa is the creator of Relearn a Language, a website that aims to popularize understandings of heritage language while sharing fun language learning resources.Featured Resources Relearn A Language YouTube Channel Who are Language Learners - 2021 study of dabblers, polyglots, hyperglots Mentioned in this Episode Relearn A Language YouTube Channel Who are Language Learners - 2021 study of dabblers, polyglots, hyperglots Marissa’s Instagram Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Creating viral memes around language learning Celebrating diversity and inclusion in the language learning community Analysing data across the online language learning community How to identify in the language learning community Self care, therapy, and shame Learning their heritage language and speaking with their grandparents Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Aug 9

51 min 53 sec

This episode features Svenja, who learned conversational Russian and Arabic in just 90 days with the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge.We actually guarantee that anyone who completes the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge will have a 15-minute conversation in their new language after 90 days of learning. You can find out more here.Benny and Shannon have a conversation with Svenja about her experience of learning several languages as a part of the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge.Featured Resources Fluent in 3 Months Challenge italki Mentioned in this Episode Fluent in 3 Months Challenge italki Mimic Method Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: How the Challenge helped Svenja make a breakthrough with her Arabic studies Differences between learning a language in school versus on your own Building language islands Language learning struggles with grammar, pronunciation, and time management Maintaining multiple languages What a polyglot’s daily learning routine looks like How to gain confidence as a language learner Why it’s difficult to learn a language alone Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Aug 3

33 min 44 sec

Benny discusses languages with different writing systems, and when he starts learning to read and write. Depending on the language and writing system, it can be a few weeks or sometimes several months into the process before he tackles the writing system of a new language.To ask Benny a question, please email ask@languagehacking.com

Jul 28

5 min 21 sec

This episode features Katie Pascoe, editor of the Language Hacking podcast. Katie also co-founded VR Languages and helped create Dynamic Spanish.Dynamic Spanish gets you speaking Spanish confidently in VR with the Starter Pack for beginners. More advanced learners can explore Spain in 360 guided tours with Dynamic Spanish Trips.Katie also discusses her recent experience with the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge.We actually guarantee that anyone who completes the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge will have a 15-minute conversation in their new language after 90 days of learning. You can find out more here.Featured Resources Dynamic Spanish Fluent in 3 Months Challenge Mentioned in this Episode Dynamic Spanish Dynamic Spanish Instagram Dynamic Spanish Facebook VR Languages Youtube Fluent in 3 Months Challenge Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Getting an ear for languages by eavesdropping on family conversations in Punjabi Living in, and learning languages in Korea, Brazil and Spain The dynamic of learning languages as a couple Creating VR Languages and a virtual reality Spanish course, Dynamic Spanish, for beginners and more advanced speakers The immersion and experiential learning of language courses in virtual reality How to use VR with a phone or an Oculus Quest How Katie improved her past tense and subjunctive with the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Jul 26

33 min 11 sec

Poet, artist and polyglot Maria Ortega Garcia talks to Benny Lewis and Shannon Kennedy about mindfulness, language learning as an introvert, and the power of using art and poetry as language learning tools.Mentioned in this Episode Maria Ortega Garcia Maria’s Instagram Maria’s Facebook Maria’s Youtube Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Learning languages as an introvert Mindfulness in language learning Using poetry as a tool for languages The biggest struggles students face trying to learn languages with poems How artistic expression and creativity fit into language learning Exploring identity through languages Using art as an inspiration for language learning Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Jul 19

30 min 42 sec

Language teacher and expat Janina Klimas shares how to create compelling language lessons for students, how acting is like language learning, and why recording yourself speaking your target language is so important.Featured Resources Fluent in 3 Months Challenge Real Life Language Mentioned in this Episode Fluent in 3 Months Challenge Netflix Yabla Real Life Language Real Life Language Podcast Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Language acquisition vs language learning How acting can boost your language learning and teaching Building excitement around languages for your students as a teacher What being a “reading specialist” means Teaching and studying abroad Figuring out your proficiency and levels in a language Why recording yourself speaking is so important Independent vs academic language learning success Games you can play to learn languages Language, culture, racism, and bias Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Jul 12

36 min 49 sec

Benny and Elizabeth speak with French YouTube superstar Géraldine Lepère about the importance of understanding culture when learning a language.Featured Resources Comme une Française MY STORY: How Culture Shock Inspired Me To Create Comme une Française Mentioned in this Episode Comme une Française MY STORY: How Culture Shock Inspired Me To Create Comme une Française Géraldine Lepère Facebook Géraldine Lepère Instagram Géraldine Lepère YouTube Géraldine Lepère Twitter Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: What to say to sound more French Differences between French and Mexican culture Adjusting to French culture How to connect with French people Reading French literature Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Jul 5

