Episode 12: In Memory of Moses McCormick
Welcome back to another episode from Sound Practice Language Learning. Today I’d like to talk a little bit about someone who inspired me on my language learning journey. All of you learning English. If this is your second language, or maybe third, or fourth, or if you’re only learning one language… After your first language, it doesn’t matter… You are going out of your way you are finding ways to improve yourself. Your ability in English, on your own time… you aren’t required to do it. You might have reasons out of your control for learning English, but you’re deciding to learn on your own, in your own free time.
Now you might have someone in your life who you admire. Someone who you learn from, someone who was a good role model for you. And you wanted to be like that person. Me too. Same for me. There was someone who I looked up to for many years. Maybe 10 years ago… It was a good while ago… It was back when I lived in the United States. It was when I only had a little bit of language learning experience. I was just intermediate maybe in Spanish, and really basic or beginner in a few other languages. And I didn’t know how to learn languages on my own. I didn’t know how to start [learning] a language on my own without a class. How did you do that? How do you do that? I didn’t know. And so, I was I… go to YouTube like many people… I look online for videos… explanations. How do you do it? Well there was one person who made lots of videos on YouTube, and he really broke down his method. He really explained it really well. How he studied many languages. And he was very practical.
So, this person’s name is Moses McCormick. And I never wrote him a message, and I never said thank you to him for putting himself out there, for making those videos, and encouraging people to do their best with language learning. I wish I had because just recently he passed away. So, I wish I had reached out to him and written him a short email or message or tried to talk to him at one point. I never did. I wish I had though. But this person, Moses, he really inspired me with his videos, and I went back and I watched some of his videos later several times. So what did he do? What did he do? He chose to learn the language out of interest. For him that was, I believe… Mandarin or Cantonese was his first language that he really excelled at first. And what he did was he just learned the basics… how to speak to people and then he met people online. Several people, and he practiced very short conversations with many people so he got lots of repetition, and he was just very outgoing, and friendly, and people could relate to him and he also put his videos online. people could see him practicing. He… I don’t think he was showing off… He was out there practicing so that he could get feedback from other people and learn from his mistakes. And um, he also developed his own language learning system for learning languages. So, basically whatever you want to know how to say… you learn that first… so he had a very personalized way of learning languages. And his videos also explained how he learns many languages on his own so he likes to listen to audio a lot. Lots and lots of repetition… and he listened to audio sometimes for the whole day. And I also did that a lot myself. And sometimes that involved, like, 10 languages a day. And I really admired that he was able to be conversational with so many languages. And I don’t think his goal was ever to be an advanced speaker in every single one of those languages. It was to be conversational and functional in many languages. And it really inspired me to be that way myself.
I also got over my fear of putting videos, putting audios, putting text… like writing… making a website… I got over my fears from watching his videos, and when I was… I was also often alone a few times in my life… and I decided that I would make the best use of my time by, like, using language study… and he had lots of tutorials and videos motivational speeches he recorded… And those also helped me along on my own journey. I did listen to other people, as well as other language learners out there, but his videos really inspired me the most. And his first language that he learned really well was also a language that was very dear to me, and that was Mandarin Chinese. And I’m actually living in China right now. And I speak that probably the strongest… or one of the strongest of my languages right now, except for maybe Spanish or English of course.
But yeah, he really inspired me with how brave and willing he was to put himself out there and expose himself. And I think that in the learning community… language learning community, or even when it comes to just learning English, if it’s not your first language… it doesn’t matter. You don’t need to be perfect. If you show yourself to be who you are, and you’re not pretending to be something else, then people usually respond to you really well, just the way you are. So, that’s what I learned from him. And I hope that this this podcast episode can pay some tribute to him in his memory, because I did learn a lot from him, and he also gave to a lot of other people.
I remember one time, well there a few times, he would… he had a few videos where he was speaking just these really, really… not, like, “tiny” languages, but not so commonly studied languages, and just, he said that the speakers of those languages are usually so amazed that someone has gone out of their way to learn that language. Like, “why are you learning that?” And then they go along with it for a while, and then they then they ask it again, like, “really? really?” It’s like they can’t believe, like, he said that they think that you’re like an alien, or something who’s come, and you’re suddenly speaking their language. Because they’ve never met someone who could speak that language.
Anyway, some of you probably have someone in your own life who has inspired you with language learning or learning English or anything really, and I would like to encourage you to… if you haven’t told that person how much they’ve inspired you… then I encourage you to tell them that. Because we’re not always here forever… and you will feel better if you tell that person how they’ve made a positive change on your life. I wish that I had had a chance to tell Moses that, and I hope that you go to his… any of his websites… or his YouTube channel, and you look at some of the videos he’s made. He’s really made a remarkable impression on the world with his videos for learning languages.
Anyways, take care and stay motivated.
And make sure if anyone motivates you or inspires, you tell them.
Alright. Alright. Bye Bye!
Here is Moses McCormick’s YouTube Channel.