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23
votes
7answers
447 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 ...
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 ...
18
votes
3answers
251 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-...
-2
votes
1answer
91 views

Will it ever be possible for adults to learn a Second Language as easily as babies who learn their First Language? [closed]

As of April 2016 ■most linguistics textbooks answer 'no' to the entitled question above, but can 'yes' ever prove the answer? If so, how distant is linguistics from some breakthrough, quantum leap or ...
16
votes
2answers
144 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
122 views

Does learning a second language happen in the same part of the brain as learning a first language?

Does learning a second language happen in the same part of the brain as learning a first language? A lot of things are actually different. For example, vocabulary works different, because in an L2 you ...
15
votes
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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
96 views

What are the advantages of tables with declension endings to study a declension system?

Update: What I'm asking is if there's any evidence in the field of language learning stating if a mere table with declensions is useful for learning those declensions. This is opposed to the usual ...
12
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
26
votes
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 ...
4
votes
0answers
63 views

Is there evidence that supports the idea that vocabulary is more important than grammar in conversation? [duplicate]

"Focus on your vocabulary first, then fix your grammar." This is a maxim that has been drilled into my head over several years of my Spanish teachers saying this, but is there really any truth to ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

How important is accent for being understood in a given language? [closed]

When I learned English at school (in France), my teachers asked me to make effort to have an "England-like" pronunciation (which was difficult for me). Today, I use the English language for my work (...
12
votes
2answers
73 views

Strategies to deal with declensions

Languages like German or Russian have declensions. However my native language does not have those declensions, and thus I have a hard time understanding their “point”, that is their added meaning and ...
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
510 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
135 views

Is it important to be able to spell words?

Being able to write in a language is certainly an important skill, but is writing by hand that important? Since a lot of communication is done digitally, I am wondering whether it would be sufficient ...
25
votes
3answers
574 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
112 views

How does language ability decrease when one stops actively learning?

Sometimes for various reasons one could not continue to learn as actively as he/she wants and will drop the activity of learning almost entirely except for sometimes reading some lines in the target ...
15
votes
4answers
164 views

How can learning a second language improve my skill with my native language?

When learning another language, one will often have to wrap their head around sentence structures, conjugations, and other quirks not found in their native language. Such things can include word order ...
20
votes
4answers
444 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
161 views

Necessity of studying Hanja to reach intermediate level of Korean proficiency?

Taking the Korean Government's TOPIK examination as a standard, is it necessary to be able to recognize Hanja characters to get an intermediate or advanced level in Korea? Or if someone wants to take ...
28
votes
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?
15
votes
4answers
173 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 ...
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 ...
21
votes
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 ...
20
votes
2answers
444 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
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. ...
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
190 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
66 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
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 ...
18
votes
2answers
207 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
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 ...
18
votes
1answer
458 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
610 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
286 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
229 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
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
552 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
90 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
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...

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