Directly Practice the Language Skills You Want to Improve

Directly Practice the Language Skills You Want to Improve

We get better at what we practice most. Sounds obvious, yes? Yet far too many language learners wonder why they aren’t getting better at listening and speaking despite all the hours they’ve spent reading, memorizing vocabulary, and studying grammar rule. See the faulty logic here? Trying to get better at speaking by memorizing words and rules is like trying to get better at martial arts by watching kung fu movies. Not exactly a recipe for success.

Is Texting Killing Language as We Know It? Linguist John McWhorter Says, “No, LOL”

Is Texting Killing Language as We Know It? Linguist John McWhorter Says, “No, LOL”

Every few months it seems, another article or blog post comes out making sensationalist claims like “Texting is destroying our language!” and “Kids today don’t know how to write anymore thanks to texting and emoji!” In this great TED Talk, linguist John McWhorter makes the case for why texting does not mean the death of good writing skills, and even shares some positive linguistic and cultural aspects of this new communication medium.

FAQ: How Can I Change the Display Language on iOS, macOS, Android, Windows, Kindle, Facebook, Instagram, etc.?

FAQ: How Can I Change the Display Language on iOS, macOS, Android, Windows, Kindle, Facebook, Instagram, etc.?

With just a few taps or clicks, you can change your smartphone, computer, social media accounts, web browser, and more into language learning powerhouses. Instead of studying random flashcards or boring textbooks, you can get fun, contextual, relevant exposure to your target language throughout your day as you do tasks you would already be doing anyway. Instead of trying to create new habits, this approach allows you to leverage firmly established habits that are already part of your daily routine. Instead of having to choose to spend time with the language, exposure becomes the default.

The Successful Language Learner’s NOT To Do List

The Successful Language Learner’s NOT To Do List

To do lists seem like a good idea in theory, but they have a major disadvantage: there are infinite potential to do items. Instead, Tim Ferriss, best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek (and a speaker of 6 languages), recommends “not to do lists” instead since they define a limited number of unhelpful behaviors to avoid. This idea applies perfectly to language learning, where most learners waste a lot of time on ineffective methods and bad materials. Read on to see my list of NOT to do items for successful language learners.

Languages are Caught, NOT Taught

Languages are Caught, NOT Taught

Every so often, I stumble across claims on the interwebs so outrageous that they immediately send me to the keyboard to write a blog post. As they say, the best way to complain is to create. One such example is the following statement I read on an education blog: “Anything students need to know has to be taught, not caught.” This sound bite seems logical to those who subscribe to traditional “sage on the stage” models of teaching, but it underpins a major misconception about language acquisition: the notion that languages can be taught at all.

The Top 10 Ways to Learn Mandarin Chinese (From 50+ Top Bloggers)

The Top 10 Ways to Learn Mandarin Chinese (From 50+ Top Bloggers)

Learn Mandarin Now asked over 50 language bloggers (including yours truly) to list their 3 favorite tools for learning Mandarin Chinese. They then combined all the results into the super sexy infographic below and a comprehensive post (available on their site). What are your favorite tools? Any must-haves not listed here?

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