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15
votes
4answers
169 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
3answers
141 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
236 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
votes
2answers
757 views

What skills does reading aloud improve?

Have there been any studies about the benefits of reading aloud for language acquisition?
15
votes
3answers
341 views

How can I stop/prevent conversations from switching to English?

I've oft experienced (and heard stories about) conversation participants switching to English when noting some lack of fluidity in the target language. In a similar vein, I've heard anecdotally of ...
15
votes
2answers
142 views

Can reading aloud be an alternative to practicing speaking skills with other people?

The reason might be that we can not easily find people with the same language that we learn or just feeling more comfortable when we read out loud and try to make correct sounds by ourselves.
15
votes
1answer
290 views

What is this phenomenon called when someone uses an “uncommon” word in his target language that is similar to one in his own language?

Suppose someone is learning words in a foreign language, and uses an "uncommon" word in his target language that is similar to one in his own language. For instance, the Spanish word for "mortgage" ...
15
votes
1answer
153 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
206 views

What factors affect the ability to read aloud in a foreign alphabet?

What cognitive skills and other factors (types of exposure, practice, knowledge of the language, etc.) affect one's ability to read aloud fluently in a foreign alphabet — or even in one's native ...
14
votes
4answers
337 views

Resources for finding a word in natural context

Are there any resources for finding examples of texts which use a particular word, in any language? One would think that Google would be fit for this purpose, however with Google I cannot find a ...
14
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
191 views

How can I strengthen vocabulary knowledge of words learned with flash cards?

I've used flash cards a lot to learn Korean words, and it doesn't take long to memorize words well enough that I can recall them very quickly. It's especially easy to go from English to Korean - I ...
14
votes
2answers
137 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
votes
4answers
1k views

Would ASMR improve language learning?

I find ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian response) interesting, and I sometimes use it to relax at night. Now I am wondering if the "sensation" that ASMR provides can be beneficial to memory retention....
14
votes
3answers
245 views

Explaining the difference between 'very' and 'too' to native Chinese speakers

The Indo-European languages that I know (Dutch, English, German, French, Spanish) all make a distinction between "too" (meaning "to a higher degree than is desirable, acceptable or allowed") and "very"...
14
votes
5answers
666 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?
14
votes
4answers
222 views

Should I start learning another language even if I haven't mastered the last one?

I have studied German for the whole year last year. But I want to study other languages too. I haven't mastered German yet, and I am seeking advice whether I should start learning a new language ...
14
votes
3answers
259 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
93 views

How can I differentiate similar characters in languages with large character sets?

Some character sets have very similar characters that are hard to tell apart while studying, near impossible at a later date. For example, there's a lot of Japanese kanji, and they consist of ...
14
votes
2answers
387 views

Learning through videos: what makes a video easy to understand for learners?

How can you tell if a video is easy to understand for learners? What are the important factors for a video to be easy? I guess slow and clear pronunciation is important. But also the usage of common ...
14
votes
1answer
67 views

What is the term for language lessons in which the native and foreign language are spoken simultaneously?

I recall a style of language learning where you listen to CDs in which your language and the foreign language are spoken simeltaneously. For example "Hello" is said in one earbud while "Bonjour" is ...
14
votes
1answer
123 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does anki remove 'leeches'?

In anki the strategy when a word is being continously mistranslated is to mark the word as 'leech' and remove it from future repetitions. In contrast - Memrise will offer a special cramming sessions ...
14
votes
1answer
123 views

How to get the most out of story-reading as a learning technique

I am going to look for a native speaker on Italki to practice my English in this way: First I get a story, which is new to me. This story is a little bit hard for me like I can understand 80-90 ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Pros and cons of using IPA over other phonetic alphabets

I've taught myself to use the IPA as an aide for pronunciation training, but I'm well aware that other phonetic alphabets are in widespread use in language courses. Where does the IPA fall short ...
14
votes
2answers
122 views

What can I do before I start learning a language to help reduce my eventual accent?

As I understand it, it is really easy when learning a new language to develop a horrific accent that's hard to get rid of. Of course, being cognizant of this fact and constantly working on reducing ...
14
votes
2answers
160 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
votes
2answers
185 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
161 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
votes
6answers
540 views

Does watching movies improve language skills?

