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Questions tagged [learning-methods]

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

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13
votes
1answer
99 views

Are there differences in effect of advanced language classes for native speakers vs second language learners?

I've seen advanced graduate courses for languages, in which the level of the language itself is higher than average for the average native speaker. I was wondering if there was any research on ...
3
votes
2answers
64 views

How can I decide when to begin reading short stories? [closed]

I just started learning Spanish, and I want to know what criteria I should employ when deciding if/when to begin reading short stories in my target language.
6
votes
1answer
53 views

What are the benefits of augmented reality for language learning according to research?

Augmented reality is being used for games, navigation, task support, the visualisation of building projects etc. I can imagine applications related to language learning, such as labelling object ...
16
votes
2answers
146 views

Learn language learning techniques in school before starting to learn foreign languages?

In countries where the main language is not a world language, students often learn foreign languages in school. However, students are not taught about how to learn a language effectively. Has any ...
11
votes
2answers
200 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
311 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 ...
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....
12
votes
2answers
136 views

Are some people good at learning grammar first, and other in a natural way first?

I could dare to say that most of people like to learn a new language in a so called "natural way", that is reading and understanding basic dialogues with little to no grammar that is getting bigger as ...
5
votes
0answers
39 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 ...
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
348 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
181 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
1answer
184 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
134 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
65 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
113 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
85 views

How much time per day do I need to spend studying? [closed]

Usually, I have trouble with time management with learning a new language from time to time. For example, I have the feeling I am spending too little or too much time, which makes a bad habit of ...
19
votes
2answers
767 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
192 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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
362 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
55 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
117 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
117 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 ...
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?
9
votes
2answers
69 views

How do I differentiate slang from non-slang?

A lot of times, I hear normal sentences without slang and sentences with slang. With my youth and inexperience with slang, it seems difficult for me to understand whether someone is using slang or not ...
5
votes
3answers
107 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
93 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. ...
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 ...
19
votes
4answers
215 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 (...
15
votes
4answers
179 views

Ups and Downs of learning from non-native speaker rather than native speaker

Usually, people will learn from someone that is fluent in that language and is a native speaker, allowing them to learn from those to truly know the language. Others, though, learn from non-native ...
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
88 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
89 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
116 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
137 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,...
18
votes
1answer
144 views

Are there studies showing that language study is more effective in a group than individually?

Often, it's claimed that in a group, you have people to practice verbal exercises with, as well as potential proofreaders and error-checkers to verify the grammar and spelling of your work. However, I'...
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 ...
18
votes
1answer
469 views

How can I develop an accent in a foreign language?

I have been teaching myself Italian for 2 years so far, and I still sound very foreign. When I am speaking Italian with someone else, it is difficult to imitate their accent properly, and when I try, ...
10
votes
3answers
82 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
170 views

How can I strengthen vocabulary knowledge of words learned with flash cards?

I've used flash cards a lot to learn Korean words, and it doesn't take long to memorize words well enough that I can recall them very quickly. It's especially easy to go from English to Korean - I ...
23
votes
3answers
293 views

How can language learning techniques be compared for effectiveness?

It's common to ask whether X learning method is effective. A better question is "Is X more effective than Y?" But how can such a determination even be done? Maybe X is better for vocabulary recall, ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

When using flashcards, should the word or the definition be hidden?

A lot of language learning methods use flash cards to allow them to remember words and their definitions and to test their memory. Some people hide the words, while others hide the definition, which ...
11
votes
1answer
98 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, ...
18
votes
3answers
178 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
80 views

Are there any risks to listening to children's music?

I've been listening to normal Mongolian songs for about a year (some of it traditional, some of it rap). I think the only thing I've learnt is what Mongolian sounds like, but on the other hand, I ...
28
votes
2answers
300 views

What research is there on the efficiency of online language learning compared to in person learning?

Have there been enough studies to draw any definitive conclusions on how well sites such as Duolingo or Livemocha work in comparison to classroom learning?
6
votes
2answers
97 views

When do people start conversing with the natives?

My mom has English as her L2 and is currently in the United States. Naturally, she tries to converse with them early in her learning but she stumbles and gets confused with some of the more advanced ...
10
votes
1answer
133 views

Are there studies on the effectiveness of Rosetta Stone as a language learning tool?

Rosetta Stone gets a lot of publicity, perhaps because of its large marketing budget. And finding individual reviews is easy--some people love it, some hate it, some have mixed feelings. But has any ...