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Moses McCormick’s admirable achievement

 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
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andee
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 Message 65 of 221
13 May 2009 at 3:55am | IP Logged 
This is what I assumed since you can't use something before you have heard or read it. And while some words and phrases can stay happily passive for a long time, I have found the only way to make an idiom stick is to use it immediately.. and even over-use it for a short period, then it becomes natural and concrete very quickly.
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Rout
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 Message 66 of 221
13 May 2009 at 3:56am | IP Logged 
andee wrote:
This is what I assumed since you can't use something before you have heard or read it. And while some words and phrases can stay happily passive for a long time, I have found the only way to make an idiom stick is to use it immediately.. and even over-use it for a short period, then it becomes natural and concrete very quickly.


Smart man. =) Can't agree more!
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laoshu505000
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 Message 67 of 221
13 May 2009 at 5:09am | IP Logged 
Yep, that's exactly how you do it.



andee wrote:
This is what I assumed since you can't use something before you have heard or read it. And while some words and phrases can stay happily passive for a long time, I have found the only way to make an idiom stick is to use it immediately.. and even over-use it for a short period, then it becomes natural and concrete very quickly.

1 person has voted this message useful



Stivi
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 Message 68 of 221
21 May 2009 at 10:30pm | IP Logged 
laoshu505000 wrote:
ProfArguelles wrote:
Whenever someone subscribes to my YouTube channel, I am informed via a link that shows me that person’s channel page. I am curious as to what kind of person finds me intriguing, so I always look their pages over. As an aside, I must say that I notice a confluence of interests surprisingly often, as people who tend to value my videos also share other relatively rare tastes with me across the board, such as my political leanings or historical and other interests, with a far greater frequency than I encounter these tendencies in other people in the normal run of life. Of course, however, the binding tie is love of languages, and in this respect, I have just made a “discovery” of a remarkable degree of linguistic aptitude when Moses McCormick subscribed to my channel the other day.

I gather that Mr. McCormick is a majoring in Chinese at the University of Ohio, Columbus. He is 27 years old, and began studying languages at the age of 19. He describes three key elements in being able to learn languages:
1) access to necessary resources (and he relies primarily upon the Teach Yourself Series plus online language exchanges with native speakers).
2) confidence to speak precisely so that you can make mistakes and, learning from them, improve.
3) an open mind.
And he implies a 4th element, namely lots and lots of hard work.

Over the past 4 months, Mr. McCormick has posted videos of himself speaking an astounding range of languages, the LEAST exotic of which being for him, a native English speaker, Russian, Bulgarian, and Armenian. The list of 23 languages that Mr. McCormick has studied over the past 8 years includes (but may not be limited to):

Arabic
Armenian
Bulgarian
Chinese
Hebrew
Hindi
Hmong
Indonesian
Japanese
Korean
Mongolian
Persian
Russian
Somali
Swahili
Tagalog
Thai
Tibetan
Turkish
Urdu
Vietnamese
Wolof
Zulu

Members of that coterie of critics who always surface to harp on the lack of a native accent (as if such a thing were desirable, let alone attainable) will probably immediately emerge to nag on the fact that he has not attained this – though why and how should he, sitting by himself in Ohio? I, too, have seen a number of recent videos of polyglots saying a few lines each in a dozen languages back to back, all with flawless intonation. Impressive as this is, it is a demonstration of an inborn talent that the rest of us may envy in the sense of wishing that we, too, had it, more than any kind of accomplishment worthy of respectful admiration. Mr. McCormick’s attainments, on the other hand, are something that may actually be able to learn from. Indeed, he not only makes videos of himself speaking languages, but – for Zulu, Swahili, Hindi, Chinese, and a number of others – teaching their rudiments. Not only does he write on the board in his videos, but he has posted paragraphs of composition on his blog, so it is eminently clear that he considers every aspect of every language he studies. I only overlap with him on about half of his languages, but in all of those that I understand, I understand him perfectly. What he can do in Korean, for instance, is far, far, far more than most of my fellow past colleagues could do after years in the country. Furthermore, as he clearly states in many videos, he is emphatically not making them to claim to have “mastered” the tongues, but rather precisely so as to get feedback for those areas upon which he needs to concentrate so as to improve. More than anything else, I am truly impressed by the degree to which he is most clearly and truly actively thinking in the languages as he speaks them at the relative length of three or four minutes at a time.

