Alexander Arguelles (2011)
|Born||April 30, 1964
|Occupation||University professor, language specialist|
Alexander Arguelles (//; born April 30, 1964) is an American scholar of foreign languages. He is notable not only for his achievements as a polyglot, but also for the advice and information about autodidactic language study that he provides to language learners on web forums. He is the son of poet Ivan Argüelles and nephew of New Age author José Argüelles.
Professor Arguelles holds a BA (1986) from Columbia University and a Ph.D. (1994) from the University of Chicago, where he worked with both Ioan Culianu and Wendy Doniger. He was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin and has been a professor at Handong Global University in South Korea, the American University of Science & Technology in Beirut and the New College of California in San Francisco. He currently works in Singapore as a language specialist in the training, research, assessment, and consultancy division of the applied linguistics department of the Regional Language Centre of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO-RELC).
Professor Arguelles' foreign language learning process takes place in three fashions: formal study, immersion, and autodidactic study. As a university student, he took classes in French, German, Spanish, Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, Medieval French, Gothic, Old High German, and Old Norse. He claims to have developed conversational abilities in Swedish, Dutch, and Italian during visits to those countries while doing research in Europe, Portuguese by conversing with a Brazilian student, Russian during a month-long stay, and Korean and Arabic during his years of residence in South Korea and Lebanon. During the first portion of his time in Korea, he also engaged in the intensive simultaneous autodidactic study of a wide range of languages including Irish, Persian, Hindi, Turkish, and Swahili. As of about 2000, instead of continuing to study new languages, he has focused upon developing greater depth in a number of those he has already learned.
Professor Arguelles does not maintain that there is any special key to language learning other than systematic and disciplined hard work over long periods of time. Among techniques he has advocated are "shadowing"—simultaneously listening to and speaking along with recordings while walking rather than sitting, and "scriptorium"—reading aloud while transcribing texts by hand. In reviewing and evaluating textbooks, he tends to favor older and more traditional materials over contemporary publications. In terms of time management skills, he recommends simultaneous rather than sequential language study.
- North Korean Reader (206 pages, Dunwoody Press 2010) ISBN 978-1-931546-76-8
- Korean Newspaper Reader (293 pages, Dunwoody Press, 2007) ISBN 978-1-931546-37-9
- English French Spanish German Dictionary (735 pages, Librairie du Liban, 2006) ISBN 9953-86-056-4
- A Handbook of Korean Verbal Conjugation (Co-author: Jongrok Kim, 311 pages, Dunwoody Press, 2004) ISBN 1-931546-03-7
- A Historical Literary and Cultural Approach to the Korean Language (Co-author: Jongrok Kim, 318 pages, Hollym, 2000) ISBN 1-56591-151-2
- 프랑스어 동사변화안내 La Conjugaison des Verbes (345 pages, 신아사, 1999) ISBN 89-8396-066-3
- Viking Dreams: Mythological and Religious Dream Symbolism in the Old Norse Sagas (460 pages, University of Chicago Doctoral Dissertation, 1994. UMI Dissertation Services Order Number: 9425353 www.umi.com)
- José López Bribiesca: "El español lucha por su espacio" en El Sentinel, semana del 17-23 de enero del 2009
- Ted Anton: "The Killing of Professor Culianu," in Lingua Franca: the Review of Academic Life, Vol. 2, No. 6, September/October 1992, http://linguafranca.mirror.theinfo.org/9209/culianu.html
- Alexander Arguelles: "Deliverance" in the San Jose Mercury News, August 13, 2006, http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1416&PN=0&TPN=4#32134 (same article)
- Pacifica Radio Flashpoints Interview, Friday August 18, 2006, http://web.archive.org/web/20110727012714/http://188.8.131.52/data/20060818-Fri1700.mp3 (archived podcast of this broadcast)
- SEAMEO Directory
- Experience: I can speak 50 languages (The Guardian)