43 min 42 sec

Benny and Shannon dive deep with Netflix star, YouTube influencer and polyglot Jo Franco about growing up bilingual, developing a love of travel and language learning, and building connection through language.Featured Resources JoClub The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals Mentioned in this Episode JoClub The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals The Circle Shut Up and Go Travel Show Jo Franco Twitter Jo Franco Instagram Jo Franco YouTube How Jo Franco Bought a House in Cash Jo Franco Reveals She Was Shot in Brazil Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Immigrating to the US and learning English in an ESL camp Living between cultures and finding your identity The language learning “spark” Overcoming the fear of making mistakes Jo’s travel show on Netflix Building connections through language Negative travel experiences and why they don’t stop Jo from traveling Finding joy in challenges Journaling as a language learning tool Why the Circle is the best show for language learners The importance of mindset in language learning Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Jun 28

42 min 23 sec

Native Italian speaker and teacher Elfin Waters shares with Benny and Shannon about falling in love with languages as an escape, using Instagram as a language learning resource, and building Italian language content for language learners.Featured Resources Women in Language All About Italian Mentioned in this Episode Women in Language All About Italian All About Italian Retreats All About Italian Instagram Con Parole Noste - Italian Conversations Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Growing up in a family that prioritizes language learning Shifting from language learner to language teacher Getting in touch with the country with the language Using Instagram as a learning tool The power of compounding lots of small tasks Slow learning and having fun with creativity Finding joy in language learning What language retreats are and finding the right one Learning specific Italian dialects Using food for language learning Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Jun 21

55 min 1 sec

Benny and Elizabeth chat with Jim and May of Spanish and Go about meeting to exchange Spanish and English, falling in love, and creating a language business together. Jim and May are the founders of Spanish and Go, language podcasters, content creators, and language teachers.Featured Resources italki Spanish and Go Mentioned in this Episode italki Spanish and Go Spanish and Go Podcast How to Order Food in Spanish (Ordering a Meal at a Restaurant) Day of Dead Children’s Book Day of Dead video Spanish and Go Youtube Spanish and Go Instagram Spanish and Go Facebook Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Combining love, travel, languages, and content creation Developing content for language learners based on their greatest needs Creating projects when you travel Switching from English to Spanish in a relationship Adjusting to Puerto Rican Spanish from Mexican Spanish Cultural immersion Day of the Dead Immersion retreats in Mexico Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Jun 14

49 min 32 sec

Benny and Shannon have a discussion with Anja Winter about creating an online business and developing interesting, compelling lesson content to help students with language learning motivation.Featured Resources italki LingQ Language Hacking books Mentioned in this Episode italki LingQ Anja’s Academy Language Hacking books Anja’s Instagram Anja’s Youtube Learn German with Anja Learn German with Anja on Instagram Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Being a German language YouTuber and a digital nomad Incorporating body movement into language learning The importance of asking for help Finding inspiration for lesson material as a language teacher Advice for language teachers for creating an online business Limiting the amount of resources you use Making grammar fun with dialogues and phrases Helping students overcome their biggest challenges Studying abroad and immersion in languages Using dialogues to learn languages Maintaining motivation Using Netflix and movies to learn Student-teacher relationships and building connections Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Jun 7

42 min 30 sec

This week Benny gives a brief update about his current language projects, and how he's easing himself back into good routines. After a significant period away from language learning, it's important to take the time to figure out your methods and rebuild your study habits. The goal is to return to a place of consistent progress.To ask Benny a question, please email ask@languagehacking.com

Jun 2

7 min 55 sec

Benny and Elizabeth chat with Mark Pentleton about how he started the Coffee Break language podcasts and how his role shifted from language teacher to language learner.Featured ResourcesCoffee BreakMentioned in this EpisodeCoffee BreakEpisode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Starting and developing Coffee Break language podcasts Moving from teacher to learner on the podcast Helping his children learn languages at home How students can overcome the intermediate plateau Having patience and avoiding comparison with others The opportunities that come from speaking languages How to view mistakes and be resilient How Mark found and built the Coffee Break team Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

May 31

45 min 11 sec

Benny and Shannon chat with Dustin Luke and Ruben Adery about how to develop an authentic Spanish accent by using rhythm, musicality, body language, and other local insider information.Featured Resources English Speaking Hacks Spanish Speaking Hacks Mentioned in this Episode Cosas Que Dicen Los Argentinos Hecho Por Un Yanqui English Speaking Hacks Spanish Speaking Hacks Spanish Speaking Hacks Instagram English Speaking Hacks Instagram Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: What happens when a language scientist and a casual learner team up Tips for rolling your r’s Having an authentic accent beyond pronunciation Rhythm and musicality of pronunciation Learning colloquial phrases and chunking phrases Mindset and “getting into character” in a language Body language and other local insider tips for learning languages Getting local, native speakers to open up and use the language with you Learning a specific dialect without moving to the country with the Five I’s The sounds with the most variance in Spanish Finding viral videos in your target language How learning another language is like living another life Teaching your nonnative language Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

