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There are various ways to learn or teach a foreign language. At one end, there is the direct method, and at the other end there are methods such as the bilingual methods and the grammar–translation method. The direct method uses only the target language. This means that you would be learning Japanese using only Japanese (no translations etc. in Chinese and ...


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I came across this interview by The Economist with Timothy Doner, who was a teenage polyglot (the interview is from 2013, when he was 17 years old) that had "learned" 20 languages in four years. That would translate into about 2.5 months per language (which he mentions in the interview that sometimes he only studies a language for a couple of months). ...


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Yes. From general viewpoint, learning your L1 first and being proficient at it can help you with your L2 as you can associate L2 vocab with the L1 vocab as seen with methods like the Translation Method. This though does not apply always such as the direct method, which bans the usage of L1 while learning. You can though take some learning techniques you ...


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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 ...


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Let me answer this question with a question—is it really that easy for babies to learn a first language? While learners of a second language can walk away from day one able to greet and bid farewell to native speakers, babies will take around a year of exposure before they form their first words. Adults can learn sentence structure over a few weeks or ...


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To answer your question, I feel the second question must be answered first. L2 learners must be continually learning the L2 because native speakers are continually learning their own language if we are honest about it. Perhaps, as a native speaker of Southern-American English, I learn new British-English or slang from another part of the country, or as ...


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From my experience and English teacher, it is possible. But it needs a concentrated effort. You cannot assume, they will pick it up over time. (I know people who spent more than a year in an English speaking country, have excellent vocabulary and grammar, even solid accent but don't pronounce 'th' sound correctly). You must make the learner aware of the ...


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As a native English speaker who lives in England, I have heard some teenagers from the Netherlands who have a neutral English accent that for about 15 minutes I thought were English, the problem is that with very high-level English the density of idiomatic phrases becomes impossible to avoid and I will at one point or another realise they is something ...


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As included in their definition, "broken plurals" in arabic are irregular. As a consequence, no single rule can allow you to master them. What's more, they sometimes differ so much from the singular that the word is difficult to recognize if you only know its singular form. As frustrating as it may seem, I think the only way to memorize these plurals is to ...


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This was a very interesting question for me to consider, so I did quite a bit of research on the topic. The issue you describe is the plight of many uneducated or otherwise illiterate migrants or refugees, often children, who never received any formal schooling in their language. An answer on this forum for teachers states: The shortest path to literacy in ...


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It appears to be possible. One example is the Turkish-born American political commentator Cenk Uygur. He says something about how he started learning English at the age of eight in a YouTube video that is otherwise not about language learning but about refugees and refugee agencies (emphasis added): I was not a refugee but my family came over as legal ...


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Since it is difficult to find literature about this, I'll focus on a "case study". One of the most famous foreigners in China is 大山/Dàshān/Mark Henry Rowswell, a Canadian whose fluency in Chinese is so high he can even do stand-up comedy (相声/xiàngshēng). Dashan started studying Chinese at the age of 19, namely at the University of Toronto. There are a few ...


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You can "learn" a language like Spanish in the sense of memorizing lists of vocabulary and conjugation charts. To some extent, it also means learning academic content words and sentence structures. You cannot necessarily hold a conversation or understand it beyond the textbook, though. On the other hand, many native speakers never "learn" their own language ...


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I think you need to train your brain to see French and Japanese as two different languages. After saying a sentence in French, immediately say it in Japanese also (and vice versa). This worked for me for Spanish and Italian. When talking to someone in Italian, I would repeat the Spanish equivalent of every sentence in my head immediately after saying it in ...


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It is absolutely intelligibility. Your speech must be intelligible first before it can approach native-like fluency. Even if this were not so, having native-like fluency would be useless if native speakers could not understand you.


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Well as someone who's tampered with 'natural' language acquisition approaches here are some conclusions I personally made: Like Steven Krashen said, comprehensible input is key. If you listen to a language and understand nothing, you'll learn nothing. For immersion-based approaches to work you need a foundation of basic vocabulary, which will allow you to ...


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I'd recommend not to start with a single word and try to explore all its usages in different contexts, but to do it the other way around: to explore one context per lesson and learn the vocabulary that applies there. Memorize sentences that make sense in that context and, in your mind, try to associate them with pictures that clearly belong to your chosen ...


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This is a question that can only be answered anecdotally, unless a study has been published somewhere. In any case, yes it is possible. I have spent time in Sweden, Austria and Germany and usually get by without anyone asking where I'm from. Whether that means they don't believe I'm a foreigner or simply didn't ask has not been clear in every situation ...


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Speaking in the L2 at all time focusing on the commanding expressions could be a very good start while the commands are physically acted out at possible all time. People tend to learn first when they are exposed to acquisition rich listening environment. They should then be introduced writing and reading simultaneously.


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