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 …

Effective language learning: mastering an art or getting results

In the Youtube video, Marianna Pascal compares 2 attitudes in learning a language: mastering an art or getting the desired results. Although Marianna was specifically addressing the issue of learning English for a Malaysian audience, I believe it applies equally well for a Spanish learning one. The experience of learning a new language to many …