Ramses Oudt on Learning a Language with Deliberate Practice

Ramses Oudt on Learning a Language with Deliberate Practice

Ramses is based in the Netherlands and has spent most of his career learning how to learn. This conversation was full of so many gold nuggets for building the meta-skill of learning how to learn. Ramses is the co-founder of RoamStack, a community for people learning how to get the most out of Roam. He also writes an amazing newsletter twice a month, and he is working on another community for learning workers.

The subject we used for this meta-skill was his acquisition of Spanish. Ramses did a dual degree at University where he learned applied linguistics and specifically learned to speak Spanish natively so that he can teach it to others. We unpack his approach, which is very counter to anything that you would normally think of when you think of languages, it’s not the Rosetta Stone- or Duolingo -style, it is a very principles-based approach. We enumerate all of the details of this approach to learning a new language in our conversation.

If you have ever wanted to learn a new language, perhaps that was one of your new year’s resolutions, sit back, relax (take notes) and please enjoy this inspiring conversation with Ramses Oudt!

Full Episode

Guest Links

Show Notes

  • What drew Ramses into the search for learning how to learn? (3:18-5:-42)
  • Was studying deliberately always part of the intention or did he just throw himself into it and then later realized that he needed a system for studying a new language? System vs drive. (5:54-7:32)
  • Emersion vs breaking the process apart and looking at it from a systems point of view. (7:36-9:00)
  • First becoming a good learner before being a good teacher. How to relate to students and share struggles. (9:01-10:30)
  • What is Ramses’ fluency level in Spanish? How quickly did he manage to ramp up his ability from not understanding a word of the language to sounding like a native speaker?  (10:32-14:50)
  • Learn like a child. (14:52-16:14)
  • Language accents. (16:28-19:29)
  • The Monitor Hypothesis. (20:18-23:34)
  • Deliberate practice vs purposeful practice. (23:38-25:34)
  • What was Ramses’ daily routine when learning Spanish? (25:37-27:25)
  • Does comprehension matter when learning a language and watching it on TV or listening to songs? Or is surrounding yourself with the language more important regardless of comprehension. (27:25-29:57)
  • Having fun while learning. (30:10-30:25)
  • The Natural Order Hypothesis. (30:26-33:54)
  • Is learning in the suggested natural order extremely important when learning a new language? (33:55-35:58)
  • The Affective Context Model. (35:59-38:50)
  • More about Antimoon. (38:54-42:21)
  • Why do you learn more when immersing yourself at home rather than living abroad? (42:28-44:21)
  • Why do a lot of techniques for learning languages come from Japan or learning Japanese? (44:28-48:10)
  • More about Katsumoto – All Japanese All The Time. (48:15-53:34)
  • Summary of principles. (53:42-54:22)
  • Space repetition. (54:23-59:50)
  • How important was it to also do a formal degree alongside learning a new language? (59:54-1:02:31)
  • Did Ramses consider quitting? (1:02:32-1:04:08)
  • Ramses’ opinion on Rosetta Stone and other language learning tools. (1:04:19-1:07:17)
  • Learning how to learn. (1:07:23-1:09:19)

Selected Links from the Episode

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