My name is Alex Rawlings. I’m a language teacher, blogger and polyglot living in Valencia, Spain. At present I teach four different languages: English, German, Russian and Greek, and also offer consulting and coaching services to people wishing to develop the skill of learning multiple languages at the same time.
I was born and raised in London, where I was always surrounded by languages. I have Greek heritage, and that was the first language that I learned apart from my native English. I studied French, German and later Spanish at school, and from the age of 14 I started learning other languages independently as well, such as Dutch, Afrikaans, Italian, Catalan, and Hebrew. I studied German and Russian as an undergraduate at Oxford University, where I also did a module in Yiddish literature, and after graduating I spent a year in Budapest studying Hungarian and Serbian.
In February 2012 I was named Britain’s most multilingual student after winning a nationwide competition run by publishers Harper Collins, in which I was tested for fluency in eleven different languages. This story was picked up by news agencies worldwide, and I was interviewed by television, newspaper and radio stations across the world, most notably by the BBC. Since then I have regularly partaken in media campaigns to support the cause of language learning in the UK, including The Guardian, BBC Breakfast, Channel 5 News, The Independent, The Evening Standard, and Voice of Russia UK.
I have also written for several language learning blogs, such as Transparent and Memrise, as well as given interviews for language learning podcasts, such as the Polyglot Project, Language is Culture, and Actual Fluency.
I regularly attend all major polyglot community events, such as the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin, the first and second Polyglot Conferences in Budapest and Novi Sad. I was on the organisation committee for the third international Polyglot Conference in New York, in October 2015, and am one of the organisers for next year’s conference in Thessaloniki, Greece in October 2016.
- Britain’s most multilingual student
– February, 2012
- BA Oxon German and Ab Initio Russian, with distinction in spoken German and Russian
– June, 2014
- CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults), pass with distinction
– August, 2014