‘Why You Need a Foreign Language & How to Learn One’, 2nd edition

I wrote this book back in 2005. This book was used as a supplementary textbook at two universities.

This is the complete text, free for you to read  here on the site.

Caveats and disclaimers: 

Before you dive in, though, there are  a few important disclaimers:

I wrote this in 2005.

This means that some of the information herein will be outdated. 

Many aspects of language learning don’t change, of course. But some do. Since 2005, there have been new methods, language-learning products, etc. 

Rather than attempt to update the text, I decided to post the 2005 version with this disclaimer. (I am working on a third edition, which will be up-to-date.)

This version of the text (the online version) contains typos.

You may find a typo or two. My Dell PC died in 2010, and I lost the final, proofread version. 

This is the edited version, but the pre-proofread version. 

This version is quite readable, but it isn’t perfect. You will notice a few typos. If I were going to sell this, I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting it on Amazon without  a professional proofreading. But in this form, it is essentially a series of blog posts (which you can read for free). That’s different. 

Part I. Why You Need a Foreign Language

Introduction: English-Speakers Lost in Translation
1.) Does an English-Speaker Really Need a Foreign Language?
2.) The truth and the hype about “global English”
3.) The 21st century speaks many languages
4.) How lingua francas become lingua francas
5.) Language and the limits of globalization
6.) Languages and the business world
7.) Learn the other side’s language–even if they do speak yours
8.) Foreign languages, patriotism, and American values

Part II: How to Learn a Foreign Language

9.) The reluctant language learner
10.) Which language should you learn?
11.) The first steps in a foreign language
12.) Developing a love for words
13.) Taking your new language for a test drive
14.) Tackling dialects: Which version of Spanish are you speaking?
15.) Walking, learning, and chewing gum at the same time
16.) More language learning tips and strategies
17.) Language skills and your career
18.) “But they insist on speaking English with me!”
19.) The language student’s buying guide
Epilogue: fun and personal enrichment