Luca's webinar

Luca did a very interesting webinar with Stephan Si-Hwang about effective learning techniques. I had the pleasure of listening to all of it and it is just fantastic, so I wanted to share it with you. This is just part 1/7 of the webinar, I think he will post the other parts very soon. Enjoy!


Second episode: the Luca method

Concerning the second episode. It is said that in Shakespeare’s school, Latin was taught exactly the way Luca says he learns a language. The students were given Latin poems to translate, and then they had to translate their poems back into Latin.
I look forward to the rest of this webinar, and thank you, Berta, for posting this reference.

So funny pictures are used to illustrate the speach :slight_smile:

No problem :slight_smile:

Third part of the webinar: learning a language from scratch. This is really interesting!


Another intriguing video from Luca.

Here are Luca´s main steps or main points as I see them:

  1. Find a language starter book that you like. Luca’s criteria are that it should:
    a. be visually appealing.
    b. have bilingual texts (like Assimil)
    c. contain grammar notes but is not overloaded with grammar.
    d. give good instructions about how to pronounce the language (including the stress of the language, if any)
    e. have excercises for rebuilding the parts of the lesson (uses Assimil as an example again; never having seen Assimil, I’m confused about this criterion).
    NOTE: 3 series shown in the video are Assimil, Speak XXX with Confidence and Complete XXX.
  2. Find a language partner ASAP. Two suggestions here were SharedTalk and ConversationExchange.
  3. Schedule a time for learning EVERY DAY.
    a. Divide your time in chunks, if you have to (say 15 minutes here and there)
    b. Save the most difficult parts of learning language for when you have the most energy (for Luca, the morning).
    Luca mentions the difficult tasks for him are speaking, writing and translating from the target language back to the native language (Italian in his case, though he knows English and French well enough to use them, too)

Berta, un beso. Gracias.

Edited to make a minor correction.

cheers don

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In this video Luca warns against language interference for those studying two languages at the same time. An odd inteference is happening to me between a language I now read fairly well and a second language that I am trying to improve. The final ‘-ent’ of some forms of French verbs, which can be silent, interferes with the final ‘-ent’ of some Latin verbs. I find myself not remembering the ends of these Latin verb forms because I don’t “hear” them. (Though this was never a problem with French. Who can explain it?).

Un aplauso para Luca y un aplauso para Berta.

Hi don,

I am using assimil for spanish and really like it, the exercises for “rebuilding the parts of the lesson” are really useful, mainly in a lesson there is a main body of text, and after are the exercises. The exercises usually use the words from the main text body, but the sentences are simpler in the exercise. Anyway I would recommend anyone to use assimil as a starting course, I am on lesson 49 today and am looking forward to moving on to more “native” material when I am done. I still have over 50 lessons to do. Anyone here done assimil and how was your language level when ye finished?

5th part:

Gracias Don :* jajajaajja

Gracias, Berta. Un consejo interesante sobre el uso de Wikipedia…

Luca is an outstanding language learner and from what I hear an excellent teacher.

I believe that the most important factors in language learning success are

  1. our attitude towards the language and the process
  2. the amount of time we spend with the language.

Therefore it is important to choose learning activities that we find enjoyable and stimulating, and that we will continue to do, within the time constraints that we all have.

I have an approach to language learning that differs from Luca’s in some regards, although it is similar in many others. Each person has to find what works for them. With reference to the points above, for example;

a) some books I really like are visually unattractive, and some that are visually attractive I don’t enjoy.
b) I am not motivated to read bilingual texts, I prefer to stay in the target language and see only the translation of words that I don’t understand. I find bilingual texts distract me from reading the text in the target language.
c) I agree that we need some grammatical explanations, but much more important to me are many examples of the grammatical patterns, something that Assimil does not have.
d) I basically do not use explanations about pronunciation, preferring to listen and expecting to take a while before I can pronounce accurately
e) I never do exercises, preferring to listen and eventually to speak, activities which are more meaningful and natural for me
f) I do not want language partners until I have enough familiarity with the language and enough vocabulary to have meaningful conversations. Until then I focus on input. This input stage can last 3-6 months or even longer.
g) I do not schedule any particular time for study, and grab whatever opportunity I have during the day to listen or read or study
h) I do whatever I feel like doing, or what works, at any time during the day. If I have dedicated time, I like to read or review words or speak. If doing other tasks, I listen.

But that is just me, and everyone has different goals, different circumstances and different preferences. It is, I think, important to customize our study habits to our personal situation.


@berta, I asked Luca if he could re-upload the 5th part, (since the background music is too loud & distracting), & he said he will. Looking forward to that.

I did appreciate Steve’s latest vid on patience; half the time the only thing that keeps me going in the Challenge are his Challenge vids! (and being nosy about the interior of his dream home, hehe)

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6th part of Luca’s webinar: how to tackle Chinese and Japanese!

@Julz me too!


last part of the webinar: how to interact the native spearks and get confident

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Internet traffic seems especially heavy tonight. This last part of the webinar can not get to me.
Are the Olympic games taking up an unusually large amount of bandwidth?
Or is this just a coincidence?

Luca is going to give a workshop in Vienna on the 22nd and it seems super cool I for one am surely going to watch it :slight_smile:

@don I didn’t suffer any slow internet traffic sorry (but I am in Madrid, so maybe it was probably just in your area)