I’ve had the opportunity to try out many models of language learning. I spent 7 years in elementary school learning Hebrew and 5 years in high school learning Russian with little to show for it, just like most people coming out of high school and college language classes. I’ve taught Austrian middle school and high schools for the past two years and seen why traditional methods are so unsuccessful (While it’s extremely easy to learn languages using these methods, it’s extremely difficult to test students without resorting to translation, so classroom settings end up using translation even when it’s not particularly effective). I’ve tried immersion programs in the states and intensive language programs abroad, and seen the pros and cons of these models.
My methods have developed over the course of gaining fluency in German, Italian, French, Russian and now Hungarian, all between 2004 and 2013, and all without averaging more than an hour a day on these projects. As an opera singer, I’m in the lucky position where mastery of multiple languages benefits my singing, and so learning languages is therefore a part of my career.
I graduated summa cum laude in 2007 from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a B.M. in Vocal Arts Performance, and was awarded the Renaissance Scholar’s prize upon graduating. In 2011, I graduated with honors from the Konservatorium Wien Privatuniversität with a Master’s degree in Art Song. My thesis on Language Acquisition for Lied [Art Song] Singers was awarded honors by the university faculty. I have taught business English here in Austria since 2008 and I have been an assistant teacher in an Austrian middle/high school since 2009.
About the Website
I recently finished a book on this topic, which will be available in March of 2014. This website provides me a way to reach more people, create new resources and continue to write while waiting for the book’s release. This is my way of self publishing without self publishing; it’s not a book worth of material, but it’s enough to get anyone started on the right path. Hopefully this will help people out, generate some interest, and eventually become a nice compliment to the book once it’s out!
The site name comes from Douglas Adams’ Babelfish (and from the Tower of Babel story)
• Welcome Page, Fish and Pier: Tanaka Juuyoh
• Methods Page, Puffer Fish: Beate W
• Methods Page, Baby Fish: Silke Baron