Language Learning

We found 40 articles

A language study routine that actually works
So you're studying a new language, and you've been told that you need to make time to review and study vocabulary regularly. That makes sense. You tell yourself you'll do it. You may even make some flashcards and spend time drilling them two or three times early in the semester when you are full of good intentions. But if you're like me, the ...
Why and how I learned seven languages (and am learning two more!)
English and Japanese: Growing up bilingual but also investing time and effort The first two languages I learned had no reason to be learned other than geographic, structural factors — I spoke Japanese at home and English at school. Though there have been numerous studies on the inherent benefits of multilingual environments for language learning ...
Learn Spanish with podcasts!
Podcasts are a great way to learn a language. Listening to them requires aural comprehension, but they can also help you study grammar and vocabulary. 
How to simplify pronouns in Spanish
Direct and indirect object pronouns often trip up students of Spanish. But identifying objects and using pronouns can be simple, if you know how to break down a sentence. Let’s look at this through an example!
How to use root words to learn vocabulary
Retaining new English vocabulary is challenging, whether you’re learning English for the first time or studying for standardized tests like the SAT or GRE. The challenge arises, in part, from the sheer volume of words in English. English’s massive lexicon comes from words in several other languages, and learning some of these words—more often ...
The music of Mandarin: learning the five tones of the language
Learning Chinese is challenging but fun! Even the parts that require repetitive practice can be enjoyable with the right framework and point-of-view.
Grammar: one to 1
When learning a new language, students almost always begin with the alphabet and numbers. We use letters, of course, to form words, which form sentences that express ideas of varying complexity in a form that people who read this written language can understand. Numbers designate a different kind of language, one that conveys equations and ...
What’s that sound? Diphthong (diptongo), hiatus (hiato), and understanding Spanish syllables
Ever wonder why when you try to imitate native Spanish speakers it just doesn’t come out right? It might have something to do with syllables!
21st Century Spanish-Language Films You Can Stream Right Now
We all know that one of the most important aspects to learning a language is exposure.  However, if you're not living in a country that speaks the language you're trying to learn natively, exposing yourself to native speakers can be incredibly tricky! Luckily, in the age of Netflix and Amazon, you can immerse yourself in language through movies, ...
How to Hold on to a New Language After a Long Break
Ever find yourself at the beginning of another school year, in the language classroom, and unable to utter a word? It’s common to all second- (and third-, etc.) language learners, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips on how to keep up a new language during a long break from study.
Why does English borrow so many words from other languages?
The Canadian blogger and free-lance reviewer James Nicoll created the following epigram on the English language: "English doesn't borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over and goes through their pockets for loose grammar."
5 key differences between American and British spelling conventions
Before America became a nation, the colonists who arrived to establish the country spoke English. From England. As there was not yet an authoritative source for how to spell words correctly in English, the colonists spoke English they were used to back home and wrote much the same way, using the way language was written in English literature as a ...
Verbified nouns: Engaging with cultural cliché[é?]s through language study
  A Confounding Caption While meandering through a shopping mall last week, waiting for my husband to emerge from the battlefield that is the men’s dressing room, I stumbled upon a most curiously named store. To avoid incurring undue amounts of commercial ire and for the sheer purpose of explaining the flurry of ensuing reflections, let’s simply ...
A list of common homophones and their differences
What is a Homophone? There are many more words in the English language than one might expect, given how similar their pronunciation and spelling can be. They're usually nouns and adjectives, except for those that function as conjunctions or contractions. Once you accept that English contains many pairs or groups of deceptively similar words with ...
The most common English prefixes and their meanings
The English language comprises a plethora of words that can change meanings with the addition of a prefix or a suffix. For example, the prefix re signifies that the base word to which it attaches is happening again, as in "do" and "redo". In theory, one could add re an infinite number of times to the front of a word, and the effect would continue ...
5 things you need to study Classics to really understand
"What are you gonna do with that degree?" is just one of the questions endlessly faced by Classics majors and those wondering if they should study the Classics. What Classics majors are gonna do is understand the past and present and enjoy every aspect of the world as we know it so much more, and here you'll find out why.
What’s the International Phonetic Alphabet and why is it great?
Nope, it’s not the beer, though that’s pretty great too! IPA stands for the International Phonetic Alphabet, which is a standardized way to write down the sounds of any language. Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? But we’ll see how this system captures nuances of sounds in the world’s languages and why this is a great tool not only for understanding ...
