All Questions

50
votes
5answers
842 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
336 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
424 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
263 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. ...
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 ...
19
votes
2answers
185 views

How useful is studying Latin for learners of more than one Romance language?

We all know that Vulgar Latin is the ancestor of all the Romance languages. It is also known as a great source of classical literature and was used for many centuries as the "lingua franca" of ...
7
votes
1answer
62 views

Advantages of audio-only courses compared to more traditional ones

Are there any known advantage associated to follow an audio-only language course (like Pimsleur or Michael Thomas) instead a more traditional one? With "more traditional one" I mean those courses ...
12
votes
2answers
76 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
140 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
201 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
147 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
448 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, ...
16
votes
4answers
550 views

How can I learn IPA?

There are many resources that I wish I could use, but can't, because I don't understand the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) fluently. I constantly need to refer to a table of characters, and I'm ...
23
votes
3answers
275 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
224 views

Which order should I learn Japanese and Chinese? [closed]

Saw this question on Area 51 and I'm learning both languages. Which order should I learn Japanese and Chinese? I already know some French and am fluent in English, so what way would I go from that? ...
11
votes
2answers
136 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
536 views

Is Duolingo effective in learning to speak languages?

I have been using Duolingo to learn a multitude of languages. I have learned plenty of vocabulary. But is it effective for learning to speak?
16
votes
1answer
88 views

Studies regarding language reacquisition

In my experience with language learning, 'if you don't use it, you lose it'. Are there any studies regarding re-learning a second language after [extensive] periods of disuse? In particular, I'm ...
28
votes
2answers
519 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 ...
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
114 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Can learning Spanish and French simultaneously improve your knowledge in both languages?

I'm currently learning Spanish in school while learning French in school. I've noticed that the vocabulary and grammar of both languages is structurally similar. I've had teachers tell me that I ...
40
votes
5answers
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", ...
20
votes
2answers
237 views

What pros and cons do adults face while learning compared to children

Adults and children are different in many ways, including the ways they learn a new language. Children certainly have their pros and cons and so do adults. Adults, relative to children, have different ...
31
votes
4answers
442 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 ...
35
votes
2answers
429 views

Does having two first languages make you more effective in learning second languages later?

Have there been any studies that study the effect of having two first languages (simultaneous bilingualism) on the capacity of learning second languages later? If so, what was their result?
4
votes
1answer
58 views

Should I use original version subtitles or subtitles in my language? [closed]

I watch every TV series and movies in English but sometimes I can't understand some really specific words that are rarely used by the English native speakers themselves. Should I use subtitles in my ...
37
votes
7answers
1k views

How can I estimate my proficiency level (A1-C2)?

How can I find out what my CEFR1 proficiency level in a language is, without going to a testing center and paying to take a test? Are there any good resources (free tests, online tests, etc.) or ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are flash cards effective in learning a language?

As seen, flash cards are very common in learning other languages. Flash cards seem to help learners learn words faster and more effectively. Lots of language learning programs use flash cards as well ...
16
votes
1answer
147 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
969 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 ...
30
votes
4answers
503 views

How can I describe my language proficiency in an internationally recognized way?

I speak three languages to varying degrees of fluency. English is my native language. "Native fluency" is pretty easy to describe. I speak Spanish fluently, among friends and family, and in social ...
18
votes
3answers
275 views

Can I have C1-level proficiency in a foreign language even if my pronunciation is poor?

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and its A1–C2 scale is often referred to when discussing one's skill in a language. I've never been tested, but, based on the Wikipedia ...
12
votes
2answers
126 views

What are the pros and cons of learning noun classifiers along with vocabulary?

There are classifiers in several languages (e.g. Chinese), also known as measure words, for each noun. I think that it is a good idea to start learning them when I do not yet know many nouns, so that ...
12
votes
2answers
83 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
384 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
127 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
367 views

Is there a method to learn which grammatical gender a noun in French has?

In French, some nouns are considered male and some female (le/la). Is there a way which can help me understand which grammatical gender to use with which noun?
18
votes
1answer
195 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
312 views

Is it possible to learn a language just by being exposed to media and books? [closed]

Say I want to learn to speak Chinese. Could it be possible to learn Chinese just by watching subtitled Chinese movies/tv and reading books made for children?
35
votes
1answer
475 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
votes
2answers
744 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
247 views

Which alphabet should I learn for Tatar?

I'd like to learn Tatar, particularly Kazan Tatar (not Crimean Tatar), but there are three alphabets in use: Zamanälif (Latin), Cyrillic, and İske imlâ (Arabic). My grandfather only knows İske imlâ ...
25
votes
2answers
341 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
125 views

What metrics can be used to gauge language similarity?

What metrics exist to describe relative language similarity? I've sometimes heard Spanish and Portuguese said to be something like "70% mutually intelligible." Although mutual intelligibility in this ...
22
votes
4answers
653 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, ...
21
votes
3answers
237 views

Can practicing vocabulary from L2 to the same L2 instead of from L2 to L1 be more effective for learning the vocabulary?

Can practicing vocabulary from a second language to the same second language instead of from a second language to your first language be more effective? Example: Suppose I know German and I’m ...
11
votes
0answers
68 views

Do any studies show what the effect is of skipping daily language practice for one day? [closed]

Most language teachers that you talk to strongly recommend daily practice. Some applications, like Duolingo, add incentives to encourage users to practice every day. Is there actually evidence that ...
28
votes
6answers
1k views

Why do experts recommend learning Esperanto?

As a constructed language, Esperanto isn't spoken natively by anyone. Yet some linguists, language teachers, and SLA advocates encourage learning Esperanto. Why? What are the primary reasons that ...
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) ...

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