Many of Mr. McCormick’s videos have few views and no ratings, and his blog has no followers. He has put forth a tremendous amount of time and energy in pursuit of our common passion, and as a result he has not only already attained admirable results, but he holds the promise of being a core teaching polyglot for years to come. I believe that anyone who finds this thread in this discussion room should naturally and of necessity feel the greatest respect for Mr. McCormick and all that he has achieved. Let us all visit his sites to congratulate him on what he has attained, to encourage him to continue doing what he is doing, and indeed, to ask him to join us here on our forum in the hopes of stimulating more interesting discussions about the art and science of language learning!

Here are the links to Moses McCormick’s YouTube channel and his blog.

Alexander Arguelles


Hello Professor,

I'm just now getting the opportunity to join this site. It's funny because I think I've been here a few times a long time ago. I feel very flattered from all of the praise you've given me. Just like everybody else here, I enjoy learning language.I think you should also be praised for all of the hard work you have put into languages. A few days ago I've watched that video when you were walking back and forth speaking in Mandarin. I thought that was very interesting.

I'm happy to have become a member on this site and I do look forward to making friends and sharing my knowledge with other language learners. Again, I want to thank everyone here for watching my youtube channel. Talk to you soon.

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Eze
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Canada
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Studies: German, Dutch

 
 Message 69 of 221
02 June 2009 at 5:45am | IP Logged 
This thread is really inspiring. I really look forward to more detailed method explanations from Moses McCormick once he has reached his 2009 goals to see how he did.

I really like the concept of several languages per year. Keep the posts coming dude, I have a new round of hope!
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laoshu505000
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 Message 70 of 221
03 June 2009 at 11:07pm | IP Logged 
Hello there,

It's not the end of 09 yet, but I've made these videos here relevant to the way I've been studying foreign languages. Thanks for viewing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBTFNb45wno

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-F8RS-DWgM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOYRh1eJjZA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8JkR2UY69k
------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------





Eze wrote:
This thread is really inspiring. I really look forward to more detailed method explanations from Moses McCormick once he has reached his 2009 goals to see how he did.

I really like the concept of several languages per year. Keep the posts coming dude, I have a new round of hope!

1 person has voted this message useful





Fasulye
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 Message 71 of 221
06 August 2009 at 9:30pm | IP Logged 
As I have a You Tube account myself, I just communicate with Moses directly on You Tube. That's the most natural way. Moses is very cooperative. He takes comments and questions seriously and gives a lot of useful suggestions concerning language learning. It's a two-way communication. I appreciate this kind of polyglot exchange very much. To communicate with him on You Tube you have to register there.

Fasulye

Edited by Fasulye on 06 August 2009 at 9:40pm

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asad100101
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languagel.blogspot.c
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 Message 72 of 221
10 August 2009 at 4:35am | IP Logged 
Hi There

I spoke to you on the phone. Your urdu is impressive. Keep going. When you spoke urdu sentences you didn't seem to have an accent which means that your pronunciation/accent was spot on. I had no problem understanding you. It's a pity that you have studied the language for two months and don't have a plan of achieving high level fluency in the language. I also listened to Prof reading a short story in urdu and he seemed to have an accent while reading it and I'd have a hard time understanding him. This is my honest opinion.

Moses, what are your methods? I am learningEnglish. What techniques would you like to suggest me regarding improving my pronunciation?

Asad Khan


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