All Questions

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
74 votes
5 answers
3k 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) ...
Flimzy's user avatar
  • 5,132
25 votes
1 answer
2k views

What are the main foreign language teaching methods?

Recently I have been wondering what methods and techniques for learning and teaching foreign languages exist. My quest is to re-evaluate my views on foreign language acquisition, and maybe make some ...
J.Past's user avatar
  • 787
23 votes
4 answers
2k 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, ...
wythagoras's user avatar
  • 1,861
18 votes
2 answers
60k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of direct methods (using only the target language)?

Native speakers do not learn their native language with the help of an other language. Maybe direct methods are better to reach similar level of proficiency. But books that use a direct method are ...
Vanege's user avatar
  • 1,070
11 votes
3 answers
357 views

Is it necessary to learn the characters of a language that uses logograms [Japanese]?

I want to learn Japanese and most books or guides begin with how to draw an logogram and to repeat the process of "writing" and single character dozens of times. And learning hundreds of those signs ...
Krul's user avatar
  • 121
37 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
29 votes
6 answers
2k 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 ...
Flimzy's user avatar
  • 5,132
27 votes
2 answers
549 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 ...
callyalater's user avatar
  • 1,881
20 votes
3 answers
478 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 ...
Kolappan N's user avatar
  • 1,281
40 votes
6 answers
95k views

What are estimates of vocabulary size for each CEFR level?

The CEFR does not specify a vocabulary list or a vocabulary size for each level. I could find one scientific article attempting this mapping (research paper of Milton J and T. Alexiou (2009), ...
YAG's user avatar
  • 523
34 votes
1 answer
761 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 ...
SuperBiasedMan's user avatar
23 votes
5 answers
2k 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 ...
Gwen's user avatar
  • 1,195
20 votes
5 answers
2k views

How can I expand my active vocabulary in a foreign language?

I’ve been learning a foreign language for 5 years. Now, I easily understand everything I read, I know lots of words and everything seems to be alright, but I still have a problem. My active vocabulary ...
Victoria Dove's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
Numeri's user avatar
  • 787
17 votes
9 answers
4k views

Is it possible for an adult to learn a language without carrying a foreign accent?

As an adult, I'm working on learning French, coming from a background growing up speaking a few languages natively. According to French friends of mine I practice with, I have a "good" accent, but I'...
TheEnvironmentalist's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
3k views

How can I put grammar rules into flashcards?

Putting vocabulary into flashcards is (relatively) a no-brainer: word -> translation, translation -> word. (Yes, it can be more complicated than that, but that's the gist of it.) Grammar rules, on ...
Hatchet's user avatar
  • 4,975
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is it possible to learn grammar through spaced repetition, and if yes, how?

Spaced repetition is mostly used for learning vocabulary, but learning vocabulary is not all there is to learning a foreign language. Grammar also needs to be acquired, one way or another. Since doing ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 19.7k
62 votes
10 answers
3k 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 ...
Sir Cumference's user avatar
48 votes
6 answers
2k 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", ...
Hatchet's user avatar
  • 4,975
27 votes
2 answers
388 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,...
Hatchet's user avatar
  • 4,975
26 votes
3 answers
469 views

How to start thinking in a new language

I'm fairly fluent in Hebrew, to the point where I speak it intuitively, often accidentally when I intend to speak English. But I struggle to think in it. My question is, what is required to think in a ...
Corsara's user avatar
  • 483
25 votes
3 answers
951 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 ...
Anthony Pham's user avatar
  • 5,318
21 votes
4 answers
249 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,...
ANeves's user avatar
  • 354
20 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Sir Cumference's user avatar
13 votes
8 answers
437 views

How can I learn a language with little documentation/resources (Georgian)?

I've been trying to learn Georgian for almost 9 months now but have got no where. I do know a Georgian, even despite his undeniable skill in English he can't explain Georgian grammar to me. Georgian ...
Featherball's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
1k 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. ...
fi12's user avatar
  • 9,107
10 votes
1 answer
580 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 ...
user2297550's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
7k views

How long between each CEFR level for learning Spanish?

