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Questions tagged [history]

Questions about the history of methods, strategies, techniques etc. for learning or teaching languages.

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8 votes
3 answers

What is the fastest known time a person went from not knowing to fluently proficient in a language?

I'm wondering what statistics, if any, are available about some of the fastest known times for the acquisition of a 2nd+ language (from zero knowledge, to some "average" level of fluency and ...
ScottS's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer

What was the first computer-based spaced repetition system?

According to Wikipedia, SuperMemo has been available since 1985. Due to its age, it may be the oldest spaced repetition system that is still available. However, was it also the first computer-based ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer

What was the first language learning website?

I'm interested in knowing the name, the year, and the languages the first language learning website taught. If you can add how many users it had, that would definitely be going above and beyond, but ...
Lisa's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer

What are the oldest known records of multilingualism (and possibly learning methods)?

As a follow-up to my question What are some of the oldest documented language learning techniques or resources?, I would like to know what the earliest mentions are of people who have learnt at least ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer

What is the origin of the terms L1 and L2?

As you no doubt already know, L1 refers to your first or native language, and your L2 is a second language. Your L3 language would be your third language, and so on. Where and when did the actual ...
fi12's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers

Is there any language simply too difficult for non-native speakers to learn/speak?

I would like to know if any real language has ever been considered so hard to learn that acquiring decent fluency is basically an impossible task. That is, almost no non-native speaker has ever been ...
user avatar
6 votes
3 answers

What are some of the oldest documented language learning techniques or resources?

There are several archaeological bilingual and multilingual artefacts, e.g. the Philae obelisk (ca. 118 BC?), the Rosetta Stone (196 BC; Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic script, and Greek ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers

How did Cardinal Mezzofanti learn foreign languages?

Giuseppe Caspar Mezzofanti (1774-1849) was an Italian cardinal who also became famous for his language skills. According to his biographer Charles William Russell, he spoke at least 30 languages very ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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