On March 4, three days ago Moses McCormick, a 40-year-old African American, died from heart complications. Most chances that you did not hear about it on the news, but the language learning community was and still in shock, because Moses McCormick, AKA "Laoshu505000", was an inspiration for all learners and might be the greatest polyglot who ever lived.
Two days ago, I was just thinking to translate my post about "how languages shape the way we think" when I saw a post from Ikenna (another YouTuber polyglot) saying that laoshu had died. I am not usually the kind of person who gets very emotional about something like that but hearing that news made me a little sad, primarily for his family and followers. Also, Moses was a true pioneer that took language learning to a whole new level while inspiring a new generation of learners. As a result, I decided to dedicate this post to him and his methods.
For those of you who are not familiar with laoshu, Moses was a Hyper-polyglot from Ohio USA, who has been learning foreign languages intensively for the last 20 years. Laoshu is known for two things. First, for his incredible competence in more than 50 languages (estimating he is fluent in about 10 languages and conversational in about 10-15 more). Second, his direct learning method, also known as "The FLR Method".
Moses was most famous for his "Level Up" videos (Video1, Video 2), where he would go to public places such as shopping malls, restaurants, supermarkets, etc. while trying to practice as many languages as he could. Moses was practicing with different people, from new immigrants that barely spoke English to adults that have been living in the US for more than 40 years and almost forgot how it feels like to speak their mother tongue. These interactions have created a list of unforgettable moments filled with laughter, joy, and amazement.
For me, laoshu was the embodiment of the ideal language learner. He understood and implemented to perfection the first and most important rule of language learning, that in order to learn how to speak a language we must speak the language. His learning approach was so positive and direct, he was passionate about it and showed how speaking to people in their native language can create an instant connection that could lead to countless authentic experiences and interactions that you wouldn't get otherwise.