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19 votes
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Is doing a huge amount of grammar exercises helpful for learning English?

I will tackle this questions in two steps: first, findings by researchers and teachers, then an alternative approach. Grammar Instruction in Isolation Is Not Effective In 1974, E. Hatch ("Second ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 19.8k
17 votes

What are the drawbacks to Duolingo?

Except for the issues already mentioned in the other answers, a big problem of Duolingo is that by grouping words in 'semantic clusters' (e.g. ANIMALS: elephant, lion, snake, horse, cow, mouse, spider ...
J.Past's user avatar
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16 votes

Tips on raising bilingual children

Your first question The best gift you can give your child is for your wife to speak in Russian, and for you to speak in English. I speak by experience. During the first 4 years of my daughter's life,...
Armando's user avatar
  • 261
15 votes
Accepted

How to remember words and improve my vocabulary

Each person has a different way of storing information in their brain. You have to find a technique that works best for you. Some that you can try include: Notebook: for some people, maintaining and ...
J. Siebeneichler's user avatar
13 votes
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How can I avoid confusion or interference when studying two similar languages?

If your mind is having trouble with the differences between similar terms, differentiate them by learning them in a separate context. If you race cars, you might not have trouble driving normally, ...
Quill's user avatar
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13 votes

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

First, let them speak English when they switch - but keep speaking the language you're learning confidently. They may switch back to the other language, once they realize you are happy using that ...
gaeguri's user avatar
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13 votes
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Is the “T-Coding Method” a reliable method to learn vocabulary?

I think this method is better known as the "keyword method" or the "keyword mnemonic". The technique was introduced by Richard C. Atkinson's 1975 article Mnemotechnics in Second Language Learning. ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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13 votes

How to remember words and improve my vocabulary

In addition to J. Siebeneichler's answer, using the language yourself is often a good way to solidify things in your brain. One way you can do that is to try to blog at a site like lang-8 where ...
Archenoth's user avatar
  • 231
12 votes

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

1. Don't learn similar characters together. According to interference theory in Psychology, learning similar things together can cause those items to interfere with each other in your memory. So when ...
gaeguri's user avatar
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12 votes
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Positive vs. negative reinforcement in Duolingo

Type in what you know, then fail the question. Duolingo uses spaced repetition for your review sessions, so you will tend to get questions involving words you are weak in. In order to do this, ...
YosemiteMark's user avatar
12 votes

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

The best way is probably to use it. Speaking is harder than writing, so it's more intense, and tends to be more effective, faster. But, as you say there are no native speakers around you, I offer ...
janos's user avatar
  • 221
12 votes

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

This method of learning languages seems to be called Bilingual-Dichotic Method. (Dichotic: involving or relating to the simultaneous stimulation of the right and left ear by different sounds.) Here ...
J.Past's user avatar
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12 votes
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What makes a language propaedeutic?

Having studied several languages including some Esperanto myself: The most obvious factor is if two languages are similar, either in vocabulary or grammar, already knowing one will make the other ...
TreeHouse196's user avatar
11 votes
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What are some techniques to better differentiate between the two languages?

Here are a few tips that should help avoiding mixing up languages: At the start of a learning session for a specific, listen to some audio in that language. This exposes you to that language's ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

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

Concerning reading in general Reading is an excellent way to not only increase your vocabulary, but also increase your familiarity with the language in general, and help you learn from context (being ...
Hatchet's user avatar
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11 votes

Which is the more efficient method to improve the listening of the american english?

Learning a language is not an easy task, and can often take years to master. The best advice I can give you is to force yourself to do tasks that you'd normally do in your native language instead in ...
Jake H's user avatar
  • 377
10 votes

Is SRS more effective than traditional study for vocabulary augmentation?

There is a wealth of research supporting the effectiveness of SRS. From Want to recall 92% of everything you learn? This algorithm makes forgetting difficult: Does SRS really work? Over two dozen ...
Philip Seyfi's user avatar
10 votes

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

I'll outline a workflow I've used in the past and discuss its merit. Read the story aloud slowly. This is invaluable because it helps pronunciation skills flourish. It also will help you see the ...
erip's user avatar
  • 425
10 votes
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What are the benefits and drawbacks to using subtitles when you have a reasonable proficiency in a language?

When subs are in one's native language, then subtitles are useful to understand the scenario and to some extent the dialog. But I think it is a problem to read one language while listening to another (...
user3169's user avatar
  • 366
10 votes

Which is the more efficient method to improve the listening of the american english?

A method I find very useful is listening to a talk radio channel in the target language while I do other stuff such as cleaning, cooking or typing answers on Stack Exchange. The point is to focus on ...
user28332's user avatar
  • 679
10 votes

Which is the more efficient method to improve the listening of the american english?

I had similar problems with listening comprehension of American English. Being very fluent in writing English, I could barely understand radio or TV. To overcome this problem I did three steps: ...
Alexander Galkin's user avatar
10 votes

Learning the grammatical gender of nouns in languages that have no articles, using non-visual techniques

I can suggest the following technique: Learn words with word "my": My cat My dog My table My chair I don't know Slovak, but in some other Slavic languages it would work
Schullz's user avatar
  • 392
10 votes
Accepted

How many new words at a time?

If your flashcards are divided into just two piles—the big one and the small one—you may need to refine your reviewing system or "algorithm". One very common system is the Leitner system (named after ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 19.8k
9 votes

What are the drawbacks to Duolingo?

I am a Duolingo user, currently working on the Spanish course. I do find it to be beneficial, but it does have its limitations. A few that I've noticed are: As has been mentioned, the sentences used ...
kristan's user avatar
  • 766
9 votes

Can practicing vocabulary from L2 to the same L2 instead of from L2 to L1 be more effective for learning the vocabulary?

For learners at low levels using L1 is recommended as L2 definitions will probably comprise more unfamiliar words making it difficult to comprehend and require retaining too much new information. For ...
Muzaffar's user avatar
  • 1,326
9 votes

Does writing out by hand generally strengthen retention better than computerized memorization methods?

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 ...
Charlotte SL's user avatar
9 votes

What are the advantages of a paper dictionary over an online dictionary?

The best paper dictionaries are created by teams of linguists (people with a degree in linguistics) based on a text corpus. You can usually find out who created the dictionary. With online ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 19.8k
9 votes

Does dreaming in the target language speed up the learning process?

Dreaming may help but it signals that you are quite proficient in your speaking abilities. Dreaming in another language can help by allowing you to "speak" with that language. But this may fool you ...
Anthony Pham's user avatar
  • 5,318
9 votes

Would ASMR improve language learning?

In many ASMR videos where there is voice, the speaker speaks slowly and clearly. The absence of noise also helps focusing. These factors can improve memory retention. I don't know if the "ASMR" effect ...
Norskeo's user avatar
  • 229
9 votes

Can you 'plateau' while learning a language?

What you describe is a well-known phenomenon in second language acquisition theory and goes by the name of interlanguage fossilization. If it is only temporary, the period of stagnation is also known ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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