last reblog is the reason why i never really give advice on how to learn a language anymore. it’s a social practice, as stated, there should be no shortcuts to that. and the learning process is something personal and different for everyone. what works for me may not work for you. don’t be discouraged just bc it takes up time
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YouTube polyglots are representative figures of the globalized and hyperconnected world produced by the technological and social acceleration characteristic of post-Fordist capitalism. Consequently, their discourses are suffused with the values of this period: speed, efficiency, entrepreneurialism, and individuality.
(1) For polyglots, language is fundamentally a skill. Skills can be segmented, tested and ranked (Urciuoli 2008). They can be trained and, more importantly, ‘hacked’.
(2) Efficiency is the guiding principle of language learning. Approaching language learning through discourses of time/speed and productivity entails narrowing our goals to measurable and verifiable skills [...]. Although polyglot language learning methods are presented as ‘exciting’ and ‘fun’ lifehacks, they look very much like yet another encroachment of managerial rationality onto our non-working lives.
(3) Language learning is personal. [...] The internet has annihilated the barriers of space and time in language learning. Thanks to the apparent immediacy of communication, today we can learn any language anywhere anytime. This puts the onus on the learner: languages are no longer taught, they are learned.
(4) Finally, for polyglots, language is individual, not social. Polyglots approach language primarily as a skill, rather than as a social practice. Abstracted from social practice and actual speech communities, language becomes a bundle of skills, a system that can be ‘hacked’. In contrast, social practices cannot be ‘hacked’, there are no ‘shortcuts’ or ‘accelerators’ for them. [...] The idea of language as individual echoes the neoliberal erosion of the social and its high regard for freedom and individuality (Brown 2019). By pretending that all languages are on a level playing field, it also obscures the forms of inequality that characterize language in the era of globalization (Blommaert 2010).
Alberto Bruzos (2021): ‘Language hackers’: YouTube polyglots as representative figures of language learning in late capitalism, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2021.1955498
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french ppl leaving the ✨boulangerie✨: *baguettes sticking out of their tote bag*
me leaving the flea market: *leeks and green onions sticking out of my tote bag*
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