AFP 93 – Shannon Kennedy: Introvert language learning

On this episode I talk to Shannon Kennedy about her experience as a language learner as well as a musician. We put particularly emphasis on the topic of language learning for introverted (or shy) people.

Shannon Kennedy

Shannon is cool. Really cool! Apart from speaking 8 languages she's also a Jazz musician and plays a mean saxophone. She's been writing under the name “EuroLinguiste” sharing her experience and tips for learning languages. Her experience with music really spills over in language learning.

In the episode we talk especially about the struggles of being an introverted language learner. As both me and Shannon are mostly introvert (I don't like absolute categorisations) we had a good comparison of notes.

Say Goodbye to Shy

During the interview we also talked about her newly released course: Say Goodbye to Shy, which is a video course and guide that teaches how to overcome shyness and really start speaking or learning that new language more efficiently.

Click here to check out the course

Support the Podcast

I've started a Patreon for this purpose. Basically you can contribute however much you think the show is worth to you. You'll also get access to exclusive bonus materials, like behind the scenes recordings.

Click here to support the Actual Fluency Podcast

Listen to the episode

Show notes

  • Shannon's language learning journey
  • The challenges of being an introverted language learner
  • Similarities between music and language learning
  • Her new course: Say Goodbye to Shy
  • And much more!

Show resources

Thank you for listening!

Thank you for tuning in to the show this week. If you have any feedback or questions for this episode, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments field below.

If you enjoyed the episode, don’t hesitate to share it using the social media buttons below. I’d also be super stoked if you would take a minute to leave an honest review of the show on iTunes. It really means a lot to me and the show and I appreciate you taking the time.

To stay updated with the show, use the following links to subscribe:

iTunes – For iDevices and PCs – Multi-platform support

Stitcher – Alternative to above

Thanks to this week's guest, Shannon Kennedy

  • Thank you so much Kris for having me on the show. I really enjoyed chatting with you!

  • Israel Lai says:

    So this happened: I was talking to my Swedish classmates yesterday and said “see you next Wednesday”, hinting that I’ll be gone tomorrow. I was 100% expecting them to ask where I’m going so I automatically answered Berlin – but for some unknown reason they asked where I lived instead so…I’m still trying to laugh it off inside my head :/
    Thanks again for the episode!

  • Interesting new jazz track as the podcast intro music. Is it by Shannon Kennedy?

  • Great episode! It brought up a question for me. Is there a difference between the *shy* language learner and the *introverted* language learner? I am a true extrovert, getting lots of energy from my interactions with people. At the same time, I can be shy, nervous about starting a conversation with strangers.

    My wife, though, is a true introvert, so too much interaction drains her. Nevertheless, she is not nervous about talking to strangers when necessary.

    How do you tell the difference between a shy extrovert and an introvert?

    The reason I ask is because it seems that fear one strives to overcome, but introversion is a personality trait that one must work with and take advantage of. How can you help people overcome fear without them hiding behind a supposed personality trait?

    • Kris Broholm says:

      Yes, according to Shannon both personality types can be shy or not shy! I’m not a huge fan of putting anyone into a box and say; “You’re 100% this!” like that personality test that always floats around. I’d say I’m mostly a shy introvert, but can definitely have better days where I’m less shy and less introverted.

      A non-shy introvert would have no problem stirring up conversation or meeting people, but would again, not energise from the social encounters and eventually retreat to their own space to recharge. That’s how I see it, anyway.

      Fear – the one to rule us all, how true the words of JFK ring even today. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Fear of speaking, fear of making mistakes, fear of embarrasment, fear of success, fear of fluency! and the list goes on.

      Thanks for your comment

      • Thanks Kris for doing such an awesome job answering this! You are so right. Introverts and extroverts can both be either shy or outgoing. The difference is determined by where one find’s their energy.

      • Fear is a killer. I have to work on that more often than my languages. Actually, I believe that working on languages can help break through some of that fear. Without my languages, I have way more reason to avoid interacting with the very “foreign” Somalis around me. My language voice always chimes in, “Now would be a great chance to practice…”

        • I agree. Sharing a language can be a really great way to overcome any social anxiety or fear and get to know people you otherwise wouldn’t.

  • >