Archive for the Category: Language learning

српски (Serbian)

Last week I started learning Serbian (српски) in preparation for the Polyglot Conference in Novi Sad in Serbia in October. Whenever I visit a country whose language I don’t already speak I learn at least the basics of their language, so I couldn’t go to Serbia without learning some Serbian. I’m using online materials, such […]

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Also posted in English, Language, Serbian 3 Comments

Brushing up languages

Last week in Scotland I tried to speak Scottish Gaelic as much as possible, and had a number of good conversations. At first though, I was adding quite a lot of Irish Gaelic into the mix, which works sometimes as the two languages are close, but not always. Last year I had a month between […]

Also posted in English, Irish, Language, Scottish Gaelic 1 Comment

Oideas Gael

I’m having a wonderful time in Gleann Cholm Cille learning to play the harp and speaking plenty of Irish. The course is going really well – we started with basic techniques, and have learnt a number of tunes, including some from the Bóroimhe / Brian Boru suite by Michael Rooney. I’ve videoed our teacher, Oisín […]

Also posted in Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Irish, Language, Music, Poetry, Serbian, Swedish Leave a comment

Motivation

There’s an interesting article in the Guardian I came across today about motivation in language learning. The article discusses different types of motivation, and concludes that three things that are particularly important in language learning are working memory; associative memory – how well you content new and known information; and your ability to learn implicitly […]

Also posted in Language 1 Comment

How many languages is enough?

I came across an interesting article in The Guardian today about Alexander Arguelles, who says, “I can read about three dozen languages and speak most of them fluently, and I’ve studied many more.” The headline, “Experience: I can speak 50 languages”, is perhaps a slight exaggeration of the kind that’s common in these kinds of […]

Also posted in English, Language 6 Comments

Gender differences in language learning?

An article I read in The Times today suggests that women tend to be less confident than men, particularly in work-related situations. Apparently men tend to over estimate their abilities, while women often under estimate their abilities, and women tend to over-prepare and don’t feel ready for a task unless they are 100% sure of […]

Also posted in English, Language 6 Comments

One language per day

Last week I decided to try a slightly different language learning strategy. Rather than trying to immerse myself and learning bits of various languages every day, I am focusing on one language each day. This mainly involves listening to online radio and doing online lessons, and also having conversations with people when I can. At […]

Also posted in Dutch, English, Italian, Japanese, Language, Portuguese, Spanish 3 Comments

‘Academic’ style language teaching

I’ve noticed that when some people write about language learning, particularly those who encourage you to learn languages on your own, they often make disparaging remarks about the ‘academic’ style of teaching found in language classes. Apparently this style of teaching is boring, dry, focused on grammar and learning vocabulary, and/or has too few opportunities […]

Also posted in Education, Language 2 Comments

Are musicians better language learners?

According to an article I read in The Guardian yesterday, research has found that children who learn music, especially before the age of seven, find it easier to learn languages in later life. They also tend to develop larger vocabularies, and are better at grammar and high verbal IQs. The writer of the piece, Liisa […]

Also posted in Language, Music 3 Comments

How to Start Learning a New Language

Today we have a guest post by Kerstin Hammes of Fluent, the Language Learning Blog. It’s great to get started with a new hobby, and part of the excitement is always the shopping trip for new kit. This is no different with language learning. It doesn’t matter if you follow a polyglot’s online method or […]

Also posted in Language 5 Comments