About a week ago, I was fortunate to have been invited to attend a Second Language Acquisition seminar by Language Acquisition guru Dr. Stephen Krashen (http://www.sdkrashen.com) , hosted by the Concordian International School here in Bangkok.Stephen was a real inspiration and after speaking with him that day, I was inspired to do something new.
A couple of days later I went out and bought a new video camera and tried my hand at starting to put some video responses to emails that I’ve received over the past year or so.Last Friday I swung over to the home of http://RadioBangkok.Net Director Bill Hammerton’s place and we shot what will hopefully be the first in many video episodes on language learning, linguistics, culture, language and culture based business and anything else that viewers find interesting.
I’ve tried to answer some of the many questions that have been sent to me in emails and messages since I posted my first clip on Youtube in 2007.I thought to make it interesting, I’ve tried to choose several different languages to respond to (subtitled in English).
“What separates languages – politic or linguistic differences?”
“What’s the history behind some of your languages?”
“What’s the most difficult language?”
“What are some secrets to learning new languages?”
“How do I get motivated to learn languages?”
One thing that I wanted to get across in the videos is that I am just a human being like everyone else, and my brain faces the same challenges as everyone else.The thing that lets me take the languages that I have been able to take to an advanced level is motivation / attitude. I’ve chosen languages that I’m at different competency levels in. They range from:
‘very fluent’ – Mandarin, Indonesian, Thai
‘let’s dust the cobwebs off’ – Italian, Spanish, Danish, Swedish, Hindi, Javanese
‘shockingly elementary’ – Japanese, Vietnamese, Norwegian
Just putting this clip together was great to get the linguistic juices flowing again in some of my dormant languages.
You might remember a post from last year about Vietnamese.I hadn’t really used Vietnamese much after that post.It wasn’t until I travelled to Nha Trang for Miss Universe that I had a real environment to incubate my Vietnamese.I was able for the first time to start interacting in Vietnamese with native speakers.I used the taping of this episode as a personal challenge to air for the record my current (low) level of Vietnamese.This post has set a bar for myself – so hopefully in a few months time, my Vietnamese will be much more fluent than what you see in this clip.I’ll keep you updated on my progress!
Just for fun in the end, I’ve also thrown in a little sign-language finger-spelling (American and Autralian) as well as some very low-tech Morse-code.
If you have any suggestions for topics for future episodes, email me at the email you see in the clip, or you can post a comment on this blog – or on the Youtube clip if you like.