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Questions tagged [learning-methods]

For questions about methods, techniques, and/or practices that assist in learning another language

5
votes
1answer
280 views

“Means” versus “can be translated as (in some cases)”

A word represents a concept. Different languages sometimes use different concepts to describe the same matter. In such cases (my impression) the word of one language is often said to "mean" the ...
11
votes
2answers
192 views

What is the most efficient way to learn how to write kanji?

Learning kanji is an important part of learning Japanese but what is the most efficient method if I want to be able to write them on the spot? Muscle memory can certainly be useful but writing them ...
17
votes
4answers
139 views

Is it better to use different study methods for different languages?

Are there any studies done to see if the same learning methods can provide different results depending on the language being learnt? Are there certain methods that have been proved better for certain ...
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....
5
votes
0answers
38 views

Is it useful to learn the International Phonetic Alphabet in order to learn pronunciation? [duplicate]

I have always regarded phonetic transcriptions using the IPA, something only linguists learn and find useful. Would a normal language learner benefit from knowing the IPA when learning a new language ...
11
votes
3answers
218 views

Which is the more efficient method to improve the listening of the american english? [closed]

For some years now, I've been trying to get better in English and especially in terms of grammar, but my listening comprehension is still very low. I try to watch movies or series but listening ...
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
341 views

Learning through videos: what makes a video easy to understand for learners?

How can you tell if a video is easy to understand for learners? What are the important factors for a video to be easy? I guess slow and clear pronunciation is important. But also the usage of common ...
18
votes
1answer
174 views

What makes a language propaedeutic?

Learning any language helps learning another language after faster. This propaedeutic value is found in all language, but is more noticeable for some languages and combinations. For exemple, for ...
9
votes
0answers
93 views

What are the benefits of learning Slovianto or Interslavic as an introduction to Slavic languages? [duplicate]

I don't plan to learn a specific Slavic language, but I want to be able to grasp the subject of any text written in any Slavic language. The constructed languages Slovianto and Interslavic look ...
12
votes
2answers
118 views

What are the benefits and drawbacks to using subtitles when you have a reasonable proficiency in a language?

I'd like to know whether there is any known benefits or drawbacks in watching movies with subtitles, considering movies spoken in a language you're learning. I mean, subtitles in the movie language ...
14
votes
1answer
63 views

What is the term for language lessons in which the native and foreign language are spoken simultaneously?

I recall a style of language learning where you listen to CDs in which your language and the foreign language are spoken simeltaneously. For example "Hello" is said in one earbud while "Bonjour" is ...
12
votes
1answer
112 views

Do difficult native languages slow down early education?

Do students from countries that teach native languages considered to be quite difficult (e.g. Japanese) generally take longer to master that language? Or does the power of being surrounded by a ...
9
votes
1answer
172 views

What resources can I use to master German word order?

There are a number of tricky parts to learning German, but for this question I'm particularly concerned about word order. I'm using Duolingo and I often miss questions where this is the only thing I ...
20
votes
4answers
676 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
551 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
54 views

Should I review recently learned concepts before concepts learned a while ago?

Duolingo simulates the deterioration of your vocabulary over time by unstrengthening previously learned skills over time, as shown below. As you can see, the skills that are not golden are not fully ...
10
votes
3answers
359 views

What advantages do standard dictionaries have over learners' dictionaries in defining a word?

There are two main kinds of dictionary: standard and learner's. The standard dictionary is made mainly for native speakers, where readers are expected to be fluent in the language. The learner's, as ...
16
votes
4answers
321 views

Positive vs. negative reinforcement in Duolingo

I've run into a problem that I imagine most Duolingo users have run into at some point in their language learning experience. Assume I'm in the process of reviewing already learned vocabulary (as ...
10
votes
3answers
114 views

Speaking in English in class

Educational institution compels the non-native students to speak only in English inside the classroom. While this might help a few smart students, I found many students are anxious about attending the ...
14
votes
1answer
113 views

How to get the most out of story-reading as a learning technique

I am going to look for a native speaker on Italki to practice my English in this way: First I get a story, which is new to me. This story is a little bit hard for me like I can understand 80-90 ...
14
votes
2answers
293 views

How can I stop/prevent conversations from switching to English?

I've oft experienced (and heard stories about) conversation participants switching to English when noting some lack of fluidity in the target language. In a similar vein, I've heard anecdotally of ...
20
votes
3answers
200 views

Tips on raising bilingual children

My wife and I have been discussing how our kids (whenever that may happen) will properly learn both her native language (Russian) and mine (English) while likely growing up in the US or the UK, ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

Have you any ideas on how I can improve my Russian pronunciation? [duplicate]

I want to practise my speaking skills in Russian but I have no conversation partner knowing Russian pretty well to correct all my mistakes. What should I do?
13
votes
2answers
179 views

At which point in learning a language can one be able to grok the meaning of new words or grammar structures?

As a non-native English speaker I've recently noticed that I have the ability to grok the meaning of certain words thanks to the context and expectations of what is going to be said. The use of the ...
11
votes
2answers
131 views

How to improve writing fluency

I have been studying French and Spanish for several years, to the point of passive fluency in both languages. I can speak French (and a little Spanish) but my writing abilities are almost non-existent....
10
votes
1answer
84 views

What method has been identified as the most effective for targeted one-on-one conversational practice?

