Questions tagged [learning-methods]

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

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11
votes
1answer
97 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
422 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
250 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
176 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
134 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
213 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
759 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
168 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 ...
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 ...
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'...
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 ...
22
votes
2answers
209 views

What is the efficiency of the flipped classroom when teaching to beginners?

The flipped classroom concept started in the US and is gaining ground worldwide in secondary and primary education. The basic idea is that the learner is expected to learn the core of the lesson by ...
6
votes
2answers
95 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
3k 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?
20
votes
1answer
218 views

How to practice speaking a language with no speakers?

How can I practice speaking, and hopefully eventually become fluent in, a language with no fluent speakers, either native or otherwise? (I'm interested in the constructed language Glosa, but this ...
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 ...
23
votes
7answers
452 views

What approaches can I take to overcome 'leeches'?

It's not uncommon that I come across a leech while studying my Anki cards. Usually this is the result of confusing two similar items (vocabulary terms, IPA symbols, whatever). Once I've identified ...
18
votes
3answers
254 views

How can you verify your grammar during self-study?

This similar question regarding pronunciation made me think about verifying other aspects of language when you do not have access to a native speaker frequently or at all. I have many self-...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
41 views

Is it necessary to surround yourself with speakers of different dialects to familiarize yourself with slang? [closed]

Say I'm learning Spanish. I'm learning the Latin American dialect so I'm familiar with slang idioms in the dialect. On the other hand, I haven't had much contact with speakers of "Spain" Spanish. Do I ...
12
votes
4answers
165 views

Are there any resources available listing the availability of per-language learning resources

There are a huge number of resources around, particularly online, for learning languages (e.g. DuoLingo, Babbel, etc), but most will only have a certain number of languages they cover. Easy if you ...
30
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
518 views

How does learning vocabulary through sentences compare to learning with words alone?

When learning vocabulary, especially with the use of SRS (Spaced Repetition System), it is interesting to use flashcards. A commonly encountered problem is how to formulate those for maximum ...
25
votes
3answers
577 views

Can listening to music (lyrics) help increase listening skill?

Music is usually everywhere and in every language known on Earth probably. They also contain lyrics in foreign languages - which seemingly can help improve our skills and fluency with that particular ...
6
votes
2answers
56 views

Does listening to music of a certain language before learning it help? [duplicate]

I am a avid listener of classical music and have picked up bits and pieces of German from it (I have picked up a little French as well, but I am comfortable with that language to that may be a ...
20
votes
4answers
451 views

How do I lose an accent in a foreign language?

Sometimes, an accent just doesn't go well with a language you are trying to speak. This means that the accent is probably going to go bye-bye. Except losing an accent is really hard. Gaining one is ...
28
votes
2answers
299 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?
15
votes
4answers
175 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 ...
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 ...
20
votes
2answers
455 views

Is SRS more effective than traditional study for vocabulary augmentation?

Spaced Repetition Software (SRS), such an Anki, has become somewhat popular in the language-learning realm for increasing one's vocabulary and similar reasons. However, is there any evidence that ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

When learning a foreign language, should one focus on vocabulary or grammar first? [closed]

When I learned Spanish, I focused entirely on learning the grammar and conjugations before learning a plethora of vocabulary. As a result, I was able to speak properly given what I knew, but I often ...
12
votes
2answers
77 views

Pitfalls in individual lessons compared to group lessons

I've previously learnt a language (Japanese) via group lessons, but today I'm going to be learning a language (Mongolian) from an individual tutor. I'm not "choosing" between group and individual, as ...
18
votes
2answers
214 views

What are effective ways to memorize sign languages?

I've learned spoken languages by writing words down, hearing them and remembering them, and working on websites. However, I don't see that helping if I learn a sign language. None of those techniques ...
18
votes
1answer
460 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, ...
23
votes
3answers
291 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, ...
10
votes
1answer
79 views

How do you master adpositions, besides memorisation?

Summary of Question: Many popular books only suggest memorisation (useless for many) and do not explain adpositions and their uses. Beyond memorisation, how else can a language learner master the ...
8
votes
3answers
115 views

How should someone with an undergraduate major in linguistics approach second language learning?

This question assumes that the learner of a second language (hereafter abbreviated as L2L): has at least an undergraduate Major in linguistics. is learning, from scratch, a common language such as ...
42
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I verify my pronunciation without a native speaker?

I've been learning Japanese for a short while, and it uses some sounds that aren't in my native language (English). (For example, the "r" sound, which has been described to me as a combination of "d", ...
31
votes
4answers
452 views

How can I avoid learning an incorrect pronunciation due to a word's spelling?

I've noticed that I and others (sometimes entire communities) mispronounce words in a second language, which they could in theory pronounce well using phonemes of their first language, because of the ...
16
votes
1answer
149 views

What are the advantages of the Image Recall Technique over other traditional classroom learning methods?

I found an article on the Omniglot website that states that the Image Recall technique is a good method to learn a new language. It also states that software like Rosetta Stone use this technique. ...
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
84 views

Is repetitively studying a proficient subject more efficient?

Whenever I've learned a language, I've usually learned in two ways: By quickly learning the material (learning more material in less time), later coming back to improve proficiency. Spending large ...
27
votes
4answers
400 views

Which of these is more effective: having a silent period, or speaking from day one?

Nowadays, people usually learn languages in one of two ways: silent learning or speaking the new language from day one. They have their pros and cons but differ from each other greatly. A silent ...
10
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
34
votes
2answers
805 views

Has the “direct method” of language learning been shown to be superior to translation-based methods?

The textbook I'm using to learn Latin, called Lingua Latina per se Illustrata, is an example of the "direct method" of language instruction. The text is entirely written in Latin, and progresses ...
25
votes
2answers
347 views

What are some techniques to better differentiate between the two languages?

I grew up learning Spanish in school (I'm from Arizona) and became fluent in Spanish. Later, in college, I started learning French. I noticed many of the linguistic similarities between the two ...
22
votes
4answers
702 views

Is doing a huge amount of grammar exercises helpful for learning English?

Some books that teach English come with pages and pages of grammar exercises. Are these helpful? I see that a few exercises are helpful to help you understanding the grammar. However, after that, ...