45

Speak to yourself! Narrate yourself as you do housework, as you drive, etc. Speak your thoughts out loud. When I'm alone, I'll converse with myself in Spanish. Depending on how good your imagination is (mine's not too shabby :P), things can get pretty exciting! Imagine a whole scenario, and explain it as if you were part of an audio drama. The more ...


26

Definitely! Listening to music lyrics is a great help when learning a language! Understanding Words When native speakers speak, they speak quickly with little break between words. For example, if I pronounced "lookathat" as pretty much one word, if you speak English, you will probably be able to distinguish it into "look at that". This is because you can ...


19

They cannot be compared directly, as they are used for entirely different skills. When you hide a word, and show only the definition, you are testing your ability to recall. I have a concept in mind; a smallish, round fruit, red in color, crispy when I bite into it, it grows on a tree, and Americans are said to make many pies from these fruits. Can you ...


18

It's usually best to avoid dichotomies like "Is strategy X better or strategy Y better?". In most cases, strategies are not mutually exclusive but complementary. With vocabulary learning, using just one strategy is probably the least efficient. This is because every strategy has certain strengths (certain skills it builds well) and certain weaknesses (...


16

Yes. As seen in this article (though not primarily about linguistics), it promptly states: Some neuroscientists are not so sure. They think that giving up handwriting will affect how future generations learn to read. “Drawing each letter by hand substantially improves subsequent recognition,” Gentaz explains. Drawing each letter by hand improves our grasp ...


13

"The Five Principles of Effective Second Language Acquisition" by Transparent Language states that students who have a silent period in which they absorb vocabulary and observe the language are much more effective when speaking and writing. Forcing language learners to rush into sentence formation can interfere with vocabulary learning during the ...


13

Indeed, there are too many factors. Flash cards prompt one's memory in a random order (unlike, for example, lectures), hence, building neural connections between the meaning, phonetic value, and spelling. Flash cards naturally aid repetition, a key for study. Nobody remembers everything from the first try. Our brain takes up to 20% of the entire energy the ...


12

Even if you don't have the time to actively study a language, a little upkeep can go a long way. It can be beneficial to recognize you're not studying actively for now, and decide not to study grammar, vocabulary or textbooks for a while. Instead, try to just use the language - just a little, but regularly. By recognizing that you're on a "break" from ...


11

Generally it's easier to learn new languages from your native language, whether you're learning L2, L3, L4, etc. Learning L3 using L1 You will understand things better when they are explained to you. If you try to learn tricky grammar rules and the definitions of obscure vocabulary you will likely not understand the explanations as well in L2. Your native ...


9

To prevent yourself forgetting the language, you should basically use it on daily basis. Here are few ideas how to do it: use flash cards and keep them visible around your work place, use some mnemonic techniques to repeat most troubled words, print some language cheatsheet and place it where you can see it, use some daily newsletters to read them on your ...


8

The Goldlist method is based on this assumption. I haven't found any peer reviewed articles on it, though. This article (citing research by Mueller and Oppenheimer) suggests that we do learn better by physically taking notes. Take Notes by Hand for Better Long-Term Comprehension. It isn't specifically for language learning, though.


8

The Canadian linguist Patsy Lightbown published several articles about the following type of experiment: One group of English language learners in the French-speaking part of Canada started learning English at the age of 8 (grade 3) with a method based exclusively on listening and reading. They received native-speaker input by reading texts and listening ...


8

Well, using flashcards you will learn words and build your vocabulary. However, learning vocabulary through sentences will help you learn how to use these words. In this way, you can learn a language more efficiently. That is why learning vocabulary through sentences, giving context to the used words, is beneficial over learning to recognize words alone. ...


7

There are some classes of languages where listening to music (and musical ability) holds a distinct advantage in learning that language. Those languages are called TONAL languages, where differing pitch is semantically significant and lexically distinctive (linguistic jargon for syllables with different pitch have different meanings). An example of a tonal ...


7

In some countries, this is how many people learn foreign languages at school. This was the case when I was attending school in Belgium in the 1980s and early 1990s: we started with French in the fifth year of primary school, I added Latin in secondary school, English in the third year of secondary school, and German one year later. There are other countries ...


