AFP 115 – Alex Voloza: Mindfulness and language learning

Today's guest is my good friend Alex Voloza and during the show we talk about mindfulness, and how to become succesful at learning languages.

Alex Voloza

World-traveller, polyglot, and one of the most interesting people I have ever met. Today I welcome Mr. Alex Voloza to the show, somebody who I've been trying to get on for ages.

During the show we talk about mindset, how to use mindfulness to overcome any obstacle, and general learning philosophies gathered over 20 years of learning.

In this episode:

  • How Alex got into language learning
  • The mindset it takes to succeed at language learning
  • How to apply mindfulness and active reflection to improve your results
  • Much more….

Listen to the episode

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  • dandiprat

    I’m curious. Does the guest speak Russian? Did you every speak to him in that language, Kris?

    • Alex Voloza

      Hi dandiprat, thanks for listening to our conversation! Yes, Russian is my native language. Good luck with your language journey!

    • Hey – yes I have spoken with Alex in Russian before (awkwardly so due to my low level) unfortunately the topics we’d like to discuss, like the one in today’s episode, are way too advanced for my feeble ability at the moment but hopefully one day!

      • dandiprat

        I’d love to hear you speak Russian sometime, like with Steve Kaufman or Alex, even though I don’t know any Russian myself, I’m just curious. I’m sure your Russian is no worse than my Vietnamese (probably far better), which I’ve studied for more than 4 years total in my lifetime.

        • Alex gave me some ideas regarding Russian that I might turn into a regular appearance on the website or even podcast – watch this space 😀

  • Tadeusz Mollin

    Great talk with a really nice and inspirational guy. Thank you!

    • Mange tak! 🙂 Har du mødt Alex før?

      • Tadeusz Mollin

        Nej, men nu er vi blevet venner på FB, så han er bestemt én, jeg vil følge fremover 🙂

  • I had the same experience as described here… discovering fluentin3months and thinking I could do the same, but learning the hard way that I wasn’t like Benny or these other fast language learners. I also thought “what’s the point in learning a language in 3 months and then forgetting it, other than for the challenge?”

    I’d prefer to learn a handful of languages which I can keep and use for the rest of my life. My definite languages for life are German and Spanish. I also learn some Russian and Japanese as I think they could be good long-term languages. I don’t want to study an unusual language just to forget it later.

    • Seems like we’re one and the same in this regard Aidan! My goal is high functional fluency because otherwise I don’t really see a point in the studying if all you can say is the standard guidebook conversations 🙂

  • Alisa

    Great interview, thank you, Kris! It always makes me feel grateful that you share all the moments with your listeners, not only those of success, but also others – because we all have them. And to Alex – cool to hear you, Alex! You sound like a different person now – may be because of your “English personality” which I haven’t “met” before? Or it’s because of the years of travelling? In any case – a great interview, many things you related to are important for me as a learner as well as a teacher, such as – time as a factor, and that learning shouldn’tcan’t be boring, and that we are all different – so true!

    • Thank you Alisa, really appreciate you swinging by and leaving a comment 🙂