Reaching for Words

Episode 1: Speaking fluently, with Luca Lampariello

In our first episode, we chat with Luca Lampariello, a renowned polyglot who has achieved high levels of fluency in 13 languages. We discuss:

  • Preparing to speak – when should we speak, and is there anything we can and should do in advance?
  • Keys to fluency – is fluency a skill that we can develop, or a representation of our overall level of language?
  • Practising speaking – how can we practise, other than simply speaking with people? Is there anything else we can do?
  • Speaking as a performance – how can you deal with pressures of the moment, and to what extent is speaking an act of “performance”?
  • The mindset of fluency

Links and resources:

Linguacore – Luca’s website which distils his approach into courses – Luca’s personal website, where he offers coaching sessions

Learning how to learn – The course which teaches you how to learn, from Coursera

Other episodes

RFW6: Language learning and technology, with Jo Sayers

Rob chats with old friend Jo Sayers – a language learner, teacher, and technologist:

  • Traits of good language learners (from a teacher’s perspective)
  • Technology: does it help us or hinder us?
  • Pros and cons of language learning apps, and where they best fit in for a language learner

RFW5: Finding joy in language, with Katie Harris

Language learning should be a joy, but can sometimes be a drag. We’ve all experienced that feeling of impatience and boredom that learning a language can sometimes be.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way! Rob talks with Katie Harris (from about ways to inject the joy back into your language learning process.

RFW4: Independent Language Learning, with Lindsay Williams

We chat with Lindsay Williams (from about how to carve your own, independent path in your language learning:

  • How to create structure in your approach
  • How to plan your learning
  • Dealing with motivation and discipline
  • Most effective activities for solo learning

RFW3: Memory and Language Learning, with Olly Richards

Rob talks with polyglot Olly Richards about the role of memorization in language learning:

  • Do memory champions make the best language learners?
  • Is memorization really important?
  • Active vs passive memorization
  • Memorization tips and techniques for language learning

RFW2: Beginning a Language, with Shannon Kennedy

We chat with Shannon Kennedy, a polyglot who has learned 8 languages, about how to approach a new language:

  • 3 do’s and don’ts when starting a language
  • The role of grammar at the beginner stages of language learning
  • Motivation vs discipline – which is more important?
  • How to build your language learning routine

RFW1: Speaking fluently, with Luca Lampariello

In our first episode, we chat with Luca Lampariello, a renowned polyglot who has achieved high levels of fluency in 13 languages. We discuss:

  • Preparing to speak
  • Keys to fluency
  • Practising speaking
  • Speaking as a performance
  • The mindset of fluency

8 comments. Leave new

Thanks for setting up the interview with Luca. He gave some really useful advice. (I particularly like the ideas of preparing a conversation to practise speaking with yourself and of reviewing what you say as soon as convenient.) I think it’s an excellent start to the series.

Great podcast, what was the website or link to the site that he mentioned. I think it was called like cursier or something?

Also, how or what app do people use to allow them to record their conversations? I don’t think WhatsApp has the ability to record. Just curious how one might record their conversations. Thanks again, great thoughts!

It was Coursera – Learning how to learn. I’ve added a link to the resources section.

Regarding recording your conversation, there are lots of apps which enable this, many of which are already built into your phone. You could try SoundCloud for longer conversations, but if it’s just for 20 seconds or so Whatsapp allows you to record too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Great interview – thanks Rob and Luca, really useful tips and practical information. Looking forward to the next one already.

Thanks Simon! Check back next Monday 🙂

Hi Rob
Have I read there is a list of conversation phrases or fillers we can use when we are struggling to continue a conversation?

Hi Brenda, I can suggest this reading:
Thank you, Lis

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