I’ve had the opportunity to try out many (most?) models of language learning, both as a student and as a teacher. Back in elementary/middle school, I spent 7 years learning Hebrew with nothing but an alphabet and a few words to show for it. In high school, I tried my hand at Russian. After 5.5 years of dedicated study, I again left with very little: an alphabet and a small handful of words. I’ve taught in Austrian middle schools and high schools for three years and seen why traditional methods are so unsuccessful (While it’s easy to learn languages using the methods I use, 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 as well.
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 taught business English in Austria for four years and I was an assistant teacher in an Austrian middle/high school for three.
About the Website
I recently finished a book on this topic, which will be available on August 5, 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!