My Favorite Language Learners Series: Moses McCormick “Laoshu”, Founder of the FLR Method

My Favorite Language Learners Series: Moses McCormick “Laoshu”, Founder of the FLR Method

In 2010, my senior year of high school before I graduated, I was looking for resources to learn various different languages, when I stumbled upon several online language experts, including this guy.

Image for postMoses McCormick

I was actually looking for videos of the Burmese language when I came across Moses McCormick, who has learned an impressive number of languages! He had a video reviewing the course ?Burmese for Beginners? which I wrote down and bought in summer 2010 when I went to Schoenhof?s Foreign Books. Then I watched videos of him speaking in, studying, and practicing many different languages including Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Hmong, Indonesian, Arabic, Hebrew, Amharic, Swahili, Turkish, Bulgarian, Persian, Malay, Urdu, Russian, Zulu, Tibetan, Armenian, Tagalog, Somali, Mongolian, Estonian, Georgian, Lithuanian, Spanish, Burmese, Bengali, Yoruba, Tetum, Navajo, Italian, German, French, Czech, Hindi, Romanian, Pulaar/Fulani, Esperanto, Portuguese, Cambodian, Swedish, Greek, Nepali, Finnish, Polish, Croatian, Albanian, Punjabi, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Norwegian, Catalan, Serbian, Kazakh, Wolof, Latvian, Twi, Haitian Creole, Afrikaans, Tamil, Lao, Igbo, Hausa, Sinhala, Malagasy, Tlingit, Dutch, Cherokee, and Irish. He states he has at least a passive knowledge of around 40?50 languages (he makes no claim to fluency in most of the languages he?s learned) and can speak from 12 to 16 languages fluently, besides English, especially among the Asian and African languages in his repertoire. As I was counting the number of languages he was using in his videos, he seems to have studied so far 73 languages to varying degrees of proficiency! I was wondering, was this for real?

I can definitely say he probably speaks at least a dozen languages fluently, and there are a lot of languages that I?d say he?s not very fluent in (a lot of the time because he doesn?t use them much). I think that he intends to not speak most of his languages fluently (I?d imagine it?d be too hard considering how many he?s studied). He?s fluent in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese and advanced in languages like Somali and Japanese and intermediate and beginner level in many others.

After a while I discovered McCormick, famously known as ?Laoshu? within the online language learning community, had been tutoring many students over several years at Ohio State University helping them learn a variety of different languages for their classes and showing them how he learned languages effectively. He even described on his YouTube channel how he learns languages and shows how he keeps track of them through his schedule, which was super organized! It certainly gives me inspiration! McCormick?s impact on me was that he made me realize how important keeping a language learning schedule was and inspired me to start managing my time with each language I learned in a journal, which I did throughout college, keeping a notebook of each language I learned and writing as much in each language as I could and keeping track of which languages I was doing when and for how long.

One thing I also appreciate about McCormick is that he is completely honest and down to earth with his approach to language learning and just how he shows his entire process of language learning with almost every language he?s learned through video, which inspires me to do the same. He doesn?t get super technical and he?s able to explain the language learning process in a way that can be easily understood. I am very impressed by the amount of videos that McCormick has recorded and published (currently totaling at 2,376 videos!), which is more than any other polyglot I have seen!

McCormick is known for his FLR (Foreign Language Roadrunning) Method, which is the method that he use to learn languages packaged into a course for 42 languages so far. He and his team of tutors that work to help students with learning the languages they desire to learn. I?ve not tried his courses but I?ve heard that he structures the course in a way that teaches people how to have basic conversations with Q&As as well as how to progress beyond that. I?ve heard his courses don?t make you fluent, but they?re intended for beginners to help them get motivated to learn their desired language(s) more in depth with other courses than his. If I try an FLR course I will make a post about it.

Nevertheless, I enjoy his videos, especially his ?level up? (a term taken from gaming) videos where he goes out to stores or supermarkets or restaurants or other public places and gets to practice his languages with random people. Many of those videos are really lengthy (some of them up to 1, 2, or 3 hours long) so I watch the ones that are about half an hour sometimes. I don?t necessarily want to talk to random people on the street for the sake of language practice, but watching his videos over the years inspired me to come out of my shell, get out there, and practice my languages.


FLR Method Website:

Moses McCormick?s YouTube channel:

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