In the Polyglot Community, both online and in real life, there is no need to explain who Alex Rawlings is… And it is amazing to see what he has accomplished at such a young age. Not only if you consider the number of languages that he speaks, but also considering the community that he was able to build around his passion, the events that regularly organizes around the world, and the level of authority that he has achieved in the language acquisition field.
Who is Alex Rawlings?
If you don’t know about him, the following is his own intro:
Alex Rawlings is a language specialist, polyglot and writer with a website called RawLangs. He was born and raised in London, where he currently lives, and is of Greek descent. He also writes prolifically on languages and language learning, and has contributed to blogs run by the British Council, Memrise, the European Commission and others. He has also worked on language course creation with LanguagePod101 and Mango languages.
He currently works as the Language Learner in Residence for a language learning startup called Memrise.
Alex was named Britain’s most multilingual student in 2012 after being tested for fluency in 11 languages and winning a nationwide competition run by the publisher Harper Collins. Since then he has regularly participated in major media campaigns to support the cause of language learning in the UK and worldwide.
And here you can find several videos featuring him and his language skills.
I don’t have to add anything else, right?
Of course when I found out that his book “How to Speak Any Language Fluently” was available online, it was an instant buy, a no brainer. I had to wait a few days to start reading it, as I was too busy, but after all I read the whole book in just 2 days, to be precise, 2 consecutive Sundays.
All in all, the book is a very easy read, but it’s never shallow. It never gets boring or technical, and it always keeps the focus on the subject. It is very well structured and balanced, and you never feel like wanting to skip a part or section. It covers every relevant aspect of the process of learning a language, from the preparation to learning one, to making the best use of your time, but also the technical aspects of learning grammar, vocabulary, reading, listening, speaking, and even mantaining the language once you have successfully learned it.
As a fellow polyglot, I have to admit that Alex’s approach is refreshing because it’s down to earth, but always professional and on point, finding the perfect balance. While exercises at the end of each chapter and “model answers” after that are perfect for anybody approaching language learning for the first time, the whole book is absolutely relevant even for accomplished polyglots, who will “steal” a few tips to make the process of learning languages even more engaging and efficient.
I will do just that. 🙂