May 24

57 min 10 sec

Have you ever been trying to learn one language, but found yourself tempted by a new one and distracted from your original goal? Benny is here to help! He shares ideas for staying engaged and interested in the language you're learning, which will help stop your eye from wandering.To ask Benny a question, please email ask@languagehacking.com

May 19

7 min 23 sec

Benny and Shannon chat with Dayna Brockbank about learning languages on a budget with Duolingo, italki and Anki by building systems for motivation.Featured Resources italki Atomic Habits Anki Mentioned in this Episode italki Atomic Habits Anki Fluent in 3 Months blog Duolingo Happily Ever Travels VIP Kid Universe of Memory Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Learning Spanish while living in Chile in complete immersion What makes language immersion work How language learners waste time to try to be more effective Tips for budget traveling Building a career you can take traveling Finding motivation with systems How to choose which languages you learn Building conversation skills in a new language Learning for the sake of learning Common struggles amongst English language learners Something is better than nothing in language learning Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

May 17

44 min 21 sec

Benny and Shannon discuss dual identities, language learning, and strategies for reviving a language with Alex Rawlings, who was once named Britain’s most multilingual student.Featured Resources How to Speak Any Language Fluently Assimil Teach Yourself Routledge Mentioned in this Episode Third Year Abroad, now Global Graduates How to Speak Any Language Fluently Assimil Teach Yourself Routledge Alex Rawlings Alex’s Twitter Alex’s Instagram More Than Words Podcast Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: How Alex became Britain’s most Multilingual Student How a polyglot keeps their languages active and prioritizes what to work on Dealing with dual identities as someone who’s bicultural Taking language learning from hobby to career Living in South Africa and learning Afrikaans Extensive reading as a language learning strategy Strategies for reviving a language you’ve studied in the past Using courses at the beginner stage of learning Why you should adopt the philosophy of a “non-perfectionist” Learning strategies for advanced language learners Finding your voice in another language Discovering stories in other languages Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

May 10

47 min 19 sec

When it comes to learning vocabulary, is it best to learn individual words, or phrases with the words in context? Benny gives his opinion, talks about his insights and explains how he likes to use flashcards and other techniques to learn vocabulary both as standalone words and in context. To ask Benny a question, please email ask@languagehacking.com

May 5

7 min 30 sec

This episode features Sarah Gillespie, who learned conversational Hiligaynon in just 90 days with the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge.We actually guarantee that anyone who completes the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge will have a 15-minute conversation in their new language after 90 days of learning. You can find out more here.Benny and Elizabeth have a conversation with Sarah Gillespie about her experience of learning a heritage language with few resources as a part of the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge.Featured Resources Fluent in 3 Months Challenge italki Mentioned in this Episode Fluent in 3 Months Challenge italki Sarah’s Website Sarah’s Article on Fluent in 3 Months Toggl Audacity Paul Soderquist Illonggo Boyz Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Learning Hiligaynon in 3 months with the Challenge Learning heritage languages Enjoying the learning process with songs Using trends to learn languages Finding resources for more obscure languages Using lots of apps, software, and habit forming techniques like habit stacking How to use your target language with family and getting to know them better Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

May 3

54 min 17 sec

Benny and Shannon chat with Luca Lampariello, a well-known polyglot and language coach, about learning “useful” languages, breaking through limiting beliefs, and the most important thing when learning another language.Featured Resources Luca’s Coaching Communities of Practice Atomic Habits Mentioned in this Episode Luca’s Coaching Communities of Practice Atomic Habits Luca’s Twitter Luca’s Facebook Luca’s Instagram Luca’s Youtube Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: How languages can change your life Learning “useful” vs “useless” languages Going into language learning when coming from a technical background Breaking through limiting beliefs How Luca started his career in languages Common mental blocks for language learners How to speak with a native-like accent Bidirectional translation The most important thing when learning another language How the desire to be a part of a community can be powerful motivation How to juggle 14 languages Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Apr 26

57 min 8 sec

This week Benny gives some advice about how to watch movies and TV in your target language, especially when it comes to subtitles. Watching media is a fantastic way to improve your language skills, but you need to do it the right way if you want to get the most out of it. To ask Benny a question, please email ask@languagehacking.com

