My girlfriend and I are working on learning Norwegian. It is not a particularly difficult language, as languages go, and it is closely related to English, our L1.

Have any studies been done on how we can most effectively practice our conversation skills one-on-one? If so, which method is the most effective, primarily in terms of vocabulary retention?

I'm hoping someone has published something like "1000 words to know to talk about your day," like the Swadesh list, but for day-to-day conversation.

  • What kind of learning practice do you need? Conversational? Grammar? Vocabulary? Until you specify that, this question is too broad. Also, what language are you learning?
    – fi12
    May 23, 2016 at 20:45
  • I'm more looking for techniques we can use together for multiple learning targets. I suppose the biggest thing is conversational practice. Norwegian, but I left that out because questions that mention languages are usually poorly received here. May 23, 2016 at 21:17
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    Actually, as discussed in this post, as long as questions are about learning, they can be limited to specific languages. In fact, your question is rather broad as it is an would benefit from the specificity. I'd edit your question to include that you specifically want to converse in Norwegian.
    – intcreator
    May 24, 2016 at 6:52

1 Answer 1


Direct methods. These methods are used to primarily allow learners to speak and communicate with others faster than other methods. Linking my other answer a source, here are some reasons why direct methods should be used:

Direct methods are statistically considered as superior (Source) to translation methods in letting the learner to communicate faster with others as direct methods focus on allowing the learner to be actively involved in listening and speaking the new language:

This method is also known as the oral or natural method. It is based on the active involvement of the learner in both speaking and listening to the new language in realistic everyday situations. The process consists of a gradual acquisition of grammatical structure and vocabulary. The learner is encouraged to think in the target language rather than translate. He or she hears and uses the language before seeing it written. The writing is done with homework that reinforces what has been learned during the lesson...

Basically, direct methods use only the target language and actively involves the learner in listening and speaking exercises to allow the learner to be able to proficiently speak with others.

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    The direct method is an acquisition method. It implies a tutor/mentor that gradually leads the learner towards an aim. It cannot be used to "practice [the conversation skills] of OP and his partner. We usually talk of "the direct method" (singular) as opposed to other methods.
    – None
    Jun 18, 2016 at 18:39

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