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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! 

Learning Languages: Habit 5 – Seek first to understand then to be understood.

Humans are prone to exhortation, not just of others but also to themselves.  “Don’t be nervous!”, “Don’t blush!”, “be more disciplined”.  Who do we think we are talking to at these times and why do we believe that person is listening any more than a teenager is listening when you espouse the virtues of maintaining a tidy room? Exhortation is generally ineffective.  Understanding can be very effective.  Are you telling your brain how to learn a language or are you seeking to understand the...

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Learning Languages : Habit 4 – Think Win-Win

How can this idea be applied in the context of learning a language?  Well, part of us likes to succeed and part of us just likes to live in the moment and have fun.  Often there is a battle between these two parts and in order for one to win the other must lose.  For example, if we are trying to lose weight we can deprive ourselves of foods we like (goal oriented part wins, fun now part loses) or we can break the diet and scoff that chocolate (fun part wins, goal oriented part loses). Thinking...

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Learning Languages : Habit 3 – Put first things first

What is learning? It is the process of going from not knowing something to knowing it.  If you can recall it one second after it was said to you, then you have completed the learning process.  What is memorisation? It is the process of moving information from short term (electrical) to long term (chemical) storage. What is the process of understanding? It is seeing how one thing relates to another. How long does it take to learn and retain one item of knowledge (grammar or vocabulary) using...

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Learning Languages : Habit 2 – Begin with the end in mind

It’s worth thinking through how you will maintain your languages once you have them. For instance, you maintain your English by using it every day.  Other languages often demand a more deliberate approach. I am now maintaining French, German, Spanish, Thai and Italian.  The combined vocabulary is roughly 40,000 words.  I invest 20 minutes per day in maintaining those languages and 20 minutes a day in improving my Italian and my Thai.  My maintenance time may sound quite high but it is only 4...

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Learning Languages : Habit 1 – Be Proactive

After being educated in England between the ages of 5 and 18 I found I had developed an unfortunate passivity that is the natural product of our education system.  I thought the teacher’s job was to teach me.  How absurd! Can you teach a chair?  Learning is something you can do - teaching is not.  A person can talk but they can’t teach.  They can use great illustrations but they can’t teach.  The fact that we, as a society, put so much emphasis on teaching and even call people “teachers” goes...

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