Questions tagged [reference-request]

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34
votes
2answers
817 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 ...
63
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there any studies which address the effectiveness of studying multiple related languages simultaneously?

What studies, if any, address the study of multiple related languages (as in a relatively high level of mutual intelligibility--Spanish, Portuguese, Italian & French; Dutch & German, etc) ...
24
votes
2answers
251 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,...
35
votes
1answer
498 views

How does immersion passively help with learning a language?

It's a commonly claimed idea that just by being surrounded by people speaking a language you can become familiar with it. Sometimes it's even claimed that this can occur without actively learning the ...
10
votes
2answers
261 views

According to scientific evidence, how many languages can the average human retain in their mind and still communicate fluently in?

Note: I'm not asking about how many languages the average human knows. Rather, I'm asking how many languages the average human brain can hold, and still allow the person to speak all of them fluently. ...
50
votes
5answers
916 views

Have there been any studies into detrimental effects of language learning?

There have been many studies into the varied benefits of being bilingual, but things are rarely uniformly beneficial. Have there been any studies into whether or not there are detrimental effects to ...
27
votes
4answers
405 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 ...
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?
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
268 views

How many new words at a time?

I have a 1000 flash cards of new words. I pick a flash card at random to test if I remember the word. If not, I take a moment to try to remember it. With a 1000 flash cards I feel that I see too many ...
28
votes
2answers
544 views

According to scientific research, which languages take the least time to learn for a native English speaker?

Basically what I'm just asking in the question's title. By learning a language, I mean being able to fluently speak it, understand it, write it, and read it. I would think French or German. Please ...
26
votes
2answers
207 views

Do learners with an L1 without articles have problems using them in an L2 with articles?

Before learning English, I had acquired fluency in Persian and I'm a native speaker of Azeri Turkish. Neither language has articles, but I didn't find myself in trouble deciphering their usage in ...
15
votes
2answers
674 views

What skills does reading aloud improve?

Have there been any studies about the benefits of reading aloud for language acquisition?
6
votes
1answer
159 views

Is recall study more effective than recognition study for learning vocabulary?

According to Tim Ferris, If you train for recall, you get recognition automatically; if you train for recognition, recall is terrible, or as slow as molasses. (See The Time Ferris Show, 19 June ...
14
votes
1answer
154 views

What detrimental effects can learning a second language have on the first?

There was a similar question regarding bilingual education here: Have there been any studies into detrimental effects of language learning? My question alludes to a different setting, specifically to ...
9
votes
3answers
103 views

Learning language by singing songs?

Learn languages by memorizing rhymed poems is about pro/cons of using poems to learn a language. What about using songs? Songs might use more modern language, avoiding the cons mentioned for poems. ...
19
votes
1answer
198 views

How can immersion in the language's country improve beginner skills?

As a beginner in language X, how will immersion in that language's country help learn the language faster and better? Are there any studies that show that visiting the language's country helps to ...
17
votes
4answers
400 views

Does learning a language consistently every day help you learn it sooner?

I've always thought this to be true, but I'd like some evidence to back it up. I'm assuming that I study about 20 minutes a day all seven days a week compared to studying about 70 minutes any 2 days a ...
15
votes
3answers
223 views

What factors make a language difficult to learn from the learner's POV?

Are there any studies which address which factors—if there are any—have more influence on the learner to consider a new language as difficult to learn? Factors could be: The mother tongue of the ...
14
votes
2answers
133 views

Does learning other aspects of culture help with learning the language?

In my Latin class, we are constantly learning about the history and culture of Rome. Do studies show that this helps with language learning or is it unnecessary?
9
votes
1answer
114 views

What are the steps to native language acquisition for children?

I've been trying to find literature that talks about steps taken to typically learn a language. I know that based on what I've read that children start from a one-word stage to multi-word stage. What ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

What are the benefits of extensive reading?

What are the benefits of extensive reading? More, specifically, in what ways is extensive reading helpful for learning a target language? Responses based on research would be appreciated.
11
votes
1answer
260 views

Are there studies showing that learning an L2 makes it easier to learn an L3?

