BlogPosts Tagged "Learning Methods"
28 Apr 2020
They say “you are what you eat”. In the global information age, maybe it should be “you are what you can say”. Language, in its varied manifestations, is mankind’s defining achievement, and it also defines us. Language can be social, political, technical, practical, entertaining, sensual, philosophical, and much more. At the banquet of life, each language is another course. The better you can [...]Read more The Three Language Acquisition Stages
17 Mar 2020
You are unlikely to learn to speak a new language perfectly, but perfection should not be your goal. Your main goal should be effective communication. I am not perfect in any of the languages that I speak, but I can communicate. And whenever I communicate in another language I'm satisfied. I also know from experience that my ability to speak and to pronounce well will only improve with time, [...]Read more How To Improve Your Speaking Skills
8 Aug 2019
I want to talk about language learning, the basics that is. The basics in a language are important. It is important to speak correctly, it is important to focus on key patterns, key phrases, key ways of saying things, phrases and patterns and structures that come up all the time, it’s just not possible to […]Read more Language-Learning Basics, Again and Again
4 Sep 2018
Of course, language learning success depends mostly on the learner. But what about external factors? What does a keen language learner need most of all? The answer is interesting language content. What constitutes interesting content will depend on each learner, and even on the changing interests of each learner. But the best way to learn another language is through interesting content, [...]Read more The Best Way to Learn Another Language? From Interesting Content
21 Aug 2018
I had lunch earlier this week with a college professor who is head of the Asian language department in a large university here in Vancouver. He told me that a majority of students who enroll in Asian languages quit after the first year. I was surprised to hear that. Then I did some research and […]Read more Language Goals and Frustrations
10 Jul 2018
Many people, even if they’ve only learned one foreign language, may only visit the country where the language is spoken once a year or once every few years, so it can be hard to maintain or improve those language skills. Not being able to maintain a language can lead to something many multilingual people fear: language attrition, or the weakening or loss of a language. In my case, I claim to [...]Read more How to Avoid Language Attrition
12 Jun 2018
I can speak 17 or so languages to varying degrees of fluency. Some I speak really well, like French, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish. Even in languages that I speak less well, like Swedish, German, or Russian, my accent is not too bad, people tell me.Read more Can We Learn to Speak a Foreign Language Like a Native Speaker?
3 Apr 2018
I think that children learn faster than adults. There is ample evidence of this, for example amongst immigrants to Canada. Rare is the immigrant family where the children don’t speak English, or French, much better than their parents. Can Adults Learn More Like Children? I also think, however, that adults can learn how to learn […]Read more Language Acquisition: Do Children Learn Faster Than Adults?
20 Mar 2018
Which is better for language learners, monolingual or bilingual dictionaries? This question often comes up.A monolingual dictionary explains the meaning of a word in the language that you are learning. A bilingual dictionary provides a translation...Read more Monolingual or Bilingual Dictionaries for Language Learners?
17 Oct 2017
I want to cover the issue of input-based learning that I have spoken about in two past YouTube videos in Chinese and Japanese. It goes by different names but basically amounts to spending most of your time on listening, reading, working on your vocabulary and becoming familiar with the language rather than on output-activities or grammar-focused activities.Read more Effective Language Learning: Listening and Reading