Andrew Gray

Recent Posts

The Language Tutor: How to Learn a Language from Your Living Room

Posted by Andrew Gray on 2/13/15 1:26 PM

Imagine if you could learn a language like this. Well, you can!
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Tags: language learning

The Language Tutor: Dispelling Myths, Stereotypes, and Misconceptions

Posted by Andrew Gray on 1/9/15 7:35 PM

A Spanish serenade from the singer Carlos Gardel

So, you’re ready for the exhilarating journey of studying a new language, but unsure of which language to choose. Perhaps, floating in your head are all the common stereotypes and generalizations about this or that language. Perhaps you, like even the most intelligent students, are unwittingly afflicted with language prejudices—unfounded ideas about which languages are “simple” and which are impossible to learn, which are ugly and which are beautiful. Today, as your foreign language tutor (based in Boston and New York) I’m here to help you separate fact from fiction. Here are 5 things I tell my students about language learning:

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Tags: language learning

Latin Tutor: Why Should I Study Latin?

Posted by Andrew Gray on 12/26/14 12:46 PM

Source: Asterix the Gladiator, book 4

Excellent reasons for studying Latin have been given elsewhere on this blog: knowledge of the ancient language can boost your standardized test scores, enrich your understanding of European culture, and make you stand out in college admissions. As a long time Latin tutor in Boston, I’d like to add to these reasons two of my own.

Reason #1: Latin will make any language easier to learn

You’ve probably heard that Latin helps you acquire its modern descendents, the Romance languages. In fact, by enriching your understanding of grammar, Latin will help you learn any foreign language, not just those of the Romance family. Let me explain.It’s only reasonable that teachers give scant attention to Latin as a spoken language (although doing so can be fun and instructive), and instead, their assignments explicitly focus on Latin grammatical structures, or on translation. Latin students have no choice but to become well acquainted with hairy grammar topics like contrary to fact conditions, participial phrases, tense sequence, and the subjunctive mood. Read More

Tags: language learning, Latin