6

After doing some research, I haven't found any scientific literature regarding the retention rate or effectiveness of cloze flashcards. However, there is some past research regarding what each type of flashcard is best for, so I'll present that here. Bolded items are things that each type of flashcard test. As @user83725 states, cloze flashcards are much ...


5

Use the language consistently and with passion! Languages will often be forgotten if they are not used frequently. Slowly, piece by piece, the language will start to disappear as you no longer use that language. But, with continuous usage of the language, you can refresh your brain every day of your language and maintain fluency. Like what Hatchet said, ...


5

From the National Center for Biotechnology Information: ... while simply overhearing a language during childhood could help adult learners speak it with a more native-like phonology, speaking a language regularly during childhood could help re-learners use it with more native-like grammar as well as phonology. The study was done on fourteen-year-old ...


5

There are multiple ways they help as seen in this site: Engages Active Recall - As people practice with flashcards, the brain is forced to recall the back of the card correctly and quickly. This helps the brain learn the term(s) faster and stay there longer. Aids Spaced Repetition - Cramming all the info the day before the exam is less effective than ...


5

Some polyglots actually advocate that learning multiple new languages in parallel is better than learning one. Valery Kurinskiy (the link is in Russian) was one of them. Valery was hyperpolyglot, he knew a few dozen languages. However, all people are different. You need to find what works for you best. I personally, find it difficult learning 2 languages ...


4

In my experience, I've found that while most of the content taught in both types of classes are very similar, the teaching styles themselves can be quite different. Classes for second language learners tend to be more connected to the SLL's native language (for example, comparisons might be made between words in the two languages that mean the same ...


4

I am convinced that this is true, but I don't know why. Why? I would say memory is a very important factor here. People may have better or worse memory, but in general it's very easy to forget what you learnt a week ago, if you didn't repeat it in the meantime. It may and probably does apply to other fields of study than language learning, but to ...


4

The Memrise scheduling algorithm is proprietary. It is unlikely that we have independent and trusted research ))). I stick to Anki because it is a vendor-independent solution (for example, the AnkiDroid project is an independent implementation of Anki on Android) and it is possible to modify the scheduling schema to some degree. There are scientific ...


4

For people who want to learn more than one foreign language at a time, choosing two unrelated languages, such as Japanese and Spanish, is a good idea because it reduces the confusion factor. However, it is still a challenging task, for example, because people typically have limited spare time after work or university-relate activites, because one of the ...


4

When I was studying two languages at the same time, I always tried to be at least a little proficient in one before adding another. That way, I could use them together to study, and train myself out of going through English! So, I took Spanish first. When I was in second year (secondary) Spanish, I added first year French. This was not a great idea as the ...


4

I'm not sure such studies exist. There are probably only examples, and there is only one good example that I know of: Daniel Everett is a famous monolingual fieldworker of the type you're asking about ("extreme situations") and is the only linguist in the world fluent in Pirahã. Here he is demonstrating his techniques. Much patience is required. His TED ...


4

My personal experience is that reading in general (intensive, extensive or whatnot) improves your reading skills drastically, increases your vocabulary noticeably but per se won't help to to write and especially to speak. Talking specifically of intensive reading - let's give some definitions for the starters. According to British Council: Intensive ...


3

It sounds like you lack opportunities to actively speak or write the language, even though you have opportunities to listen or read it. One way to use the language is language correction websites like http://lang-8.com and italki. You write diary entries in your non-native language, and other users (native or fluent speakers) correct what you've written. In ...


3

One way to look at things is the "definition" versus the "word." Another way to look at them is the "native language" (definition) versus the "foreign" word. Which one to emphasize depends on your goal. If you are looking to gain reading comprehension, I would show the (foreign) "word" and hide the "definition" so that you learn the recognize the foreign ...


3

When an audio recording has lower quality, it means two things: some information is lost, and some noise is added. Obviously if enough information is lost, there won't be enough left to represent the sounds of the language anymore, so the question is really a matter of degree. But the important question is where do you start having problems. As ...


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