A common question among language learners is how long will it take me to learn <insert language>?, and the usual answer, for a native English speaker, is to refer to the FSI list, which divides ...
AML's user avatar
  • 5,076
4 votes
4 answers
18k views

How long between each HSK level for learning Mandarin?

A common question among language learners is how long will it take me to learn <insert language>?, and the usual answer, for a native English speaker, is to refer to the FSI list, which divides ...
AML's user avatar
  • 5,076
53 votes
5 answers
1k 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 ...
Chris Sinclair's user avatar
45 votes
7 answers
3k 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 ...
Numeri's user avatar
  • 787
29 votes
4 answers
631 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 ...
Anthony Pham's user avatar
  • 5,318
29 votes
2 answers
404 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?
user avatar
25 votes
7 answers
1k 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 ...
Flimzy's user avatar
  • 5,132
22 votes
6 answers
15k views

Why is Icelandic considered harder to learn for English speakers than other North Germanic languages?

Multiple sources, including this website, claim that Icelandic is a particularly difficult language to learn for native English speakers. Of particular note, this source claims Icelandic is ...
Gwen's user avatar
  • 1,195
21 votes
2 answers
528 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 ...
Anthony Pham's user avatar
  • 5,318
21 votes
2 answers
990 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 ...
Hatchet's user avatar
  • 4,975
19 votes
7 answers
749 views

Able to understand conversation but not speak

This is my problem: If an Englishman is speaking, I can understand him well. I've read many English novels and stories, I can understand English movies without subtitles, and when I need subtitles, ...
user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
462 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?
Dawny33's user avatar
  • 401
19 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
Bougret's user avatar
  • 309
18 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
Anthony Pham's user avatar
  • 5,318
18 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is there any software for minimal-pair training?

Gabriel Wyner, in his book Fluent Forever, stresses the importance of minimal pair training early in the language learning process. He summarizes the research behind this suggestion in this video. ...
Flimzy's user avatar
  • 5,132
17 votes
1 answer
784 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, ...
Sir Cumference's user avatar
16 votes
3 answers
250 views

How can I deal with previously learned languages' vocabulary confusing me when I am learning a new language?

This is a question from the Language Learning subreddit: So I took German for one year in my third year of university and I was so into it. 4 years later and I'm still constructing sentences in my ...
fi12's user avatar
  • 9,107
15 votes
2 answers
7k views

Graded readers for Japanese?

As several other questions already mentioned, graded readers are a good resources for extensive reading, at least for people who are not yet sufficiently proficient to read texts written for native ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 19.7k
14 votes
3 answers
913 views

Learning a language, for someone who can't stand flash cards

I can't stand memorizing words. I've found that the best way to memorize vocabulary is using (digital) flash cards, however I find studying flash cards to be one of the most mind-numbing and ...
Kahr Kunne's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
3k views

What advantages, if any, are there for learning the IPA when studying a language with phonetic spelling?

The IPA provides a standard, unambiguous way of writing the pronunciation of words, which can be quite helpful when learning a language like English, which has very irregular spelling (with respect to ...
Flimzy's user avatar
  • 5,132
13 votes
5 answers
2k views

Modern Hebrew before Biblical Hebrew?

I have heard it said more than once that there are advantages to gaining a basic fluency in Modern Hebrew before attempting Biblical Hebrew. Getting comfortable with text decoding, basic vocabulary, ...
Hashamyim's user avatar
  • 281
13 votes
2 answers
185 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 ...
Nicolás's user avatar
  • 637
13 votes
3 answers
285 views

How can I improve the listening and speaking skill as a self-learner?

I learn any languages mostly alone, without any school or tutors (as it is insanely expensive and also quite inflexible). I learn it mostly online, starting with apps like Rosetta Stone and Memrise as ...
Blaszard's user avatar
  • 1,253

15 30 50 per page
1
2 3 4 5