Author Archives: Steve Kaufmann

Recent Articles

Should Your Child Be Learning Mandarin?

Reports in the NY Times and elsewhere point to the rise of Chinese language instruction in our schools, against the backdrop of the demise of language learning in general. People justify this rush to Chinese by referring to the growth of the Chinese economy. The US government has declared Chinese a “critical language.” How realistic is this Chinese boom, and will it last? Here is a reality check. r

Self Learning

6 Steps To Effective Self Learning

The importance of self education and self learning. This report and other recent studies show that online learning, distance learning, and self-learning in general, are not only more convenient, but, in fact, more effective than the classroom, for high school, college and adult learners. In the last decade, the Internet, the MP3 player, the iPhone, and other mobile devices,as well as social networking sites, language exchange communities, online learning systems, university courses online and more, have changed how we deal with knowledge. Independent programmer-entrepreneurs are constantly developing new learning applications. The language lab is already obsolete, can the college lecture hall be far behind? The walls of academia, and the costs of learning, are crumbling before our eyes and ears. r

Language Learning

7 Concepts of Natural Language Learning

Language learning is essentially fun, or should be, if it is done naturally, in line with how the brain learns. We learned our first language quite well, without explicit instruction. Unfortunately, the teaching of second languages has been turned into … r

Save A Life

7 Steps That Might Save A Life

Image of a defibrillator courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Lists of seven ways to improve yourself are popular on the web. Here is a seven-item list that could save lives. But first a little background. A few days ago in Russia, … r

Learning a new language

The Three Stages of Language Fluency

“You are what you eat” – popular saying In the global information age, maybe it should be “you are what you can say”. Language, in its varied manifestations, is mankind’s defining achievement, and it also defines us. Language can be … r


5 Poor Excuses For Not Learning a Foreign Language

We all have the ability to learn to speak more than one language. Throughout history, whenever languages co-existed in close proximity, people managed to naturally communicate across the language divide. They had to. That is still true today. Where different languages brush up against each other, people have no trouble learning another language and using it, whether it be children selling souvenirs in the market, or business people in international meetings. This is true in Asia, Africa, America and Europe. r