Greatest Hits

18
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2answers
31k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of direct methods (using only the target language)?

Native speakers do not learn their native language with the help of an other language. Maybe direct methods are better to reach similar level of proficiency. But books that use a direct method are ...
20
votes
4answers
14k views

What are estimates of vocabulary size for each CEFR level?

The CEFR does not specify a vocabulary list or a vocabulary size for each level. I could find one scientific article attempting this mapping (research paper of Milton J and T. Alexiou (2009), ...
16
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7answers
6k views

What are the advantages of a paper dictionary over an online dictionary?

It has been a while now since I opened a paper dictionary to translate words from a language to another. I still have two paper dictionaries at home: one for English-French translations and one for ...
33
votes
5answers
10k views

Which language is most similar to Esperanto?

I'm just curious about which languages Esperanto is closest to, in order to know for whom it would be easiest to learn this language! For example, could a Spanish speaker learn it more quickly than a ...
18
votes
5answers
6k views

Can I understand 95 percent of CNN and talk show, movies, anything just in 3 years?

Can I understand 95 percent of CNN, talk shows, movies and anything? If I listen to English materials (podcasts and videos, …) for three years and I also listen to English materials for 3 hours every ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Best way to learn Hebrew verb conjugations?

I am attempting to teach myself Biblical Hebrew, and I have lately been memorizing the verb conjugations for strong verbs. I have found this chart extremely helpful in my endeavor. Through the help ...
13
votes
1answer
5k views

What are the main arguments for and against the critical period hypothesis, and what are alternative explanations?

Why is the critical period hypothesis so heavily disputed, yet widely accepted; what are its major strengths and weaknesses; what other explanations exist for the perceived "critical period", if it ...
17
votes
6answers
4k views

What are the benefits or drawbacks of learning poetry?

What skills can be improved by learning by heart poems in the target language? Won't this inhibit the learning process as poems sometimes disobey common grammar rules?
3
votes
1answer
4k views

How long between each HSK level for learning Mandarin?

A common question among language learners is how long will it take me to learn <insert language>?, and the usual answer, for a native English speaker, is to refer to the FSI list, which divides ...
28
votes
8answers
3k views

Can one become fluent in a language without studying it formally?

I ask myself if it's possible become fluent in a language without studying it. When you are 1/2 years old, you learn a language without studying it. You need just to listen and listen. So, is it ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Which version of the Arabic keyboard on Windows 10 is most like Modern Standard Arabic?

I tried to install the Arabic keyboard on my Windows 10 laptop, but I've realised that there are over a dozen keyboards for different varieties of Arabic. I'm just trying to learn MSA, not a specific ...
12
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3answers
5k views

Cognates between French & Spanish?

I'm a native English speaker who's been learning French for a long time. I now have good vocabulary base and knowledge of grammar in French. When learning French I found cognitive short-cuts, for ...
30
votes
6answers
3k views

What are the drawbacks to Duolingo?

We've all heard of Duolingo, and we've all probably used it at least a little bit. I have friends who think it's amazing. But what are the drawbacks to using Duolingo? In particular, have any ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the “emergentist” approach to SLA?

What is emergentism and how does it relate to second language acquisition? What is the evidence for it?
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9
votes
1answer
3k views

Graded readers for Japanese?

As several other questions already mentioned, graded readers are a good resources for extensive reading, at least for people who are not yet sufficiently proficient to read texts written for native ...
19
votes
2answers
785 views

How can watching movies help improve fluency and listening skill?

Poems, songs, and book are usually known to help with your listening skills and clearly, your fluency. With movies, it seems different to me for some reason. Movies have a lot of stuff going on with ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are flash cards effective in learning a language?

As seen, flash cards are very common in learning other languages. Flash cards seem to help learners learn words faster and more effectively. Lots of language learning programs use flash cards as well ...
57
votes
9answers
1k views

How can I prevent myself from forgetting a language?

Many people forget languages entirely after enough time. I've become fluent in Spanish, but I haven't used it in over a year, and most of my family and friends don't speak it fluently. With all the ...
29
votes
10answers
1k views

Are there any online resources for practicing spoken Esperanto?

There are already a number of resources online to help learners improve their Esperanto reading, writing and aural comprehension, such as Duolingo, but I want to increase my confidence in speaking ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How did Celine Dion learn to sing in perfect English?

Celine Dion is from Quebec, a predominantly French-speaking province in Canada. English is not her native language, yet in her songs her English is perfect. Is this because she grew up speaking the ...
4
votes
1answer
532 views

Short poem in Arabic

Is there a classic Arabic poem (irreligious, if it is possible) that resembles the Goethe's "Uber allen Gipfeln..."? By "resembles" I mean it's length and concise style. The reason I am looking for ...
6
votes
2answers
676 views

What are the benefits of intensive reading?

As a corollary to this question, what are the benefits of intensive reading for acquiring a second language? A reference paper would be nice but is not required. Intensive reading refers to reading ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How much time will it take a beginner to reach a B2/C1 level Russian language proficiency by self-learning?

Is it possible to reach a B2/C1 in Russian in 4~5 years, when I have no prior experience with Russian or any related language? I'm studying Russian 1 hour a day every single day. Is this enough? I'm ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it possible to learn B1-level German in 3 months?

I realize this may be a potential duplicate, but a quick look through the "Questions that may already have your question" didn't pop up anything. I am hoping to participate as part of the Fulbright ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the Strategy Inventory of Language Learning (SILL)?