Apr 21

7 min 36 sec

This episode features Ashton Bitten, who learned conversational Spanish in just 90 days with the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge.We actually guarantee that anyone who completes the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge will have a 15-minute conversation in their new language after 90 days of learning. You can find out more here.In this episode, Benny and Shannon talk to Ashton about her experience of going from intermediate (B1) to advanced (C1) Spanish in 48 days with the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge.Featured Resources Fluent in 3 Months Challenge italki Mentioned in this Episode Fluent in 3 Months Challenge Genki Tandem Benny’s Ted Talk Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Being a language dabbler Going on a trip to Rwanda, learning the language, and getting inspired to learn more languages How failing a language proficiency exam led Ashton to focus on speaking Discovering the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge and going from B1 to C1 in Spanish in 3 months Using materials for native speakers to learn Spanish Breaking down the CEFR language levels Learning completely new languages after learning your first second language Going from theory to speaking the language Overcoming nervousness about speaking another language On changing personalities with each language Finding the “right” time to learn a language and time management How COVID has impacted her language learning and dealing with those guilty feelingsPodcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Apr 19

46 min 30 sec

Benny and Shannon talk to Damon Dominique, a French educator who got his start online as part of Damon and Jo, about learning languages to build connection, teaching without lecturing, and how to find confidence teaching online.Featured ResourcesFluent in 3 Months ChallengeMentioned in this Episode Fluent in 3 Months Challenge FluentCity Damon and Jo Shut up and go Damon’s Youtube Damon’s Instagram Damon’s Twitter Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Going from traveler to travel vlogger Being excited by learning languages through travel and creating connections How reality tv inspired Damon to travel and learn languages Creating entertaining language learning content on YouTube Tips for building confidence and getting comfortable in front of the camera Humor in language learning Dating and navigating relationships in other languages Being honest when sharing content online Having different personas in different languages How languages offer you a new perspective and shape who you are Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Apr 12

39 min 41 sec

The answer to this week's question may surprise you. People often assume that polyglots learn multiple languages at the same time, but as Benny explains, this isn't as common as you might think. Listen to find out why learning more than one language at a time isn't necessarily the best tactic.To ask Benny a question, please email ask@languagehacking.com

Apr 7

6 min 51 sec

In this episode, Benny and Elizabeth get the inside scoop on how to become a French cultural insider with Lizzy Rimington who has lived in France for the past 30 years.Mentioned in this EpisodeBenny’s Spanish ChallengeEpisode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Studying French at school and not actually learning the language How living as an au pair kicked off Lizzy’s French understanding How to integrate into French culture and build friendships Why French etiquette is so important Humor and how it can help you build relationships inner languages The ways customer service is different in France than in other countries What it’s like being vegetarian in France What to do when the French insist on speaking English When to use formal speech vs informal speech in French Tips for getting French practice when you aren’t ready for a native speaker Tricks you can use when you’re a beginner in a language Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Apr 5

49 min 25 sec

Benny and Shannon chat with Hollywood Accent Training Coach to the stars, Eliza Simpson, on finding your voice in another language through accent and pronunciation.Featured Resources Dialects Now Accent Gym Mentioned in this Episode Knight-Thompson Speechworks Dialects Now Accent Gym Eliza’s Twitter Eliza’s YouTube Eliza’s Instagram Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Techniques and mechanics you learn to pick up accents Visual aspects of learning the sounds of a language What does vocal coaching look like? Difference between dialect and accent Dealing with difficult sounds in a language How learning the accent of the language you’re learning in your native language helps you speak and other techniques you can use to learn accent Tips for improving accent and pronunciation Using comedy as a tool for language learning Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Mar 29

46 min 20 sec

You asked, and Benny is here to answer! In this short episode he talks about why he thinks tackling grammar shouldn't be your top priority when learning a new language - phew, what a relief!To ask Benny a question, please email ask@languagehacking.com

Mar 24

7 min 57 sec

This episode features Jessie, who learned conversational Catalan in just 90 days with the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge.We actually guarantee that anyone who completes the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge will have a 15-minute conversation in their new language after 90 days of learning. You can find out more here.In this episode, Benny and Shannon speak to Jessie who learned her partner Kike’s native language as a part of the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge.Featured Resources Fluent in 3 Months Challenge Anki Mentioned in this Episode Fluent in 3 Months Challenge Anki Episode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Tackling a language like Catalan with few resources What it’s like to have your partner learn your native language Helping your partner learn your language The benefits of doing more than one Fluent in 3 Months Challenge How Jessie’s language learning progress inspired Kike to learn a language too Why it’s a myth that you need to live in a country to learn the language Learning a very specific dialect like Menorquin The power of community in language learning Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Mar 22

51 min 20 sec

Elizabeth interviews Benny about his experience climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and how it parallels learning a language.Featured ResourcesFluent in 3 Months ChallengeMentioned in this EpisodeFluent in 3 Months ChallengeEpisode OverviewSome of the topics brought up during the interview are: Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and achieving a travel dream Giving up on language learning The compare and despair trap Being okay with mistakes Letting go of other people’s judgements Finding the silver lining How focusing on the end goal blinds you to the day to day progress The importance of asking questions and getting an outside perspective Why you make sure you have good people behind you Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

Mar 15

53 min 46 sec