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19
votes
1answer
136 views

Is maintaining a L2 detrimental to learning a L3?

At my peak in mid-2014, I was part of the way through my second Japanese textbook, "Japanese for Busy People II". Since then, I have tried maintaining the level of language I had, and picking up bits ...
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 ...
19
votes
1answer
197 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
534 views

What resources are there for learning Toki Pona?

I recently started using Memrise to learn Toki Pona, because I find that language to be very interesting. Memrise is indeed useful regarding vocabulary, but I think it is not enough. Are there other ...
18
votes
5answers
521 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, ...
18
votes
5answers
6k views

Can I understand 95 percent of CNN and talk show, movies, anything just in 3 years?

Can I understand 95 percent of CNN, talk shows, movies and anything? If I listen to English materials (podcasts and videos, …) for three years and I also listen to English materials for 3 hours every ...
18
votes
3answers
282 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

How does Duolingo calculate its fluency percentage?

There's a lot of discussion been going on in the Language Learning chatroom about Duolingo's fluency percentage. My fluency percentage (as well as many others') seems very inaccurate, so I was ...
18
votes
3answers
176 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
2answers
214 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
28k 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
179 views

What makes a language propaedeutic?

Learning any language helps learning another language after faster. This propaedeutic value is found in all language, but is more noticeable for some languages and combinations. For exemple, for ...
18
votes
3answers
254 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-...
18
votes
1answer
460 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, ...
18
votes
1answer
144 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
votes
3answers
518 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 ...
17
votes
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
3answers
11k 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), ...
17
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
147 views

How can I help a person improve their L2 pronunciation?

My wife is a native Spanish speaker. I'm a native English speaker. At home we speak both languages nearly interchangeably. But now she has a job speaking English. How can I most effectively help her ...
17
votes
4answers
140 views

Is it better to use different study methods for different languages?

Are there any studies done to see if the same learning methods can provide different results depending on the language being learnt? Are there certain methods that have been proved better for certain ...
17
votes
3answers
134 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,...
17
votes
3answers
201 views

Can Esperanto speakers more easily learn Swahili, or other agglutinative languages?

This video explains how single words in Swahili are constructed from many different parts: The Swahili Language My conclusion was that it must be much easier to learn that when one can speak ...
17
votes
2answers
126 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
843 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. ...
17
votes
2answers
136 views

Why do words first come to me in a recently studied language when I try to talk a previously studied language?

In high school, about 15 years ago, I studied German for three years (my mother tongue is Dutch). The last eight year years I have studied and practiced Spanish and Catalan. And every time I try to ...
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 ...
17
votes
3answers
137 views

How to train yourself to contrast heard sounds

When trying to learn new languages, I have often encountered a problem when hearing sounds that don't exist in the Polish language (my native language). In my mind they "become" other, more familiar ...
17
votes
2answers
153 views

Is L2 fluency retention better than L1 fluency retention?

One of my friends grew up with his family in a Spanish-speaking country (for ~10 or so years), knowing/learning both Spanish and English, but he and his family have since moved to the United States, ...
16
votes
6answers
190 views

Do Esperanto audio recordings with English translations exist?

Do you know about any Esperanto audio recordings with English translation? By audio recordings I do not mean language lessons. I would like something more like audio versions of journal/magazine ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

What are the benefits or drawbacks of learning poetry?

What skills can be improved by learning by heart poems in the target language? Won't this inhibit the learning process as poems sometimes disobey common grammar rules?
16
votes
4answers
629 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
312 views

What are the advantages of studying words by their frequency?

There are many word lists sorted by how often they appear during speech (for example, NGSL or Top 100 Spanish words) and also lots of software and online services which make them easier to memorise (...
16
votes
4answers
319 views

Through which language can you learn the most other languages online?

Say I'm a native Tagalog speaker wanting to learn German. Seeing as how there's not an abundance of Tagalog --> German language courses online or in person (and that's an understatement!), I would ...
16
votes
4answers
331 views

Positive vs. negative reinforcement in Duolingo

I've run into a problem that I imagine most Duolingo users have run into at some point in their language learning experience. Assume I'm in the process of reviewing already learned vocabulary (as ...
16
votes
3answers
223 views

Pros and cons of reading the same book in each language I learn

One of my language learning strategies is to read the same book in every language I learn (in my case, the Book of Mormon). I know this book quite well, having read it several times in English and in ...
16
votes
1answer
218 views

Can listening during sleep help language learning?

What are the effects of sleep listening on language skills and aren't there any negative effects of it on overall physiological health? Are there any studies or your personal experiences proving that ...
16
votes
3answers
205 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
275 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
219 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
votes
2answers
146 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
149 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. ...
16
votes
4answers
774 views

How can I teach someone how to roll their r's?

The sound I'm referring to is the alveolar trill (/r/), as found in Spanish word "carro", though that is just an example in one language. I learned how to make this sound by making positioning my ...
16
votes
1answer
151 views

How do I make sure that I don't speak different languages?

So, at home, I speak "Chinglish" (a mix of Chinese and English). I talk to my friends in "Frenglish" (a mix of French and English) and currently learning Japanese, so I sometimes get confused with ...
16
votes
1answer
85 views

What do we call reading a word incorrectly as a related word?

I'm a reading tutor. My new student is exhibiting some unsettling reading behavior. As an example, we learned the word "woman" two weeks ago. He sometimes reads that word correctly. However, at ...
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 ...
16
votes
1answer
350 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
votes
4answers
175 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 ...
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 ...
15
votes
6answers
375 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'...

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