Should I Become a Linguistics Major?
In a previous post I explained what, exactly, linguistics is, and provided an introduction to its different branches. Now I’m asking: why should you become a linguistics major? Reason #1: To gain a better understanding of English (or any language!) Linguistics seeks to understand how languages work. Even just an introductory linguistics course can ...
A review of Duolingo: is it really worth your time?
  Interested in learning a foreign language in a fun, low-pressure way? Addicted to your smartphone? Duolingo might be the app for you! As an avid language learner (avid to the point where I’m now pursuing a Linguistics PhD), I was thrilled to discover an app that allowed me to learn languages passively without feeling like I was devoting all my ...
How to Learn (and Retain) Foreign Language Vocab
Julie Andrew knows a thing or two about mnemonics Learning vocabulary in a new language can be a really daunting task, especially when you think about the thousands (and that’s probably an understatement!) of words you have to learn. But language learning doesn’t have to be all boring rote memorization. In fact, unless you want to forget all these ...
The Language Tutor: How to Learn a New Language
There are better ways to learn how to speak a foreign language Having the capacity to speak multiple languages has shown not only cognitive advantages but also has become an important skill to make your résumé more competitive. In my experience both as Spanish language tutor and in trying to learn a third language, I have found three fundamental ...
The Language Tutor: How to Learn a Language from Your Living Room
Imagine if you could learn a language like this. Well, you can!
The Language Tutor: Dispelling Myths, Stereotypes, and Misconceptions
A Spanish serenade from the singer Carlos Gardel So, you’re ready for the exhilarating journey of studying a new language, but unsure of which language to choose. Perhaps, floating in your head are all the common stereotypes and generalizations about this or that language. Perhaps you, like even the most intelligent students, are unwittingly ...
Latin Tutor: Why Should I Study Latin?
Source: Asterix the Gladiator, book 4 Excellent reasons for studying Latin have been given elsewhere on this blog: knowledge of the ancient language can boost your standardized test scores, enrich your understanding of European culture, and make you stand out in college admissions. As a long time Latin tutor in Boston, I’d like to add to these ...
The benefits of studying ancient Greek in high school
Today, we offer the second of two guest posts from our good friends at Calder Classics on why learning a "dead language" might be the very thing that gives you the edge you need in college admissions (see the first one here). Based in New York, Calder Classics is an elite educational company committed to helping students prosper by giving them the ...
The benefits of taking Latin in high school
 Today, we offer the first of two guest posts from our good friends at Calder Classics on why learning a "dead language" might be the very thing that gives you the edge you need in college admissions. Based in New York, Calder Classics is an elite educational company committed to helping students prosper by giving them the chance to learn the ...
The Language Tutor: Everyday Immersion
Studying a foreign language can be intimidating, especially looking at advanced or native speakers who seem to find it easy to pick up new grammatical concepts or vocabulary terms. Sitting in class and going through the homework might help you get the minimum grade, but if you put in a bit of extra work you can become even more comfortable in the ...
Language Tutor: Tricks for Foreign Language Practice this Summer
With only a month of summer vacation left on the calendar, most students are probably beginning to hear back on their class schedules for the coming year.  And regardless of your grade level, new language classes can be one of the most intimidating additions to the course list.  One of the easiest ways to cut down on language class stress is to ...
Language Tutor Tells-All: What to Look for in a Language Tutor
Common to all good language tutors is a lifelong passion for language instruction and dedication to making language learning possible and enjoyable for students of all types. But there are also four other key attributes that you should pursue when hiring a lanaguage tutor.  Whether you are studying for a standardized test, preparing for an ...
Language Tutor Tells-All: Which Methodology Works for You
As language teachers, we know that students of foreign languages often have disparate needs. Before you sign up for a language class, be sure to familiarize yourself with the methology that works for your learning style and that correlates to your linguistic goal.  Some students seek to learn a new language for the pure fun of it, some look to ...
Language Tutor Tells-All: Reading Comprehension
If you’re a language student or interested in cultivating a new language for the sake of it (awesome!), then a great way to boost your learning is to work on reading comprehension in your target language. Take advantage of the multilingual resources at your fingertips. And I mean, quite literally, at your fingertips – the digital editions of ...
Language Tutor Tells-All: Listening Comprehension
Dreaming of a trip to Florence…Toulouse…Shanghai…Munich….Barcelona….? Language instructors share tips & resources: