What is the most important thing and what is the most difficult thing in learning a new language? My answer is always vocabulary. You can express yourself with faulty grammar and less than perfect pronunciation. If you do not have the words you ca...Read more Grammar or pronunciation or vocabulary?
People always ask me how quickly they can "learn" a second language, like English for example. I always answer that it depends on your level, and whether the language you are learning shares a lot of vocabulary with a language you already know (It...Read more How long does it take?
Learning languages 'boosts brain' Learning a second language "boosts" brain-power, scientists believe. Researchers from University College London studied the brains of 105 people - 80 of whom were bilingual. Learning languages enhances the brain, ...Read more Language and the brain
Native speakers of any language know naturally which words belong together. They have heard their own language so often and in so many situations that they can naturally put words together in a way that sounds effective. The foreign learner cannot...Read more Phrases, the key to natural learning
Many language learners have been conditioned to think that they need to learn grammar to learn a language. This is wrong, wrong, wrong! When I go to learn a new language I avoid explanations of grammar and avoid all questions or exercises based on...Read more Why learning grammar is harmful
Along with the false friends of language learning, there are myths. These also hold people back. Here I will mention just a few. "You have to have a talent for languages in order to learn." Is it likely that this talent for languages exists only w...Read more Some myths of language learning
There must be millions if not hundreds of millions of people who study languages. Most of them are frustrated and do not achieve fluency. I believe it is the false friends of language learning that let them down. These false friends are: the class...Read more The false friends of language learning
When I say linguist I do not mean someone who studies complicated theories about language. I just mean someone who can speak more than one language and who enjoys doing it. Usually the two go hand in hand. Native speakers of English are at a big d...Read more Anyone can be a linguist
I had a chat today with a lady who lives in Vancouver. She was complaining about how difficult it is for adults to learn English in Vancouver. But her problem is that her whole life is caught up with her own ethnic group. She has contacts with Eng...Read more Oh it is so difficult