Questions tagged [learning-methods]

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

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10
votes
1answer
90 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
329 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
130 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 ...
16
votes
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
232 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
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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
1answer
108 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
483 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
256 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
184 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
138 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,...
20
votes
4answers
220 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
797 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
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
81 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
145 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
215 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
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 ...
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?
20
votes
1answer
222 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
487 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
259 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-...
17
votes
2answers
158 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
138 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
100 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
42 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
172 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
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 ...
18
votes
3answers
561 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
618 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
475 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
304 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
195 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
485 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
80 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
237 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
481 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, ...
25
votes
3answers
347 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", ...