When reading research papers about language learning strategies, one frequently encounters the Strategy Inventory of Language Learning or SILL. What is it and where does it come from?
14
votes
4answers
907 views

What advantages, if any, are there for learning the IPA when studying a language with phonetic spelling?

The IPA provides a standard, unambiguous way of writing the pronunciation of words, which can be quite helpful when learning a language like English, which has very irregular spelling (with respect to ...
64
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there any studies which address the effectiveness of studying multiple related languages simultaneously?

What studies, if any, address the study of multiple related languages (as in a relatively high level of mutual intelligibility--Spanish, Portuguese, Italian & French; Dutch & German, etc) ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

Does dreaming in the target language speed up the learning process?

If so, is there a way to "learn" how to dream in another language? For example would thinking in 'language X' for one hour before going to bed help? Or does dreaming in another language only occur ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the Pimsleur method?

I have trouble finding a good explanation of what the Pimsleur method is and why it works, if it does. So: What is the method and why does it work?
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Would ASMR improve language learning?

I find ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian response) interesting, and I sometimes use it to relax at night. Now I am wondering if the "sensation" that ASMR provides can be beneficial to memory retention....
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How long between each CEFR level for learning Spanish?

A common question among language learners is how long will it take me to learn <insert language>?, and the usual answer, for a native English speaker, is to refer to the FSI list, which divides ...
5
votes
1answer
928 views

HSK3 written test - what to expect and how to prepare?

It would be useful for beginner Mandarin learners, who want to eventually take the HSK exam(s), to hear success stories and HSK-specific advice. If you have passed the HSK Level 3 written test ...
15
votes
2answers
688 views

What skills does reading aloud improve?

Have there been any studies about the benefits of reading aloud for language acquisition?
28
votes
6answers
1k views

Why do experts recommend learning Esperanto?

As a constructed language, Esperanto isn't spoken natively by anyone. Yet some linguists, language teachers, and SLA advocates encourage learning Esperanto. Why? What are the primary reasons that ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I put grammar rules into flashcards?

Putting vocabulary into flashcards is (relatively) a no-brainer: word -> translation, translation -> word. (Yes, it can be more complicated than that, but that's the gist of it.) Grammar rules, on ...
50
votes
5answers
935 views

Have there been any studies into detrimental effects of language learning?

There have been many studies into the varied benefits of being bilingual, but things are rarely uniformly beneficial. Have there been any studies into whether or not there are detrimental effects to ...
9
votes
3answers
827 views

Open-source English-French Dictionary

I'm looking for an English to French dictionary in a plain text file (.txt for example). I already found some dictionaries but a lot of definitions are wrong or incomplete: know; savons, sache, ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What are Anki's disadvantages?

Anki makes remembering things (words) easy. We can remember them anywhere by using Anki easily... If you have a smartphone or a personal computer. I think this is a kind of Anki's advantages. But all ...
17
votes
3answers
882 views

Is there any software for minimal-pair training?

Gabriel Wyner, in his book Fluent Forever, stresses the importance of minimal pair training early in the language learning process. He summarizes the research behind this suggestion in this video. ...
6
votes
1answer
920 views

Where can I find graded readers for French?

Graded readers are a good type of material for extensive reading. But how do you find graded readers in French? The English Wikipedia article graded reader has no link to the same concept in the ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the main foreign language teaching methods?

Recently I have been wondering what methods and techniques for learning and teaching foreign languages exist. My quest is to re-evaluate my views on foreign language acquisition, and maybe make some ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Can learning Spanish and French simultaneously improve your knowledge in both languages?

I'm currently learning Spanish in school while learning French in school. I've noticed that the vocabulary and grammar of both languages is structurally similar. I've had teachers tell me that I ...
20
votes
4answers
740 views

How can I expand my active vocabulary in a foreign language?

I’ve been learning a foreign language for 5 years. Now, I easily understand everything I read, I know lots of words and everything seems to be alright, but I still have a problem. My active vocabulary ...
13
votes
3answers
743 views

Does forcing students to speak English in school affect the students' knowledge of their native language?

In places where I live some private institutions are forcing students (of age 6 to 17) to speak only in English, regardless of their native language. This restriction is not only placed in English ...
37
votes
7answers
1k views

How can I estimate my proficiency level (A1-C2)?

How can I find out what my CEFR1 proficiency level in a language is, without going to a testing center and paying to take a test? Are there any good resources (free tests, online tests, etc.) or ...
20
votes
4answers
616 views

How to remember words and improve my vocabulary

When trying to learn a new language I keep forgetting words, especially the adjectives. I think the main problem is that I don't use them at all and so after a bit I forget all the words that I don't ...
19
votes
6answers
1k views

What are the most common languages among people who DON'T speak English?

My aim in language learning is to communicate with the most people. I want to learn a new language and thought to learn Mandarin Chinese, because it's the most common language. But I figured if a lot ...
13
votes
5answers
966 views

How can I help a language student overcome the “mental block” to learn?

Many first time second language students feel that learning a new language is indescribably hard. Many have a "mental block" of sorts that prevents them from remembering new vocabulary, or even "...
13
votes
2answers
869 views

Is the “T-Coding Method” a reliable method to learn vocabulary?

In Iran someone named "Mr Taraghghi" has imported a method for learning English vocabulary called "Vocabulary Coding" for Persian native speakers that works like this example: Consider the word "...
8
votes
2answers
568 views

What do my scores from Duolingo's Test Center mean?

I just took an English proficiency test from Duolingo (I'm German) and I scored a 76%. I need to know what the average score is, as well as a basic idea of what each score range means I "should" be ...