39 votes
Accepted

Have there been any studies into detrimental effects of language learning?

Yes, there have been studies showing some disadvantages. Bialystok (2008) notes that It is now well documented that bilinguals generally control a smaller vocabulary in each language than ...
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28 votes

Have there been any studies into detrimental effects of language learning?

According to this paper, in general, bilinguals have smaller vocabularies for each language. They also match pictures to words and list common words at a slower pace. Most of the disadvantages fall ...
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24 votes
Accepted

How does immersion passively help with learning a language?

There are a few reasons why immersion helps you learn a language without you actively trying: You encounter the language more often. When you are immersed in a language, you don't go to class and do ...
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  • 1,661
23 votes
Accepted

According to scientific research, which languages take the least time to learn for a native English speaker?

According to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), there are categorical rankings of difficulty in learning a language relative to English. A list can be found here with approximate time to become ...
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  • 1,841
19 votes
Accepted

How can watching movies help improve fluency and listening skill?

What is beneficial is watching movies with subtitles in the original language of the movie. So if you're, let's say American, you will watch a French movie with the French subtitles, that is to say in ...
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  • 1,439
18 votes

Are there any studies which address the effectiveness of studying multiple related languages simultaneously?

According to The Polyglot Dream, Choose two languages that are distinct from each other. Languages that are similar can overlap by way of words, grammar, emotions, memories, and other factors, ...
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  • 8,937
16 votes

What research is there on the efficiency of online language learning compared to in person learning?

Not restricting it to Duolingo et al. specifically the name of this research field is CALL (computer assisted language learning). There's at least two major journals devoted to this in all of its ...
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  • 492
16 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
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  • 5,198
14 votes

Are there studies showing that learning an L2 makes it easier to learn an L3?

Yes, there are studies, and yes, already knowing at least two languages does make it easier to learn another. According to a study from the University of Haifa, being bilingual does make it easier to ...
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  • 4,865
13 votes

Which of these is more effective: having a silent period, or speaking from day one?

"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 ...
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13 votes

Are there any studies which address the effectiveness of studying multiple related languages simultaneously?

For young children learning similar languages simultaneously usually is not a problem, however for adults this could be a challenging. This mainly depends on the methodology being used, certain ...
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  • 724
13 votes
Accepted

What skills does reading aloud improve?

There are several that I can think of: Most notably, reading out loud allows you to improve your pronunciation of the language. This can help you identify sounds or accents you're having trouble with ...
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  • 8,937
12 votes

Have there been any studies into detrimental effects of language learning?

Barely Language learning has many benefits but I could find a few: Anxiety is the biggest one I found. Language learning can be a difficult process and it doesn't come as easily to some people. When ...
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  • 1,058
12 votes

How can gamification improve language learning?

By far, the most important impact gamification has on any activity, including language learning, is to increase one's attention span. By making mundane tasks into games (from cleaning a child's room,...
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  • 5,032
11 votes

Are there any studies which address the effectiveness of studying multiple related languages simultaneously?

I found some interesting articles instead of the studies, but they should suffice. The first article by FluentU lists five major advantages in learning multiple languages at the same time: good for ...
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  • 5,198
11 votes
Accepted

Do learners with an L1 without articles have problems using them in an L2 with articles?

Put simply, yes, there have been many studies analysing (and proving) that a non-article L1 affects students learning an L2 that does have articles. For instance, Finnish and Swedish learners of ...
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  • 725
11 votes

Does learning other aspects of culture help with learning the language?

Since people of a like language will naturally be more in communication with each other than, say, those who don't share a language, and thus forming a culture, the habits, concepts, and even words ...
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  • 4,865
11 votes

Does learning a language consistently every day help you learn it sooner?

If you look up research on this topic (Ebbinghaus, curve of forgetting), you'll see that forgetting varies. We might remember everything a day later - or have forgotten everything. This is something ...
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10 votes

Are there studies on the effectiveness of Rosetta Stone as a language learning tool?

A quick survey of literature (and I mean quick - maybe 15 minutes) suggests that RS is effective - but that effectiveness varies on a variety of factors, such as previous language experience, cultural ...
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  • 295
10 votes

What research is there on the efficiency of online language learning compared to in person learning?

Here is one such study, but it appears to be at least commissioned by Duolingo itself even if it was carried out independently. Here is an independent critique written by Michael Schmitz, an online ...
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  • 1,661
10 votes
Accepted

Does learning other aspects of culture help with learning the language?

Yes. Actually, it is quite impossible to not to. In this article, it states: The link between foreign language learning and culture learning has been established by the linguists and ...
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  • 5,198
10 votes
Accepted

Are there any surveys or studies on what motivates people to learn minority languages and/or rare languages?

Paradowski & Wysokińska (2014) summarise interviews with 6 polyglots about their motivation. The purpose of the article is to discover what motivates polyglots to learn languages in general, not ...
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  • 2,244
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 ...
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  • 19.2k
9 votes
Accepted

Are there studies testing to see what the the ideal age to begin learning a second language is?

There are pros and cons to learning a language in any age group. From the Frankfurt International School: In fact, studies have shown that adolescents and adults are in many ways better at ...
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  • 174
9 votes

How can immersion in the language's country improve beginner skills?

When you're immersed in a language's country, you'll be exposed to not only the language, but also: The culture: an integral part of understanding the language; the language grew or morphed based on ...
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  • 4,865
9 votes
Accepted

What factors make a language difficult to learn from the learner's POV?

There are lots and lots of factors. I am going to list some of the major ones here: The language you start with: For example, Mandarin Chinese is ranked one of the hardest languages to learn as an ...
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  • 5,198
9 votes

Learn language learning techniques in school before starting to learn foreign languages?

Some techniques are certainly more effective than others, as you noted. I think it's definitely effective to learn how to improve your learning process, as long as the amount of time spent learning ...
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9 votes

How can gamification improve language learning?

The University of Oregon published a study in which students learn Advanced Chinese using gamification. Participants seem to be very interested in the games used to teach advanced Chinese, playing ...
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  • 5,198
9 votes

According to scientific evidence, how many languages can the average human retain in their mind and still communicate fluently in?

The question is inherently unanswerable because science doesn't really investigate questions like this. You can have a scientific study that asks how many languages the average person can speak. You ...
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  • 824
8 votes

Have there been any studies into detrimental effects of language learning?

There has been quite some research into the influence of a second language on a speaker's first language. A collection of papers on these topics has been edited by Vivian Cook (Effects of the Second ...
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  • 638

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