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Bruce Balmer

Bruce speaks 6 languages and has been a headmaster, private tutor, provided SEN and CPD training, lectured to over 350 private schools in the UK, France & Canada including Benenden, Roedean, Gordonstoun, Cheltenham Ladies College, CharterHourse, Moreton Hall etc. and lectured to 65,000+ students world-wide. He has taught accelerated language learning in adult education where his average feedback per lesson was 9.2 / 10.  

Bruce helps  people feel the same excitement about learning a language that they felt when they started.

Check out Bruce’s Blog – HERE! 

The not so magic number 302

Do you enjoy numbers? I do. I just worked out something astonishing a few days ago. Let's play with some numbers and you can see it too. 900 hours - the expected time to get from zero to B1 in a European language for a native English speaker. 3,000 - the number of "units" of the language required to be acquired to perform at a B1 level (a "unit" = a word or a phrase or a conjugation or an example of a grammar rule). 800 hours - the time left after subtracting the 100 hours you will require to...

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Should I learn two languages at once?

A good question that comes up fairly frequently. It sounds reasonable. Maybe it would be quite efficient. I used to be interested. My simple answer today is "bad idea". And now for the more nuanced answer. Firstly, it depends a little on the languages concerned. I experience zero confusion between my French and my German. So two such different languages could be learned at the same time and would be unlikely to cause you trouble. On the other hand, recently I have been experiencing some...

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A cost benefit analysis of gamification

What is the benefit of gamification and what is the cost? Many people have been trained to take learning seriously – to suffer through it – to "tough it out". This often leads to negative emotions which results in reduced motivation and a diminished receptivity to information. Most of us realise that learning should be fun if possible, and that removing negative experience and promoting positive experience helps. Edutainment has caught on as a concept. Gamification is an attempt to improve the...

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Perforated Knowledge

We've been having yet another interesting experience recently with the clients we coach one on one. It turns out that it is not unusual for a person to have a knowledge of a language where they have quite a lot of fairly advanced stuff and are missing super basic stuff; one reason they find speaking more difficult than they would like. That is the state they arrive in. That gave us a dilemma. How do we get them to de-perforate their knowledge without having to start right at the beginning and...

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The wisdom of the mind

Learning a language never fails to amaze me, to impress me and to charm me. I'm busy watching my mind improving at Thai. I've reached that curious stage children reach very quickly wherein when I listen to Thai spoken at normal speed, I can now hear all the individual words somehow without being able to decipher them fast enough to know what is being said. It's an improvement - because until fairly recently it just sounded like a blur of sound, one giant word if you like. My brain is up to...

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