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An interview with Alex from Lingoci.

I recently spoke to Alex Redfern, Founder of Lingoci.com, about his experiences learning Spanish and French. Here’s an overview of our chat.

 

Hi Alex, you founded a language learning site. Does that mean you speak lots of languages?

Unfortunately, I’m not particularly gifted when it comes to language learning. I speak French and Spanish to an intermediate level, and Swedish to a basic level. My regret is that I’m not fully fluent in any of them.

Let’s start with French – how did you learn it?

I took French at school and could barely put a sentence together by the time I took my GCSEs. The textbooks were so dry, and the teachers never focused on using the language in practical situations, so I didn’t understand the value of it.
Due to the low standards in schools, I somehow came out with an A. Because I didn’t have any other academic interests, I decided to continue in college. The teacher swiftly predicted I’d get an E, which motivated me to prove her wrong. Luckily, she was a good teacher and my classmates and I had the wonderful experience of suddenly being able to express ourselves in another language. I also discovered that language learning can be made fun when the materials used cover things you’re actually interested in.
Then after university, I moved to Paris in a bid to avoid the rat race. I reached an advanced intermediate level, mainly through going to language exchanges, watching the news, and speaking French with my expat friends.

 

And what about Spanish?

Last summer, I fancied a challenge and decided to learn Spanish. I went to a school in Valencia and it was a lot of fun. Valencia is a brilliant city and I made some great friends. In fact, I loved it so much that I decided to move there for a while. In around 4 months, I went from 0 to being able to hold proper conversations – as long as the person I was talking to wasn’t speaking at 100 miles per hour.

Not bad, how did you manage that?

After doing a few weeks of intensive lessons, my approach involved taking a couple of Spanish lessons with a tutor each week, listening to podcasts such as yours every day, and speaking with friends. I didn’t touch a textbook. Unless your life circumstances make it essential for you to learn, you’re only going to put in the hours if you enjoy the process. For me, chatting to people and listening to podcasts are the only way. Podcasts have exploded in the last 2 years and there’s so much great content available.

Do you have any recommendations on taking lessons?

For me, 1-on-1 lessons are way more efficient than learning in a group. The tutor can tailor the lessons to your interests, and you can spend 70% of the time speaking and receiving feedback. If you take lessons, ensure that your tutor makes you do most of the talking. You can improve your listening skills outside of class for free.

So, why haven’t you reached fluency?

Good question. Both in Paris and Valencia, I fell into the trap of having mainly English-speaking friends. And because I wasn’t planning on living abroad forever, I didn’t have the motivation to put in the required hours. To go from basic to intermediate, it’s fine to do, say, 3 hours per week. But to go from intermediate to fluent, I think you need to practice every day. I hope to get there though. One day.

Thanks for your time, Alex.

Alex is the Founder of Lingoci.com, a platform where you can learn Spanish online with experienced tutors from Spain and Latin America.

 

Free Videocasts

Take a look at our range of 160 free podcasts and many other lessons all designed to take your Spanish forward at LightSpeed!

Every videocast that we have produced comes with a comprehensive helpsheet to guide you through the grammar and to test your understanding.

Our Fantastic Books

Check out our ever increasing range of high acclaimed, no-nonsense workbooks that explain Spanish grammar in easy-to-follow language. (Link to books)

Our Total Immersion Courses

Set close to Madrid in Spain we offer week-long total immersion courses designed to boost your confidence levels sky high! Remember that as a Socio you have a 50 Euro discount from the cost of the course.

Online one-to-one and group lessons.

Why not have a free, no obligation chat with Ana and find out more about what is available to really get your Spanish moving!

Gordon’s Diaries.

Catch up on the 100s of free ‘Diarios de Gordon’ in which he talks about Spain, life and anything else that comes to his mind.

Cynthia’s Insights.

Join Cynthia as she gives her take on life in Spain and on life in general in her free range of video diaries.

All of our Playlists.

Come and browse through the hundreds of videos that we have for you to enjoy on Youtube.

If you have any questions or want to know more, please feel free to write to lightspeedspanish@hotmail.co.uk

 

Easy Spanish with captions La Sociedad LightSpeed Spanish

In this interesting Diary, from the very popular Gordon’s Diaries series, we talk about the Society of today’s world and about how it works. Gordon uses easy Spanish with captions to allow you to understand his thought process.

Watch on and see if you agree with Gordon and his thoughts on where we are these days.

Un saludo,

Gordon y Cynthia:)

Free Videocasts

Take a look at our range of 160 free podcasts and many other lessons all designed to take your Spanish forward at LightSpeed!

Every videocast that we have produced comes with a comprehensive helpsheet to guide you through the grammar and to test your understanding.

Our Fantastic Books

Check out our ever increasing range of high acclaimed, no-nonsense workbooks that explain Spanish grammar in easy-to-follow language. (Link to books)

Our Total Immersion Courses

Set close to Madrid in Spain we offer week-long total immersion courses designed to boost your confidence levels sky high! Remember that as a Socio you have a 50 Euro discount from the cost of the course.

Online one-to-one and group lessons.

Why not have a free, no obligation chat with Ana and find out more about what is available to really get your Spanish moving!

Gordon’s Diaries.

Catch up on the 100s of free ‘Diarios de Gordon’ in which he talks about Spain, life and anything else that comes to his mind.

Cynthia’s Insights.

Join Cynthia as she gives her take on life in Spain and on life in general in her free range of video diaries.

All of our Playlists.

Come and browse through the hundreds of videos that we have for you to enjoy on Youtube.

If you have any questions or want to know more, please feel free to write to lightspeedspanish@hotmail.co.uk

 

Ana’s Spanish Art LightSpeed Spanish

In this splendid interview we get the chance to talk with Ana, a talented artist, who explains to us the processes and inspiration for her Spanish art.

Ana is not your typical artist, as you will see from her quite beautiful and unusual paintings and drawings. We really hope that you enjoy this interview and that you learn more about Spanish art and the way to talk about your passion in Spanish.

Un saludo,

Gordon y Cynthia:)

Free Videocasts

Take a look at our range of 160 free podcasts and many other lessons all designed to take your Spanish forward at LightSpeed!

Every videocast that we have produced comes with a comprehensive helpsheet to guide you through the grammar and to test your understanding.

Our Fantastic Books

Check out our ever increasing range of high acclaimed, no-nonsense workbooks that explain Spanish grammar in easy-to-follow language. (Link to books)

Our Total Immersion Courses

Set close to Madrid in Spain we offer week-long total immersion courses designed to boost your confidence levels sky high! Remember that as a Socio you have a 50 Euro discount from the cost of the course.

Online one-to-one and group lessons.

Why not have a free, no obligation chat with Ana and find out more about what is available to really get your Spanish moving!

Gordon’s Diaries.

Catch up on the 100s of free ‘Diarios de Gordon’ in which he talks about Spain, life and anything else that comes to his mind.

Cynthia’s Insights.

Join Cynthia as she gives her take on life in Spain and on life in general in her free range of video diaries.

All of our Playlists.

Come and browse through the hundreds of videos that we have for you to enjoy on Youtube.

If you have any questions or want to know more, please feel free to write to lightspeedspanish@hotmail.co.uk

 

158 Chalk and Talk Spanish Passive Voice Test yourself LightSpeed Spanish

Spanish Passive Voice explanation and test. In this lesson we work together through the Spanish Passive Voice to better understand what we have to do to manage it. We love the Passive Voice in English, but Spanish speakers are not as fond of it! Find out why. Be sure to... Read more »
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To access this post, you must purchase Ser Socio Membership Program.