I doubt that films will help people who are watching in a language that they are entirely foreign to or are already adept in, but if someone already knows a language but is not adept will watching ...
13
votes
4answers
352 views

How useful is it to study Chinese using Duolingo's English for Chinese speakers course?

Unfortunately, Duolingo does not have a Chinese for English speakers course. However, there is a English for Chinese speakers course. In other words, there is a course where people who speak Chinese ...
13
votes
2answers
212 views

Is it too late to teach my 10 year old son English now?

I have a 10 year old son who lived in the States until he was about 3 and a half. Then, we moved to my home country (Japan) where my parents are. When we first moved back, he had his American dad in ...
13
votes
2answers
246 views

Is there any language simply too difficult for non-native speakers to learn/speak?

I would like to know if any real language has ever been considered so hard to learn that acquiring decent fluency is basically an impossible task. That is, almost no non-native speaker has ever been ...
13
votes
3answers
88 views

Image search for languages with a weak internet presence

I'm setting up flash cards with the word in the L2, and an image of the object, as suggested in "Fluent Forever". The book suggests doing the search in the L2: If you’re actually learning a word ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I help a language student overcome the “mental block” to learn?

Many first time second language students feel that learning a new language is indescribably hard. Many have a "mental block" of sorts that prevents them from remembering new vocabulary, or even "...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

What are Anki's disadvantages?

Anki makes remembering things (words) easy. We can remember them anywhere by using Anki easily... If you have a smartphone or a personal computer. I think this is a kind of Anki's advantages. But all ...
13
votes
5answers
247 views

How important are tones in tonal languages?

As a native speaker of a Slavic language, I know about foreigners trying (and sometimes failing) to use proper case for a situation, or using wrong gender declension, or an adjective non gender-...
13
votes
2answers
914 views

Is the “T-Coding Method” a reliable method to learn vocabulary?

In Iran someone named "Mr Taraghghi" has imported a method for learning English vocabulary called "Vocabulary Coding" for Persian native speakers that works like this example: Consider the word "...
13
votes
3answers
254 views

How to make vocabulary acquisition fun?

I have been learning French for around 2.5 years. I am currently around the B1 level and have attained this by practising reading, writing and speaking and basically immersion. But one of the biggest ...
13
votes
1answer
137 views

How can I teach someone to pronounce phonemes non-existent in their native language?

As I learned other languages I realized that some phonemes which are common in one language are not so familiar in others. There are even cases where some phonemes do not exist in other specific ...
13
votes
2answers
112 views

Is switching between languages and addressing conversation partners in the right language easy for Kids?

My son grows up as a bilingual. At home we speak Arabic or German with him while he usually speaks German at the playschool. Until his third birthday, I sometimes remarked that he couldn't really ...
13
votes
3answers
926 views

Does forcing students to speak English in school affect the students' knowledge of their native language?

In places where I live some private institutions are forcing students (of age 6 to 17) to speak only in English, regardless of their native language. This restriction is not only placed in English ...
13
votes
3answers
300 views

How to speak faster

Background So I know plenty of Chinese words and grammar. I know loads, and due to the fantastic listening podcast SlowChinese, my listening is actually great. I'm so proud and happy. I've contacted ...
13
votes
1answer
6k views

What are the main arguments for and against the critical period hypothesis, and what are alternative explanations?

Why is the critical period hypothesis so heavily disputed, yet widely accepted; what are its major strengths and weaknesses; what other explanations exist for the perceived "critical period", if it ...
13
votes
2answers
202 views

At which point in learning a language can one be able to grok the meaning of new words or grammar structures?

As a non-native English speaker I've recently noticed that I have the ability to grok the meaning of certain words thanks to the context and expectations of what is going to be said. The use of the ...
13
votes
2answers
162 views

How to remember words I never use

How can I put words I don't often use into my long term memory? I have trouble doing this, as I think I know them, and a few weeks later I can't remember them. For example, a word I am trying to ...
13
votes
1answer
150 views

When does a native reach certain CEFR levels?

The language skill is a process that takes time. If you're a native you still don't jump right into C2. I was wondering at what age/education level do natives reach certain language level of their ...
13
votes
1answer
532 views

How was the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) list of language learning difficulty compiled?

There is a fairly standard ranking of the difficulty of learning various languages for English speakers, based primarily on its similarity to English. (Note: I've seen some contradictory information ...
13
votes
2answers
255 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
84 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 ...

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