Questions tagged [reference-request]

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62
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) ...
50
votes
5answers
894 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 ...
35
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1answer
481 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 ...
34
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2answers
790 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 ...
28
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2answers
298 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?
28
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2answers
530 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 ...
27
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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 ...
26
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2answers
202 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 ...
24
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2answers
246 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,...
21
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3answers
345 views

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

Has there been research done about which languages are generally the easiest to learn for an average native Japanese speaker? Do they have an easier time learning Mandarin than learning a Western ...
21
votes
1answer
399 views

Is it easier for native Japanese speakers to learn Korean, or Korean speakers to learn Japanese?

Japanese and Korean are very similar from a grammatical point of view and it is even possible to translate word for word without losing too much meaning. With respect to pronunciation, Japanese seems ...
19
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2answers
752 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 ...
19
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1answer
196 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
175 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
143 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'...
17
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4answers
399 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
143 views

Is there evidence that learning a language written with the same alphabet as your native language can make you learn the language faster?

For example, if I was learning Spanish (written with the Latin alphabet) while being a native speaker of English (also written with the Latin alphabet), is there any scientific research that confirms ...
16
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3answers
274 views

Can the McGurk effect also help develop pronunciation?

Seeing someone's mouth movements can influence what your brain processes a word to be (see McGurk effect), and hearing someone talk can also help you develop your pronunciation for that language. ...
16
votes
1answer
217 views

Are there any surveys or studies on what motivates people to learn minority languages and/or rare languages?

People have various kinds of reasons to learn a language. Sometimes a foreign language is just imposed on them at school, sometimes their choice is based on the perceived "importance" or usefulness of ...
16
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1answer
340 views

Effectiveness of tandem learning

Since the early 2000s, it has become quite fashionable to do a tandem language learning. You find a native speaker who wants to learn your language, you meet and talk about anything. In ideal case, ...
15
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3answers
220 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 ...
15
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2answers
655 views

What skills does reading aloud improve?

Have there been any studies about the benefits of reading aloud for language acquisition?
14
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2answers
132 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?
14
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2answers
148 views

Will learning ASL interfere with other languages I am learning?

I am learning Italian right now. I've heard many people say that learning multiple languages at once is a risky idea, since you can easily confuse them. However, would that apply to ASL? I've heard ...
14
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2answers
180 views

Grading vocabulary: How correct is necessary?

When grading vocabulary (either in a traditional classroom/test environment, or spaced repetition), is there any research into how to most effectively grade responses? Examples of possible answers (...
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 ...
13
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1answer
82 views

Is there any evidence that a specific type of writing is more beneficial than others for learning?

Have there been any studies done on if certain types of writing (fiction, personal/diary type, scientific, etc.) benefit a second language learner more than others? To be clear, this would be the ...
13
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2answers
232 views

How useful is passive “background” listening?

I have seen many different opinions regarding the usefulness of, say, having a radio program on in the background while you work, do chores, etc. Some say that simply being able to hear the sounds and ...
13
votes
1answer
120 views

Is it more efficient to make flashcards for L3 in L2 and L1?

I'm currently learning Japanese as my L3, using flashcards (Anki) for kanji vocabulary. My L1 is Portuguese and L2 is English (fluent). Is it more efficient to make flashcards for L3 in L2 and L1? ...
11
votes
1answer
257 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
138 views

Are there studies testing to see what the the ideal age to begin learning a second language is?

Would it be easier to learn a second language as a child, when you've had limited exposure to language in general, or as an adult, when you already have a strong basis in your first language? Are ...
11
votes
2answers
177 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
86 views

Learn to read and write for a multilingual pre-school child

My child is 4 year old and is reasonably fluent in 3 languages (based on the same alphabet). He is now interested to learn to read and write. The problem being that alphabet, and reading approaches ...
11
votes
2answers
130 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 ...
11
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0answers
210 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
2answers
259 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. ...
10
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
142 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?
10
votes
1answer
253 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
111 views

How to use subtitles most effectvely?

I have an intermediate level in my target language (L2), which means that when I watch films without subtitles I understand relatively little. Turning on L2 subtitles increases my understanding to a ...
10
votes
0answers
90 views

Research on effectiveness of language teaching in ulpans / ulpanim?

After the creation of Israel in 1948, ulpans (or ulpanim) were set up for the intensive study of Hebrew. Today, ulpans still exist; they are institutes or schools "designed to teach adult immigrants ...
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
101 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. ...
9
votes
1answer
266 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
152 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
83 views

When using spaced repetition, do I learn less when tired?

If I use Ankidroid in the evening, I am tired and don't perform very well. If I use it in the morning, my performance is better. Does better performance also imply I am learning the content more ...
9
votes
1answer
85 views

Research papers on improving speaking fluency?

I'm currently looking for scholarly research papers that discuss how speaking fluency is developed, especially for people learning English. If there are any recommended readings, please share them ...
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 ...