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
103 views

What types of sentences are easiest for beginners to understand?

What types of sentences are easiest for beginners to understand, presuming that the beginner has already learned the relevant meaning of all of the words contained in the sentence? Presume also that ...
9
votes
1answer
90 views

Pros and cons of “self-learning” with another non-native speaker vs. by yourself

Consider a scenario in which two people who do not speak L2 try to learn it without human resources. All they have are books in the language, dictionaries, and online learning tools like Duolingo. ...
16
votes
3answers
211 views

Pros and cons of reading the same book in each language I learn

One of my language learning strategies is to read the same book in every language I learn (in my case, the Book of Mormon). I know this book quite well, having read it several times in English and in ...
12
votes
1answer
70 views

How can I differentiate similar characters in languages with large character sets?

Some character sets have very similar characters that are hard to tell apart while studying, near impossible at a later date. For example, there's a lot of Japanese kanji, and they consist of ...
9
votes
1answer
79 views

Is there research showing the detrimental psychological effects of learning a language through full immersion?

I know from hearsay and can sympathize from my own experience that many people experience depression overseas when learning a language fully immersed. I can imagine that this leads to low-confidence ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

What are some psychological benefits to learning a second language?

Just what it sounds like. It seems like we already have a question on the detrimental effects of learning two or more languages. What are some psychological advantages to learning a second language?
10
votes
1answer
86 views

Impacts of speaking a language without knowing to read/write

My English teacher happened to teach a truck driver who wanted to speak English but was not interested in reading or writing it. My teacher found an interesting way to teach spoken English by asking ...
18
votes
3answers
303 views

How can I avoid confusion or interference when studying two similar languages?

For example, consider Tamil and Malayalam. They are two very similar languages with many similar words. The point is I get confused by the minor differences as I cannot remember them. I usually ...
7
votes
2answers
72 views

Does learning 2 languages via different methods help reduce possible mix-ups?

I've been learning Spanish for four years in school. Recently, I've started learning Italian via Duolingo. Does the fact that I use different methods of learning reduce the possible mixup of the ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

What are the most effective ways of learning vocabulary of any language? [closed]

Vocabulary is the most important thing to become enriched in a language in my perspective. But for most of the adult learners of a language, memorization process sometimes seems very boring and hard ...
8
votes
1answer
58 views

What effects does being consistent in time and place of language study have on language learning?

I, for one, do my best to study my new language whenever I can, whether it be crammed into my busy morning or late at night. However, I've heard on several online language learning groups that ...
14
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
211 views

How to learn the vocabulary of an ancient language like Aramaic, which is based on scripture only?

I've lately attended a series of lectures on the history of Christianity held by a Coptic scholar. He gave a few examples of Aramaic or Syriac sentences (translated from the Bible) which might be ...
8
votes
2answers
115 views

How can I advance beyond conversational proficiency while not immersed?

I lived 3 years in Mexico, and for my first 9 months there I attended daily Spanish courses. By now, I am very comfortable with conversational Spanish. But I feel I've reached a plateau. This isn't ...
10
votes
3answers
81 views

Is it more effective to review existing knowledge every day or occasionally?

When using Duolingo to learn German, I'm often torn between the choice of reviewing existing language skills that I've already learned and continuing on to new skills. Is it more effective to review ...
11
votes
1answer
94 views

What techniques can I use to master nasal vowel pronunciation?

I'm referring to those encountered often in French and Portuguese for example. In Portuguese they may be denoted by "ão" or "õe". When first learning these new pronunciations from my native English, ...
20
votes
5answers
405 views

What is the impact of studying a third language in a second language?

when learning a third language, what are the relative advantages or disadvantages of studying the third language in either my native language or my second language? More specifically, if I choose to ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

I find myself saying things that get misunderstood due to ambiguity. How can I train myself not to? [closed]

I find myself saying phrases in a non-native language that are ambiguous, and often get understood differently from what I meant to say. This can result in what I say being interpreted as the exact ...
24
votes
2answers
237 views

Does writing out by hand generally strengthen retention better than computerized memorization methods?

Language learning (well, in my experience) involves a lot of review. A LOT. Pounding that vocabulary into my brain again and again; over and over. I spend a lot of time on the computer, so, naturally,...
18
votes
3answers
174 views

How can gamification improve language learning?

Take a look at Duolingo and Babbel. Both offer online language learning experiences with one major difference: Duolingo claims to be a more "gamified" experience, meaning that you lose some progress ...
16
votes
3answers
128 views

What strategies can I use to learn the gender of irregular nouns?

The problem When a foreign language uses genders for nouns and pronouns, memorizing these genders is a difficult process. Sometimes it is possible to follow rules or hints: 1; 2; 3. E.g.: In French,...
19
votes
4answers
198 views

How can I help someone improve their listening comprehension?

A bit of background: My girlfriend is Taiwanese and will attend TesDaF (German test) in a week. She has been previously learning for about 8 months now while being in Germany. So far, all points (...
19
votes
2answers
720 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 ...