Language Learning Motivation with @Will John (1)
Hello, Steve Kaufmann here again.
And today I have the pleasure of speaking with Will John, uh, someone that I
spoke to about a year ago, you may remember, uh, and then we're going to
talk about a variety of things having to do with language and maybe sports.
But first, remember if you enjoy these videos, please subscribe,
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Uh, Will, you were, when we last spoke, you were a soccer player
with an interest in languages.
Maybe you can update us on what you've been doing.
So, uh, I'm still soccer player with a massive interest in languages.
Uh, but this time around, uh, we started a project called Goluremi Languages,
where essentially we just walk around the street and kind of surprise people
uh, with our language ability and, uh, the idea behind the channel is to display
everything that we've learned and also to talk about the methods that we use
in order to actually make this happen.
And, uh, we share a lot of similarities uh, you and I have both been influenced,
uh, quite heavily, as a matter of fact, it was actually pretty much well over a
year that we, we talked, you introduced the name, Stephen Krashen to me.
I had already been using comprehensible input to some, some degree
without even knowing who he was.
And since then I've spoken to him and all this stuff.
So we have a lot of similarities in our methods, but, uh, that's,
that's, that's what's going on.
So now we've got this Goluremi Language YouTube channel and TikTok that's
kind of taken off and it's given us a chance to, you know, to, to step
outside of the world of footballers.
Uh, briefly you played soccer, professional soccer in a number of
countries, just update my listeners.
So, uh, you know, I was, uh, I'm from Kansas City in, in the US and I
started my career playing in the MLS.
So I played for the Chicago Fire.
Uh, and then I played two years in my hometown, I was born in Kansas
City before moving to Europe, playing in the Danish Super League.
Uh, so I played there and I played in Serbia.
I played, uh, back in Finland for a couple of years, um, Croatia where I play now.
Uh, so yeah, it's, it's been an interesting journey.
You know, I can't resist speaking to an American about soccer, I can resist
reminding you that Canada beat the US.
Oh my gosh!
Sorry, I just wanted to sneak that in there.
You won't remember.
You'll remember in our, in our first interview, I'm almost certain
that we talked about soccer.
We talked about Canada and I said Canada was on the up.
And you were like, oh, that's surprising.
And here we have proof of this now in this two-zero win.
So Canada's a dark horse.
Without Alphonso, without their star player.
It's a team...
You guys are coming up.
Anyway, leaving that because I'm sure that the Americans will be back.
So we crow while we can crow.
Uh, your interest in languages, is this as a result of you traveling and being...
because the average person from Kansas City, let's say probably doesn't see a
tremendous need for learning languages.
So what was it about your background that made you interested?
The traveling is not a part of it.
Everyone assumes that because, uh, I traveled around, I learn all these
languages when I was in the country.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
When I played in Croatia, when I played in Denmark, I did learn those languages
there, but, uh, I spent three or four days in Italy and I speak Italian.
Uh, I learned French before ever living or playing in a French speaking country.
Um, German is the same.
The catalyst for my language learning is my mother, uh, who
is unfortunately passed away.
But she decided at a young age that it would be better for me to
come home and not watch, I don't know, Pokemon or whatever it was
that I wanted to watch as a kid.
And she said, Nope, you're watching this.
And this was comprehensible input, as it turns out, uh, for kids to
learn Spanish as a second language.
And so I, without knowing it by the time I was around somewhere between 10 and
13, had a pretty good grip on Spanish.
And, uh, that got me to realize that I had learned the language without much
effort at all, as you know, from this, uh, the, the method and the way that, you
know, you guys do do things over at LingQ.
You're not really forcing too much, you know, you don't stress
people to speak and do all this.
So, so that was a huge factor.
And then the book I read the book The Count of Monte Cristo
and that basically sent me...
have you read it, read that book by chance?
A long time ago.
Well, the character just struck me as a 16 year old that he had this ability to
travel around the world that he took all this time and he learned these languages
while he was in prison and all this stuff.
And then he had this ability to just travel and do everything.
I really, it struck me and that's, that's the real reason why I can do this.
I'd like to get back to the whole subject of motivation because it's
such a big part of language learning.
