About this Language Chat

So, you’re learning a language and you’ve taken the exciting step to start learning another! But how do you maintain one language while learning a new one? In this episode, we respond to a listener question from Deborah in Sydney.

Deborah wrote to us and said: “I have been learning French for a number of years. I struggled with various means until I finally hit upon a combination of styles that worked for me. The classroom environment just didn't suit me. I was one of those people who sat at the back and didn't answer, and there was always that one person who would constantly interrupt the lesson to argue a grammar point with the teacher. Once I discovered italki things got better; I had the teacher all to myself and I was encouraged to talk in French. But I discovered that I missed the social aspect of language learning. So I joined various Facebook groups and did different challenges until I found one that fit, and now I have the best of both worlds. So much so that I've started learning Italian! The problem is, how do I maintain one language while learning a new one?”

In this Language Chat, we discuss how we’ve been here too (maybe you have as well!) - learning two languages at once and going through different phases in our language learning, from mixing up words and structures to completely blanking on vocabulary. But, overall, having learnt one language already puts you in a great position to learn a new one, because you’ve already had the chance to put the methods and tools that work for you into practice.

We talk about whether learning two languages from the same language family is a help or a hindrance, as well as managing the time that you have to spend on language learning between maintaining your knowledge in one and building knowledge in the other.

Are you introducing a new language into your mix? If so, how are you finding it? What methods are you using to maintain an existing language and learn a new one? We’d love to know!

(And merci / grazie to Deborah for getting in touch with this excellent question - we hope your progress in both French and Italian is going well!)

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