Assuming that I'm fluent in an L1 and an L2, are there any studies showing that already overcoming the barrier of learning the L2 aids my process in learning an L3?
11
votes
2answers
179 views

Evidence that learning radicals speeds up character learning in Chinese?

Characters — in Chinese or Japanese (or Korean Hanja) — can be learnt in various ways, and it is plausible that paying attention to radicals helps memorisation and retention. But is there any hard ...
10
votes
1answer
90 views

Evidence that translating L2 into L1 improves L2 acquisition

I run a project where young bilingual volunteers translate English-language media into the home language for their families. I believe one of the benefits is that, because our volunteers have to ...
10
votes
1answer
144 views

Does ethnic background affect the speed of foreign language acquisition?

Are there any studies proving that language learners of a certain ethnic background have an advantage in learning languages over people of other ethnicities?
9
votes
2answers
108 views

Are there any studies on what motivates people to learn international auxiliary languages such as Esperanto, Interlingua and Afrihili?

Esperanto is the best-known international auxiliary language (or IAL); it even has an Esperanto Stack Exchange site. But there are several other IALs, such as Interlingua, Ido and Afrihili. Are ...
8
votes
2answers
182 views

My L2 and L3 are similar, will using L2/L3 flashcards increase or reduce the possibility of mixing them up?

Here's a follow-up to this question. I'm afraid that learning L3 may interfere with my L2. I'm wondering about a good strategy for making the two languages separate if I use flashcards. How to avoid ...
6
votes
0answers
73 views

According to research, how well do speed reading skills transfer to other languages?

According to Wikipedia, speed reading is any of several techniques used to improve one's ability to read quickly. Speed reading methods include chunking and minimizing subvocalization. There are ...
6
votes
1answer
68 views

Is there a scientific evidence of class / teacher importance for adult learners?

The role of a teacher in teaching languages to adults is not clear. By roles, I mean, for example: facilitator, manager, assessor, resources, participant and counselor. Suppose learners concentrate ...
5
votes
0answers
38 views

Is there any evidence that correcting a learner's oral mistakes in class has a negative impact?

In a comment on the question Is there a scientific evidence of class / teacher importance for adult learners? Gavenkoa makes the following claim: There is evidence that certain teaching activities ...
11
votes
0answers
218 views

Learning L3 through L1, L2 or L1+L2? [closed]

I can study L3 with L1 or L2 material/textbooks/dictionaries, or combination of L1 and L2 materials (switching daily for instance). Which will be most beneficial? My main concern is retention of new ...
10
votes
1answer
281 views

What is the Representational Deficit Hypothesis?

I've been reading about second language acquisition, and I've come across the Representational Deficit Hypothesis (also known as the Failed Functional Features Hypothesis). What is it? And where can I ...
9
votes
1answer
153 views

How effective is induction as a language learning technique?

According to the Encyclopedia of Language Development, Induction is a type of reasoning that involves deriving general principles from specific examples. Induction is most often used to acquire ...
7
votes
1answer
73 views

How does the existence of a case system affect the learnability of a foreign language?

Case is a grammatical category that can be found in Slavic languages, Finnic languages, Greek, Japanese, Tamil, etc. (The Finnic language Veps apparently has 23 grammatical cases, and tops even ...
6
votes
1answer
98 views

Is there any research on the effectiveness of learning verb tables?

I own books with verb tables for French, German and Spanish, i.e. for several languages with rather elaborate verb conjugations. At school, I was made to learn such conjugations for French verbs and ...
6
votes
2answers
192 views

Is learning vocabulary by means of (bilingual) vocabulary lists inefficient, and if yes, why?

A previous question, "Is it bad to only learn vocabulary through conversation/applied use?" (The question is now only visible to users with 2000+ reps) looked like three questions combined into a ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Effectiveness of reformulating incorrect sentences as feedback?

My Chinese language exchange partner naturally makes errors when speaking German. One form of feedback that I often use is reformulating the sentence he just spoke, so that he gets to hear a correct ...