How is language learning analogous to learning to play piano

In many ways, learning a language is like learning to play a musical instrument such as the piano or guitar. You are learning several things all at once, a new vocabulary analogous to musical notes, a new grammar analogous to music theory, and a new culture analogous to music history. Piano learners are often frustrated …

Can you learn a language playing video games? What the research says

Christopher Timothy McGuirk, University of Central Lancashire Online gaming has become a concern for some parents in the past few years and there are worries children might become addicted, with negative effects on their socialisation. This has led some parents to think of creative ways to reduce gaming, including rationing the time children spend online. …

Watching foreign-language TV during the coronavirus pandemic can help you learn a new language

Stuart Webb, Western University and Elke Peters, KU Leuven With university classrooms and language schools closed because of the pandemic, language students must find new ways to practise and improve. In recent years, an increasing number of applied linguists have been advocating regular TV viewing to learn English. Research shows that students are motivated to …

Spanish among easiest to learn for English speakers

The U.S. Foreign Service Institute classifies world languages into categories 1 to 4, in ascending order of learning difficulty for native or native-level English speakers. To no one’s surprise, Spanish is in category 1, meaning it is among the easiest to learn for English speakers. Spanish, like other languages in category 1 (Portuguese, Italian, French), …

Are language learning apps effective?

Duolingo is my top Spanish learning app (see earlier post). There are other good apps such as Babbel, Busuu, Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone. Personal anecdotes aside, is there any scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of such online language learning apps? A recent Michigan State University study reports that all participants who ‘completed the requirements improved in …