But first, uh, I'm curious to know, you know, it's been more than a
year since we last spoke and you've now launched your YouTube channel.
You've got some videos that have gone viral.
Can you update us on what you've been doing?
So, uh, we, we stopped I think it was at the end, it might've even been just
off air in the last, uh, you asked, you know ... and I said, uh, in English, "no",
because I just got into Sweden and, uh, so yeah, I, uh, I learned Swedish, you know,
uh, at a comfortable level now that I can communicate and now it's been, been great.
Uh, you know, the motivation and it's so interesting for all the people
out there that are trying to learn it's it's regardless of the language.
And it's just something that I just, I like to hammer into people who are here
that have just started their language journey or are about to, you will
be super motivated at the beginning.
You will gain, uh, quite a bit at the beginning.
you will hit a dip.
It is guaranteed.
You might not hit it in 10 days.
You might not hit it in a week, but it will come.
You will stall at some point.
And you've just got to push through that.
Uh, you might even need to take a break.
Uh, I'm not saying to quit, uh, you know, if you've lost all passion
for it, then it might not have been the best choice, but if you're still
interested in it, that dip part right there is the, is the turning point.
Because if you can get through the dip and stick to it and keep your
passive listening up and a little active listening and a little bit
active speaking, stuff like that, you generally start this exponential jump up.
Uh, if you know, if you're following the method, correctly.
So, um, yeah, you know, uh, I would say just to be aware of
that, because motivation will wane, uh, you know, when you pop into a
conversation that you feel as, oh my God, I can't understand anything.
What am I doing with my life?
So then, so, uh, and so you're motivated obviously to learn languages.
You're also motivated to help people learn languages.
I can sense your enthusiasm, passion, and so forth and how, oh, so what
are you actually, what are the kinds of activities that you have gotten.
yourself involved in?
In language learning?
You do said something about you're on YouTube...
So, uh, so right now we filmed...
Go check it out.
So Goluremi is the name of our, obviously we have a, we have a rather large,
uh, soccer, YouTube channel and soccer company named Goluremi, my middle
name is Oluremi, and we just put the word G for goal the Spanish word goal.
We mashed that together.
And, um, yeah, so we have filmed videos, uh, language videos,
in I believe Sweden in Croatia.
We just did one in New York where we spoke to, uh, we went to Little Italy
and just wanted to find out if the people there could speak Italian and that video,
it's been popped all over places and we're going to, we've just been asked
to be a part of a documentary now from, from that video and all this stuff.
So, uh, you know, we've had some, some guys and that's obviously our goal
is to, is to reach people like you as well to kind of give people a good
base of language learning understanding to tackle it from different ways.
I mean, I think one of the things that you see in this is that many of
the successful polyglots, uh, like you, they have certain different
methods, but they, they all have a few things that are just, they have to...
Luca Lampariello uses this, but Steve also uses this.
They might differ on a few little things, but it's just clear that
there's a pattern there and we want to kind of point that out for people.
So that's, that's the goal of the channel and that's what you'll find there.
And that's kind of just, what we've been up to is, is, is, uh, speaking
to people in the, in these different languages, shocking them, doing some
of these old videos that you've seen online, where you kind of shock people.
Those are always fun.
The reaction's great.
And then the other goal is to simply educate people on the best methods,
because it is truly, probably still plural, even though there's a lot of
similarities and, uh, you know, making it simple for people to do that.
That's what we're about.
You know, you mentioned the dip.
That's interesting because one of the reasons for that dip is that when we
start into a new language, we achieve a fair amount of success initially from
knowing nothing about the language, not understanding anything, all of a
sudden we can understand something.
We can say something we're very impressed with ourselves.
But then the reality is that a word frequency declines very, very
quickly so that, uh, the initial few months we're meeting the
same words over and over again.
And then suddenly as we start to hit words that don't appear that often it's
harder and harder to remember them.
And that's where it's, I think so important to get into content of interest.
You can actually get to something that you're actually interested
in hearing about it, reading it.
Then that sort of the interesting nature of the content will keep you going,
because I have not found that, like after the, I consider it more of a plateau, not
like you have a sudden dip and then all of a sudden you take off again and it, you
settle into a sort of a, a long distance.
You start off sprinting then pretty soon you realize this is a long distance.